Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Defenders #1

I've always had a warm spot in my fannish heart for The Defenders, although the book has rarely been as popular with the buying public.

The team is back again for another run at success, with a bit of a twist.

An original team member - the Hulk - shows up at Dr. Strange's home, asks for help dealing with the the dark, world-destroying side of his personality that has somehow broken free (no idea how), and then leaves.

Strange starts putting the band back together, tracking down Namor the Sub-Mariner (who seems to be everywhere these days), the Silver Surfer (ditto), the Red She-Hulk and Iron Fist (who seems the odd man out here).

Aside from a cliffhanger ending that brings back a character only geezers like me will remember, there's not a lot in the way of action here - but it's so good to see these characters in the spotlight, I can forgive the mechanics required by the first issue.

The art is provided by the Dodsons - Terry and Rachel - and as always, it's quite good, with powerful heroic figures, beautiful renditions of the characters, detailed backgrounds and lots of expressive emotions on display.

It's writer Matt Fraction who has a big job on his hands, as he must find a way to bring together this mismatched (though powerful) group of heroes and make them work together. So far, he's off to a bit of a rough start.

The story is an odd mix of horror and superheroics, but it's compelling enugh to bring me back for the next issue to see how it all works together.

Oh, and if you want to get a special fanboy jolt, pay close attention to the comic Iron Fist is reading on page 16. Now that's how you get some attention. Heh!

Grade: B+


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