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The Defenders

Since the Battle of New York, a series of criminals and their organisation took advantage of the event to rise to power. Wilson Fisk built a powerful crime organisation and aimed to take control of Hell's Kitchen. Crime bosses like Cottonmouth held a strong grip in the community of Harlem. The sinister organisation known as the Hand held influence over Fisk's organisation as well as wealthy companies like Rand Enterprises. Independent criminals like Kilgrave and Diamondback committed their own series of crimes in the city.

With the Avengers occupied with worldwide matters, street heroes rose to challenge these forces. One of the first of these heroes was Matt Murdock, also known as the The Devil of Hell's Kitchen, who began a one-man war against Fisk's organisation. He succeeded in systematically dismantling it and got Fisk arrested for his crimes. Soon after the public gave this new street vigilant the name Daredevil.

His fight to keep the streets safe led him into a conflict against the Hand and their presumed leader, Nobu Yoshioka. Joining forces with his former lover and member of the Chaste, Elektra, Daredevil managed to defeat their leader, but during the fight, Elektra was killed, which caused Daredevil to disappear and stop his war on crime.

Jessica Jones was an enhanced human who used to be a victim of the mind-controlling Kilgrave. She broke free of his control in an accident that caused Reva Connors's death and Kilgrave's disappearance. She began working as a private investigator and was eventually contracted to investigate Hope Shlottman. This investigation led to Jones discovering Kilgrave's survival. Jones managed to kill him but couldn't prevent the death of Shlottman and many innocent people were harmed by Kilgrave.

In the community of Harlem, there was an enhanced individual known as Luke Cage who had bulletproof skin. Cage kept a low profile due to being an escapee from Seagate Prison. When his close friend, Pop was killed by Cottonmouth's enforcer Tone, Cage began a fight to rid Harlem of crime. During the conflict, Diamondback revealed himself to the underworld of Harlem and began a vicious campaign against Cage, due to their past and to Diamondback's personal vendetta against Cage. Cage managed to defeat Diamondback and get him arrested, but the fight caused Cage's real identity, "Carl Lucus" to be exposed. The authorities arrested Cage and returned him to Seagate Prison.

Returning home after 15 years, the presumed deceased heir of Rand Enterprises, Danny Rand returned home to New York City. Having spent years training in the mystical city of K'un-Lun, Rand had become an accomplished martial artist and latest user of the Iron Fist. Rand managed to reclaim his fortune, which led into a conflict against the Hand who held influence over his company through Harold Meachum. As the sworn enemy of the Hand, Iron Fist fought against them and succeeded in driving the Hand out of his company. His decision to leave K'un-Lun also resulted in the city getting attacked by the Hand.

When the Hand made their move on New York City, their action attracted the attention of the four street vigilantes. Jessica Jones investigation on the missing John Raymond led her to discover his involvement with the Hand. During her investigation, she was arrested by Misty Knight due to stealing evidence. This allowed Jones to meet Matt Murdock who approached as her attorney at Foggy Nelson's request.

Luke Cage was pardoned from his crime due to evidence recovered by Bobby Fish. He returned back to Harlem and at Knight's request, he began looking after Candace Miller's brother, Cole Miller. Cage learned that Cole was under the payroll of Sowande, also known as White Hat. During his task, he encountered Iron Fist, who has returned to New York to continue his fight against the Hand. Danny Rand's own investigation led to their encounter.

The four street vigilantes were united for the first time when their individuals goals led them to Midland Circle. A fierce battle ensued in the Midland Circle Building, where the Defenders fought together for the first time against the Hand led by Alexandra Reid, who had resurrected Elektra as her enforcer. They managed to defeat their attackers and made their escape from Midland Circle.

They found shelter at Royal Dragon restaurant to regroup. They were soon greeted by Stick last member of the Chaste. He explained the situation to the Defenders. The Hand's plans will cause the destruction of New York and the Defenders were the only force available to prevent their plans from happening

The Hand found them at the restaurant. During the battle, Cage managed to capture one of the Hand's leaders, Sowande. The Defenders brought him to an abandoned building where they interrogated him about the Hand's plans. They learned that the Hand intended to use the Iron Fist to destroy an indestructible stone of K'un-Lun origin. Sowande was killed by Stick when he attempted to escape.

The revelation caused a splinter in the group, as the rest of the Defenders wanted to keep Rand contained in order to prevent him from being captured by the Hand. Rand disagreed with their decision and he fought against them. The fight ended with Jones knocking him out and the group tied him up. The Defenders decided to learn the Hand's location. Murdock and Jones went to investigate while Cage stayed behind with Stick to watch over Rand.

Murdock and Jones found Raymond's building plans on Midland Circle and they learned about the massive cave tunnels beneath the building. As they moved to rejoin the group, Elektra attacked them. During the fight, Elektra killed Stick, defeated the Defenders and captured Rand. The rest of the Defenders were brought to the precinct by the NYPD due to the discovery of Stick's and Sowande's corpses. The Defenders managed to make their escape from the precinct and began making their way back to Midland Circle. During the time, Elektra had usurped Reid's as leader of the Hand and managed to antagonize and coaxed Rand to use the Iron Fist to break the stone beneath the building. The Defenders reunited again to battle the Hand led by Elektra beneath the tunnels of Midland Circle.

During their battle, their allies, Colleen Wing, Claire Temple and Knight managed to set explosives to cause a cave-in beneath the building. Murdock chose to stay behind to keep Elektra at bay and tried to save her as the rest of the team made their escape. He didn't succeed in time to escape as the explosion caused the Midland Circle Building to collapse and he was presumed dead.

With the Hand defeated, the Defenders disbanded and returned to their lives. Jones continued to work as a private investigator. Cage moved back to Harlem. Rand decided to honor his ally by taking up his duty to protect New York as a street vigilante. It turned out that Murdock survived the cave-in and is currently nursed by nuns.

Luke Cage
Jessica Jones
Iron Fist

Supporting Cast:
Claire Temple
Foggy Nelson
Karen Page
Jeri Hogarth
Trish Walker
Malcolm Ducasse

Misty Knight
Colleen Wing

Alexandra Reid
Madame Gao

Villainous Groups:
The Hand