With The Defenders, Marvel brought first phase of its Netflix series to a close by bringing together their street-level heroes to fight an underground yet far-reaching threat. Grittier than The Avengers but not as bleak at Justice League, this team straddled the line between light and dark, even if the plot was lost somewhere in the questionable middle. There was a hero for everybody, in most cases, and a natural diversity to the team.
Ever wonder if you'd make it on a superhero team? Let's start with the Defenders; they're accessible and don't have to commute far to work. Of the core Defenders members--Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Danny Rand--which one do you think you'd be? Do you have a high tolerance for pain? Have mommy issues or a drinking problem? How about a martyr complex? Or are so rich you have your own company, but can't afford a beard trimmer? All of the above? None of the above? Don't worry, there's still room for you here. That's the great thing about the Defenders--it may be a small team but they're easy to identify with.
Also, we apologize ahead of time if you end up as Danny Rand.
Where did you grow up?
You know the story. The past dictates the future. How and where you grew up almost always has some level of thematic resonance on your superhero life. And origin stories selling well, or something. Don’t worry, we won’t pry too much into your childhood, especially since you’re not paying us. Bring it to your therapist, which, as a superhero, you probably need.
What's your drink of choice?
You know what never made sense? Comic book characters that never drank. Sure, you can argue the point that they’re disciplined and always on call and all that, but when you have such a high stress job, sometimes you need to just tie one on. What, you never heard of a doctor or an EMT or a police officer knocking back a few tall boys of Schlitz?
Which superpower would you prefer?
You can still be a superhero without having superpowers. Must be a union thing. Regardless, the Defenders all have superpowers. This lines up obviously with each hero, but it’s an important question for gauging who you would end up being, so don’t just pick whichever character is your favorite. Go with the preferred power.
Are you impulsive?
Look, we’ve all sometimes let adrenaline override common sense. Funnily enough, the Defenders break up into different levels of impulsivity. Honestly, given the fact that superheroes are people who are sick of society’s problems and they go around punching people in the face, there’s a good argument that they all have impulse control problems.
Would you wear a costume?
Back in the day, when millennials were coming up, superheroes wore costumes. It was hit or miss. Honestly, most of them looked like nut jobs, but at least they had a sense of flair, and those masks helped with that whole secret identity thing. Times have changed now. Damn internet. Now they can just run around in their britches like they were hanging out at the park.
What's your preferred day job?
Well, a lot of things have changed in comics over the years, but one thing hasn’t: day jobs. That’s right, even superheroes need to keep the electricity on. Some have it easier than others in the financial department, but even Clark Kent has to write up a puff piece about a cute kitten stuck in a tree once in a while.
Who would you be your preferred love interest?
Superheroes need a love interest. It keeps them grounded and humanizes them so we don’t lose our ability to empathize with their situation. It’s also an easy way to raise the stakes in a story if that person is in jeopardy. Each of the Defenders have had or do have a love interest that is well-suited for their character arcs. If it were up to you, who would you be with?
What's your preferred way to travel?
New York City is important enough to need entire contingents of superheroes working around the clock to keep it safe. Hell, given the state of the world in comic books, protecting your city sometimes means leaving it too. If you had to choose your means of travel, how would you get around?
Would you kill the bad guys?
Some heroes kill the bad guys, if not out of efficiency than for the sake of their own philosophy. Some of the Defenders have taken lives before, if not out of necessity than out of revenge. Hey, who are we to judge? Wait, are you a cop? Are you Vice? Flush the drugs, Karen!
Are your parents still alive?
Like we said before, your childhood has a lot to do with your superhero life later on. Parents are usually an X-factor when seeing the type of hero you’ll become. Clark Kent’s parents lived and he’s an upstanding, contributing member to society. Then there’s Bruce Wayne. You know how that worked out.
What’s your favorite film genre?
Many superheroes find inspiration from films, stories, or in the cases of certain damaged heroes, their trauma, but that’s neither here nor there. We couldn’t listen every genre out there, but of the group we have here, which one would be your favorite? Morally opaque noir? Bleak true crime? Bizarre fantasy? Or an isolating western where the frontier is tough and the people tougher?
What's your greatest weakness?
Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone, but we do have to ask what your weakness is. The thing is about the Defenders is that their physical weaknesses aren’t the real problem. They’re all emotionally screwed up. So, which one of these flaws do you have?
Do you feel comfortable in expensive clothes?
Expensive clothes are a strange thing. They can be luxuriously comfortable or hellishly uncomfortable, but you’re wearing them anyway because of the brand or the aesthetics. You’re definitely putting on an air if you’re wearing them. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with that. All superheroes have a personal aesthetic they try to maintain. And possibly a degree at FIT, but that’s just a guess.
What type of villain do you think you'd fight?
Often, a hero is defined by the villain he faces. That’s why nobody likes Hawkeye. There are no bad guys out there willing to care enough to hate him. You want a villain to be worthy of your badassery, but no so much that they upstage you totally (we call that the “Venom Dilemma”).
How many drinks do you have a week?
Not that it’s any of our business, but, well, okay, it’s our business for this question. Look, maybe you’ve never lived in New York, but it can really get to you sometimes. So, once in a while, you need something to calm you down. Maybe blow off some team on Friday. Or on Wednesday. Or right when you wake up so your hands will stop shaking. Please come home, Donna. I miss the kids.
What would your role be in an intervention?
It's not secret that superheroes tend to come with a whole lot of baggage. Whether it's being orphaned, losing a loved one, a drinking problem, a drug problem, or having to deal with a disability, they all have something fuelling their good deeds. Usually this results in a breakdown and a sidekick or friends helping them to confront feelings. Where would you be in all of that?
What's worse: The one who bribes or the one who accepts the bribe?
In an episode of The Wire, Detective Freamon once said, “You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where it’s gonna take you.” He might’ve used a colorful metaphor in there, but we shouldn’t repeat it in mixed company.
How do you deal with Jeri Hogarth?
Lawyers are a slippery bunch, especially one as clever and as experienced as Jeri Hogarth. She’ll never quite give you a straight answer and she’s always coming from a place of greater power and knowledge even if she’s just bluffing. Yes, she’s a real treat to deal with. She’s never breaking the law, but she does bend it and manipulates people just enough to get what she wants. Can’t help but admire that.
What's your favorite color?
Your favorite color says a lot about your personality. The colors you gravitate toward wearing are influenced by this and by your mood. We learned this over years of studying Breaking Bad. As a superhero, would you want something that blends into your surroundings for the sake of stealth or something bombastic that suggests confidence?
What's more important?
Being a superhero is always about people. Putting them ahead of yourself. Depending on how you go about it, the effect you have will on those around you is great. Would you rather focus on the source of crime or by changing the lives of those affected by it? There’s really no wrong answer.
How would you operate?
Related to the last question, depending on how you operate will affect how you’re viewed. As a myth, you could be anybody; it will terrify bad guys. On the other side of that, it could get innocent people killed if the bad guys think it’s you. As a public figure, you will set an example and inspire through your bravery. Of course, you’ll be painting a target on the back of everyone you love.
What do you fear most?
Well, here’s a fun one. Even superheroes are afraid of something. Even Hal Jordan and Matt Murdock. For this one, we looked at the most common fears people have and decided on the ones that would make the reader least comfortable. Can’t say we never think of you. Look, facing your fears is healthy. We’re doing you a solid.
Do you like working as a team?
Admittedly, this question should’ve been asked up front. You’re supposed to be in the Defenders. Well, live and learn. Here’s the thing: even if you don’t like working in groups (there’s always that one person that gets saddled with all the work and another who refuses to add anything), you’d still fit in well on the team.
Plan things out or improvise?
Strategy allows you to have an edge and turn the tide even when the odds are against you (provided, you know, you’re good at strategizing). Improvisation could keep your enemies off-balance; they can’t to predict you because even you don’t know what you’ll do next. Of course, who’s to say you’re good at improvising anyway?
What makes for the best meal?
Not to sound like a grandmother, but it’s important that you eat and keep your energy up. All that fighting, running, arguing and more fighting can real wear you down after a while. Even Luke Cage was hungry in that restaurant scene and that guy’s made of stone. Now, what would you like?