If you ask me, Defenders has been one of the best new superhero series coming from Marvel in some time. Sure, it’s not new per se, but it’s got a fresh face and some even fresher art. We probe this latest issue to answer the question, is it good?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
KINGPINS OF NEW YORK! As tensions heat up, tensions caused by the power vacuum left by Wilson Fisk’s ascendency explode in an all-out war for control of the New York underworld–with the Defenders left to protect the people and pick up the pieces! So what could make things even worse for our team of harried heroes? Would you believe – Deadpool?
Why does this matter?
David Marquez is drawing a lights out first arc here and this issue is no different. Four words, double page car crash! This issue also reveals a bit twist, has plenty of action, and a courtroom scene too!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Cat scratch fever!
Picking up where the last issue left off, writer Brian Michael Bendis has Diamondback slug back a ton of pills to power up for one last battle. That battle is pretty damn epic. Not only does it involve Black Cat, but the each of the Defenders too and boy do they all come to fight. This action sequence is particularly interesting since we’ve seen the heroes fight Diamondback before in previous issues, but at this point our heroes are sick of his s--t and ready to take it to the next level.
The middle portion of the book goes into a courtroom drama sequence which might bring back memories to readers who loved Bendis’ Daredevil run. The legal jargon is all there and it’s fun to see how Diamondback’s lawyer twists the truth enough to make legal points. The court system ain’t perfect!
There’s some incredible pacing from Marquez in this issue, particularly the fight scene early on. In a fantastic 16 panel double page layout Marquez squeezes the panels tighter and tighter from left to right and then drops an amazing double page spread effectively building up anticipation and releasing it in an awesome way. The first half of this book is so action packed and well worth your dime as is, but then he changes the art style completely in a courtroom sketch artist style. This suits the scenes and gives them an official look. The last half goes back to the traditional style and does well to capture the shifting of plots and characters that culminate into the big cliffhanger. Overall Marquez never seems to falter and it’s all so wickedly good.
These last few pages do a lot in the way of setting up future twists and turns. From Hammerhead making it his business to protect Black Cat to Deadpool’s inclusion you’ll be itching for the next issue.
Gotta love the “spok” sound effect.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The cover seems to suggest Deadpool is in this comic a lot more than he is, but really he’s a promise for a future issue. I can’t say that’s much of a big deal, but it’s worth noting for Deadpool fans!
The last third of the issue is well done, but it does scream filler or table setting. The courtroom drama is interesting, but it too goes about how you’d expect. That makes a lot of this comic all about setting things up, which is a bit of a drag!
Is It Good?
Defenders is one of my only buy on sight series right now and for good reason! It’s beautiful, well paced, and it brings these heroes’ roots to the streets up to the forefront.