It’s time to do some superhero-style sleuthing of our own.
Netflix’s first teaser for The Defenders may not have looked like much at first glance, even if there is an undeniable thrill in seeing the team all together for the first time.
But a closer look revealed that the teaser doubled as a premiere date announcement. And an even closer look takes us down a rabbit hole of interconnected sites that may or may not offer clues about what we can expect in The Defenders.
Stamped on the upper left corner of the teaser is a string of numbers: 188.8.131.52. Type those into your browser and hit enter, and it send you to NYBulletin.com. The New York Bulletin, of course, is the paper of choice within the Defenders universe – it’s the publication Ben Urich used to work for, and that Karen Page writes for now.
And on that webpage are a number of items that might be of interest to Marvel fans. So let’s go through some of the most intriguing references and reveals.
Is someone looking for K’un-Lun?
Across the bottom of the Bulletin page are a selection of covers for five previous issues, with one each corresponding to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.
The Defenders cover references the construction of the new Midland Circle building – you know, the shadowy corporation behind the giant gaping hole at the end of Daredevil Season 2. Midland Circle will also be the site of the Defenders’ first meeting, and it’s where all the heroes are in that elevator “security footage" teaser.
An inset on that cover reads, “Crackpot Scientist Seeks Lost City.” Given that this is the Defenders universe we’re talking about, it’s almost a certainty that the lost city in question is K’un-Lun. But who’s this crackpot scientist? What’s he got to do with Midland Circle? Could he be working for Alexandra, the Defenders big bad played by Sigourney Weaver?
Will the Punisher appear in The Defenders?
Meanwhile, the Daredevil cover includes the headline “House Fire Burns Castle” in reference to the end of Daredevil Season 2, in which Frank Castle sets fire to his home. However, Frank Castle has not officially been confirmed to appear in The Defenders. Is this just a cute little nod to past events, then?
Or might the Punisher make a surprise cameo in The Defenders?
Will Claire Temple finally get some recognition?
While the citizens of New York are aware, to varying degrees, of Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand, Claire Temple has flown mostly under the radar. Which is why it’s kind of a surprise to see her photo in the “Heroes of New York” section on the Bulletin page. Is she finally getting the recognition she deserves?
Why is Colleen’s ad so terrible?
In addition to all this fine editorial content, the Bulletin site features just one “advertisement,” for Chikara Dojo – Colleen’s martial arts school. Clicking on it brings you to an actual Chikara Dojo webpage that includes a 30-second video ad and student testimonials.
The ad itself is hilariously cheesy, in a way that’s kinda believable (a local establishment like Colleen’s would totally have an ad like this) and kinda not (… but you’re telling me that with all of Colleen’s well-heeled investors, none of them could be bothered to shell out for better?).
The best part, though, might be Claire’s testimonial: “I’m glad I found this dojo.” Maybe it’d be less lukewarm is Colleen weren’t so willing to let her boyfriend interrupt their training sessions, eh?
Who taught Danny Rand about social media?
The Chikara Dojo site also includes a link to an Instagram account that belongs to one Danny Rand. Turns out he’s pretty adept at social media for a guy who’s been off the grid since the original iPod was a thing. Maybe even too good. Who taught Danny about hashtags and Instagram filters? Is this one of his magic powers? When did he have time to pose for Forbes magazine?
Are the Meachums returning for The Defenders?
Also featured on the Chikara Dojo website is an “ad” for Rand Enterprises, which clicks through to the LinkedIn profile of its CEO, Ward Meachum. The first question this raises is why Rand’s marketing team thought it’d make sense for an ad to link to a private social media profile, rather than, like, the company website.
The second question is what this means about the future of the Meachums. Neither Tom Pelphrey nor Jessica Stroup have been announced as part of the Defenders cast, and the ending of Iron Fist Season 1 gave us no reason to believe they’d return so quickly. But the Bulletin page also features a video interview with the Meachums, in which Ward spouts some cryptic Littlefinger-y nonsense about how “chaos can be a great equalizer.”
So ... will the Meachums be back in play for The Defenders? Or is this just some early setup for the next season of Iron Fist? (You can probably guess where our hopes lie.)