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The Defenders Review Roundup: A Marvel Masterpiece

We've binged Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist (well, maybe you skipped that one) and two seasons of Daredevil, and now it's time for our reward: The Defenders, Netflix's first Marvel team-up.

Credit: Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

The four heroes team up to, well, defend New York City from the Hand: a clan of ninjas hell-bent on making the metropolis fall alongside a back-from-the-dead Elektra and a new, mysterious villain named Alexandra.

Is it a comic masterpiece, or is the team a dud? Well, good news: The Defenders is currently sitting at 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Here's what the critics think:

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield wasn't a fan of Iron Fist's portrayal, and said it gets off to a slow start. But the other three characters as a team were more than enough for him to root for.

The Good:

"Ritter and Colter carry themselves with a protective emotional armor over their private grief and trauma; in his quieter, moodier way, so does Cox as Murdock."

"Like most Netflix series, the show gets off to a mighty slow start."

The Bad:

"The weak link: Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, is just tragically devoid of charisma."

Credit: Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Polygon

At Polygon, Susana Polo praised the show for its tight writing, good looks and the fact that it leans into being a superhero show.

The Good:

"The Defenders clearly understands what it needs to do with [Iron Fist] to make it plausible that, say, Luke Cage would be interested in giving him the time of day, much less fight for his cause."

"The show does a great job of being a split narrative instead of an ensemble, juggling five separate plot lines that take multiple episodes to even appear to be converging, all without feeling like the audience’s attention is being juggled around too fast."

Credit: Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Washington Post

David Betancourt at the Washington Post writes that "the new show is every bit the event that Marvel fans hoped it could be."

The Good:

"Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra... may be the biggest surprise of 'The Defenders.' She’s a compelling villain with a mysterious past that borders on the unbelievable"

"When Rand is teamed up with Cage, the moments feel as cool as they were intended to be — and Rand has a much better haircut this time around"

Credit: Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

CinemaBlend

CinemaBlend's Nick Venable says the show has some growing pains in the beginning, but becomes the team-up that Marvel fans have been hoping for.

The Good:

"The Defenders is certainly a buffet of both leading and supporting characters from all across Netflix's boroughs of the MCU."

The Bad:

"it's almost unforgivably aggravating that all the necessary seeds for eventual togetherness weren't already planted in each solo show's respective finale. It's still fun to watch everything come together, mind you, and they payoff indeed feels worthy. I just wish we'd done all the meet-cute stuff already. Or is it meet-brute?"