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NEW YORK — Maybe you know them as Iron Fist and Daredevil. But now Finn Jones and Charlie Cox, who star as these Marvel superheroes on the Netflix series "Iron Fist" and "Daredevil," have joined forces with Mike Colter ("Luke Cage") and Krysten Ritter ("Jessica Jones") for a much-awaited miniseries hybrid.
"The Defenders," which finds this Fab Four uniting to fight a fearsome conspiracy mounted against New York City, is now available on Netflix .
Jones continues as Danny Rand, co-CEO of Rand Enterprises who, now a Buddhist monk and martial arts master, has the ability to call upon the mystical power of the Iron Fist as his alter ego. The first season of "Iron First" was released earlier this year on Netflix. Cox is Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer whose remaining senses are dramatically enhanced and who, for two seasons of his Netflix series, has wrestled with his lawless dark side, the vigilante Daredevil. Both series are continuing.
But this week Jones and Cox joined forces to talk about "The Defenders" and being part of this eight-episode joint venture.
COX: "I'm not sure this has been done before, where you've got four individual series, four characters who have their own shows, teaming up for a miniseries. It's a process we had known about for a long time, so it felt like a celebration. We were ready for it and excited to see how it would turn out."
JONES: "When we started to play off each other it really felt natural, because all the prep work had been in place for a number of years. All of us had a background in having to lead one of these shows by ourself, so there was a level of support. We were like soldiers in the trenches, which was cool."
The two actors were asked if a grounding in the four "solo" series is a prerequisite for viewers to sign on for "The Defenders."
COX: "I do think it's made primarily for the fans of the other shows. A lot of the enjoyment is going to be had by a fan base that appreciates the other shows and gets to enjoy what it's like to witness the characters' dynamics and relationships. But hopefully it can be enjoyed by anyone."
As for newcomers who want to sample the "Defenders'" predecessors, be advised: Each of the four has its own distinct personality.
COX: "Marvel has a variety of shows which all have the superhero element. But they're all completely different genres. 'Jessica Jones' is a psychological thriller. 'Daredevil' is a crime drama. The superhero element is something sprinkled on top as kind of a garnish."
Asked their level of involvement with the comic book world and the Marvel Cinematic Universe before stepping into their respective Netflix series, both stars replied in unison:
COX: "When you come to this having not had any real experience with these characters or these comics, you have to look at it from a slightly different angle: Maybe bringing fresh eyes to it will be beneficial. I felt a little bit detached from the history of it, and I could look at the comics and the scripts and find a character that was specific rather than trying to please everyone."
JONES: "First and foremost, they're human beings, and second to that, they're people with powers. When I took on this character, I wasn't like, 'What's his powers?' I was like, 'What are his struggles? What are his vulnerabilities?' That's what makes the character."
COX: "But these characters have been read and beloved for years, and it's important to a lot of people that we get it right. So I feel a great level of responsibility. When it does work out, and when the fan base appreciates the work, that's a gratifying experience."
EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at email@example.com