Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Defenders #7

For reasons old-timers will understand, reading The Defenders is like watching an old episode of the Ed Sullivan Show.

See, Ed regularly had an act on where a guy would start plates spinning on the end of tall poles. He'd have to run back and forth, spinning those plates frantically to keep them from falling. It was tense to watch, because you kept expecting one of those plates to fall.

That's what we're seeing in this comic, as writer Matt Fraction tries to keep all the story elements spinning, madly keeping it all together lest the whole thing crash.

So we have the team investigating some mysterious engines that somehow affect the fate of the world, and it involves the character Prester John (who first appeared in the Fantastic Four in a single issue in the 1960s), and it also involves Iron Fist and his predecessors, and the murder of several of the Immortal Weapons (of which Iron Fist is one), and it also ties in to the nation of Wakanda and a certain Kirby-created device of great power. Oh, and the Black Cat shows up in there, too.

Whew! But somehow it all works, as the story crackles along with action and great humor and interesting characters.

The art is by Terry and Rachel Dodson, and I really like it. Dark and menacing, fresh and sexy as can be, the feel of the art mirrors the story perfectly.

This series really recaptures the fun early days of the team, with a fresh spin. Highly recommended, as long as Fraction doesn't drop any plates!

Grade: A-


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