Title: Defenders #1 (2017)
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: David Marquez, Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 6/14/17
I was not coming into this title expecting it to be enjoyable due to Bendis’ inability to write teamup titles. If there was a chance for a teamup work to be good Defenders is it since he has worked on almost all of the title characters at some point.
The Defenders series is clearly being used as a promotional title for the upcoming release in July but they haven’t assimilated the series into the MCU entirely. We are dropped straight into the action requiring little exposition as we are dropped a bomb from the get-go. Diamondback is well…back attacking every member and shooting Jessica which makes Luke go on a rampage due to his anger and confusion of the man he considered long dead. In the hospital, the Defenders quickly meet up and sweep the city for Diamondback leading to a reunion with him and Luke.
Bendis ties this issue with some references to the Secret Empire with Iron Fist exclaiming that the Avengers are “up there” and we’re down here. This moves the focus from the MCU to a story that has roots in both mediums. While there was plenty of action as anyone who knows the team, you’d expect some humor thrown in and Bendis delivers having Daredevil do slapstick and Jessica do sarcastic one-liners. An added bonus for including Black Cat which I’d hope to see in the Defenders series.
Marquez’s art styling is another plus to this unsuspecting enjoyable title. Marquez uses thin lining which enables him to pack detail to the issue which makes the characters look realistic. He was also able to encompass a depth of field allowing for action not only in the foreground but also the background establishing depth and allows the reader to be drawn in. Sometimes artists aren’t able to draw characters with the right dimensions often contorting the character but each character looks perfect. Ponsor glossed over Marquez’s stellar artwork using dynamic coloring mastering shading that ties in well with the depth of field.
If you give Defenders #1 a chance you will be thoroughly impressed with both the writing and artwork are on point. Bendis shows off his vast knowledge of the characters to keep this from being just another Marvel title that has been conformed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With dynamic artwork from the duo of Marquez and Ponsor Defenders #1 is a crisp refreshing title.