The Defenders might be the hottest team in comics right now, which makes this series a must read in many respects. Oh yeah, and it’s also created by two of the best longstanding comic creators in the industry. With Luke Cage down for the count, can the remaining Defenders save him and get the guy who did this to him?
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about?
Why does this book matter?
God damn, does this issue have a lot of street level characters popping in and out. That spells two things: Surprises and a reminder that comics should be fun. Clearly Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez are having fun, because that fun spills off the page right into your lap.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Let’s start with Daredevil, who quite possibly has the most awesome panels in this issue. David Marquez does a really good job showing his quickness by drawing him not moving at all. In one panel, he’s coming in hot onto the top of a building and you can tell by how Marquez draws him that he’s sliding right at you. Later, he gives an incredible uppercut. I can’t remember the last time I read a Daredevil book and got the impression the character is a ball of rubber bands ready to snap at you. Great stuff.
I think the Night Nurse changed her hair. Wasn’t she brunette?
Iron Fist gets his time to shine too, but mostly out of the costume. Bendis writes a strong scene between he and a certain crime boss that does well to show Danny is very good at motivational speeches. You get the sense that he can serve a different element for this team and that’s a good sign when it comes to team books.
Jessica Jones is first shown at the hospital bed of Luke Cage and later gets a chance to enact a little revenge. It’s nice to see the plot move so quickly, as Jessica gets a lot done in this issue. She also takes part in some epic action throwdowns with her compatriots in an excellent fight sequence.
Speaking of, Marquez will blow you away with the tail end of this issue’s art. The fight choreography is very easy to follow, but also mixes up poses in interesting ways. You’ve never seen Daredevil thrown quite like this. The opening layouts are fantastic too, helping to add additional drama to Cage’s condition. The use of the EKG beeps and a good use of close up and mid shots help pull the reader into the dramatic beats of Cage’s final moments. Until they’re not his final moments of course, and Marquez does well to add a little levity in the scene too.
Gotta love the energy in Marquez’s lines.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The quickness of the story might actually be a detriment in some ways. While it’s a breath of fresh air to see characters get things going when in the last decade most story arcs drag on for six issues, scenes do cut rather quickly in this issue. It ends up making you wonder how characters go to where they are, and how things fall together as they do. There’s a fun element in this issue as each character attempts to find Diamondback on their own and finds their way there in different ways, but it’s also not clear how they did it. Daredevil for instance, wasn’t getting anywhere with his asking around. It makes the book feel like it has plot holes.
Is It Good?
What a lot of fun. Defenders takes the best parts of each character and then wraps them up in a kinetic and action packed package.