Heroes are only as good as their villains, so I’m hoping for some better villains for the second season of The Defenders.
Nothing against Sigourney Weaver, but I found her about as intimidating as when she played a villain on The Cabin in the Woods or Paul. Which is to say… not very. I mean, Madam Gao and Nobu are far more intimidating and to relegate them to second-string status did them a disservice in Season 1 of The Defenders.
If Netflix really wanted to showcase a menacing villain, played by an intimidating actor, they should bring back Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin.
Few villains can bring together other elements of the criminal underworld into a cohesive group with his use of charisma and raw power. It would have made more sense in the first season to see The Kingpin lead the coup d’etat to take over the organization of The Hand, but with Elektra at his right hand. A great idea put forth by a friend of mine, named Matt, as we discussed the first season while waiting to watch The Hitman’s Bodyguard in theaters the other night. Speaking of Elektra, I never believed, while watching The Defenders, that she and a bunch of The Hand’s thugs could give four heroes a run for their money.
The beauty of having The Kingpin as the main villain for The Defenders Season 2 is that he can call in any number of supervillains. Elektra isn’t even the top assassin on his payroll. We’ve all seen the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie. We know who The Kingpin would call in; we’re all thinking it: Bullseye.
Now that would look cool on a Netflix TV show. I guarantee the fight would be better than anything we saw in the aforementioned movie. Of course, if they use Bullseye as a villain for Season 3 of Daredevil (look out Karen Page), The Kingpin’s third top assassin is Typhoid Mary.
Although The Defenders could be pitted against The Wrecking Crew, a far more interesting match-up would be if our heroes had to face the likes of Boomerang, the Ringer, Hardshell and Speed Demon. No telling how these brawling heroes could take down villains that wouldn’t challenge them to a straight-up fist fight. In a way, it’s too bad that Netflix let Jessica Jones kill off The Purple Man, instead of imprisoning him. Having to fight a mind-control villain made for some interesting challenges to watch.
But if it’s a brawling beatdown we wanna watch, I vote that The Kingpin calls in one of the plethora of strong villains with animal names who could last in a street fight against the likes of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones… villains like Grizzly, Tiger Shark, Constrictor and Grey Gargoyle. I’m going to be honest with you, I had to flip through my old VS System trading cards to recollect some of those names, because they’re pretty obscure and I’m a huge nerd. I knew about The Constrictor, because I have a collection of old Power Man and Iron Fist comics wherein Luke and Danny often fought The Constrictor and Sabretooth. Did you know that Sabretooth was originally an Iron Fist — and not Wolverine — villain in the comic books?
Anyway, here’s where it gets complicated: Anyone else who grew up watching Spider-Man: The Animated Series knows that The Kingpin would employ villains like The Rhino, The Scorpion, The Beetle, Hammerhead and other such villains with animal names. But Sony Pictures — not Marvel — might still retain the rights to use these villains in their Spider-Man movies. Similarly, 20th Century Fox Studios still retains the rights to Sabretooth for their X-Men films.
The Kingpin could always bring in his old standbys, The Enforcers, consisting of Fancy Dan, Montana (yes, I know they had a guy named “Montana” in Spider-man: Homecoming) and Ox.
“Is Ox strong enough to fight Luke Cage?”
“No, but they could make him be (strong enough).”
Matt and I also discussed the other underworld bosses that Netflix could bring in. Matt opined how cool it would’ve been to see underworld bosses Silvermane and Tombstone encroach on The Hand’s operation and try to take it over. When discussing who took over underworld operations when The Kingpin wasn’t around, I described how in the comics The Owl and Doctor Octopus fought a gang war for power.
There are plenty of great animal-named villains that The Defenders can face off against in Season 2. Hopefully, the villains will be in the employ of The Kingpin, but if not, there’s some powerful underworld bosses waiting in the wings.
I’d sooner watch our heroes fight bad guys with monikers from zoo exhibits than a bunch of random thugs. I got really tired, really fast of watching Luke Cage and Danny Rand take on groups of regular bad guys in their respective seasons, and again in The Defenders. It’s time for some bad guys with some powers… even if they do have animal names. If anyone can make such villains menacing, it’s Netflix.