Following the incredible Defenders panel at Comic-Con (along with a preview of the first episode), the first critic reviews for the much-anticipated street team up shows have hit the web! And they kinda seem… mixed. The show is being described as a slow-burn (surprising for a short season) and worthwhile mainly for the characters (as expected) and not the story. Check them out below. We’ll be compiling the good and bad as they come. Mind you these are reviews for the first 4 episodes and not the entire season.

There’s just not enough of it to start, and it takes too long for them to team-up. If you thought Defenders would be a culminating chapter to the other Netflix Marvel series so far, think again. So far it feels like another prelude, and it makes one wonder if we’ll ever get to the main event.

The Defenders is so far off to a promising start. The return of all these great characters is fantastic, but the heroes getting to meet and interact with each other for the first time is equally satisfying. Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra, despite being steeped in mystery, might turn out to be the show’s most interesting character. Consider the rating a bit of a placeholder, and that rating might change after the rest of the season has been released. Once, The Defenders gets moving and Iron Fist meets Luke Cage for the first time is where the show really starts taking off.

Even so, there is enough joy in watching the sparks fly as these four alpha characters finally collide to make you feel The Defenders might just have been worth the wait. It’s a long-anticipated crossover series that delivers some engaging character clashes, but which fails — in the first half at least — to up the ante story-wise.
Empire Magazine

While the show starts as something of a slow burn, once the heroes come together, it more than lives up to the promise fans have been clamoring to see realized. It may not be the strongest Marvel Netflix series thus far (that would be a toss-up between Daredevil and Jessica Jones), but The Defenders splits the differences between its leads, creating something that even casual fans of these shows shouldn’t miss.

If you’ve been investing any time in Netflix’s Marvel series, you’re going to watch this anyway. If you’re not as big of a fan of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, Daredevil and Jessica Jones shine in each of their scenes — and especially the ones where they’re allowed screentime together. A highlight is a scene straight from the trailers when Daredevil takes Jessica’s scarf at one point to cover his face when fighting off combatants.
This Is Insider

Although only half of the show’s eight episodes were available for review, the indistinct plot of The Defenders thus far seems like little more than a serviceable excuse to tie all four Marvel Netflix series together, as if the writers opted to revisit previously established plotlines rather than devise a bold new threat. Perhaps this aspect of the show evolves in its latter half into something more memorable, but as it stands, the characters and not the story of The Defenders are what truly make it worth watching.
We Got This Covered

“The Defenders” is the type of superhero streaming that we’ve come to expect from Netflix’s live-action Marvel productions. Well worth the wait, the new show is every bit the event that Marvel fans hoped it could be.
The Washington Post

Ultimately, The Defenders had to successfully accomplish one huge thing: justify 65 episodes of build-up. Despite a slow start, the show comes through on its promise and gives the heroes a threat worthy of their newly united attention. Defenders also doesn’t sacrifice the vital voices of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage when it throws them in a very Daredevil-y plot, and Defenders even makes Iron Fist work. These characters work so well together, it’s now hard to imagine them apart.

However, the good of The Defenders far outweighs the bad. The story isn’t revolutionary, and as usual, the villains have a typically over-the-top and hilariously convoluted plan—but it’s all a canvas to showcase Matt, Jessica, Luke, and Danny coming together as a team. They’re not just stronger together than they are apart—it turns out they’re more entertaining, too.