Review: Defenders #1

By: Miguel Acedo

There is something new and fresh about writer Matt Fraction’s take on the classic super-hero team. His enthusiastic approach is evident in the book’s energy. The sense that Fraction is cutting loose and having fun is ever-apparent. Although the Defenders face a world shattering extinction level threat, the light-hearted writing is a pitch-perfect in contrast.

What can one expect from this first issue in this new ongoing Defenders series? The Hulk tasks Dr. Strange with enlisting a team to deal with an omega-level, black ghost hulk threat. Dr. Strange procures the help of Silver Surfer, Namor, Iron Fist and She-Hulk. This band of misfits and outcasts join forces to become easily one of the most unique, powerful and quirky casts of characters assembled in modern Marvel history.

Whereas some team books and their writers often drag out the formation of their team, Fraction does well to introduce the team in this first issue by aptly compressioning his storytelling. By doing this, Fraction seamlessly paces this story and rationally meshes these characters together. They complement each other and work well off one another.

Terry and Rachel Dodson’s art is beautiful. Their clean storytelling and effective pacing is only strengthened by Sonia Oback’s subtly stunning use of color. It is what really brings this series to life.

The very fact that Fraction is writing Marvel Style (non-full script) actually makes this series more enjoyable. As a proponent of full scripts, it’s worth noting that the Dodson’s artistic freedom seems to make Fraction a much more enjoyable writer than has been in his past endeavors at Marvel.

This series is off to a fast and fun start. It’s quizzical, weird, and imaginative. And it’s unlike anything Marvel is publishing right now.That right there is a good thing. Perhaps even the best thing, not only for Marvel but also for their true believers.



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One Response to “Review: Defenders #1”

  1. Byron Brewer December 8, 2011 at 9:55 AM #

    Hey Miguel,

    Thanks for the postive review of Defenders #1. As I searched the web, many “reviewers” seem to fail to understand what Fraction is trying to do here. For me this feels like a Marvel 1970s book but with a modern edge, and that is fine by me. Love the story, love the art, love we got the core team together in 1 issue (take that, JLA fans). If you have time, bop over to for two more positive reviews on Defenders #1, one by yours truly. — Byron Brewer

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