Netflix's own version of The Avengers have assembled, with the first the first season of The Defenders now live on the streaming platform. Four years on from its announcement, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist have finally united.

Like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk on the big screen, the four heroes enjoyed solo outings setting their characters and worlds up before bringing them together to tie up a larger story arc.

The Hand, an ancient organisation dedicated to the supernatural, threatens New York City where the four heroes live, and they won't be able to defeat it alone.

The Defenders is composed of eight episodes, and will be followed by second seasons of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron First over the next couple of years, as well as a solo outing for Jon Bernthal's Punisher, who had a starring role in the second season of Daredevil.

The Defenders stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer with super-heightened senses better known as Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, a hard-drinking private investigator with superhuman strength, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, a ex-con with unbreakable skin, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand, a billionaire buddhist with a supernatural punch called Iron Fist.

Sigourney Weaver is the big name being introduced to the show. She plays villain Alexandra, head of The Hand who is likely hiding a few secrets that fans of the comic book series the show is based on will appreciate.

Élodie Yung also returns as Elektra, a murderous weapon of The Hand resurrected after the events of Daredevil season two. She's also Matt Murdock's ex, which should make things interesting.

Supporting characters also returning from other Netflix series including Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Wai Ching Ho as Madame Gao, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth and Scott Glenn as Stick.

Bernthal's Punisher may also appear, as could Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, better known as villain The Kingpin. Either showing up would be a surprise however.

The majority of Marvel's Netflix shows have been successful, the exception being this year's Iron Fist, which suffered from terrible reviews.