The newly gathered Defenders face off against Boss Cage and the Baron of Mondo City in Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2. Is it good?
Captian Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2 (Marvel Comics)
The second and final chapter of this brief Secret Wars tie-in, Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2 opens in Mondo City where Big Boss Hill, Baron and Thor of this domain, meets with her Councilmen in order to discuss the growing unrest in Mondo City. The issue then cuts to Yinsen City, where the citizens, including the Defenders, have been gathered up into detention centers. The Defenders, consisting of Kid Rescue, White Tiger, Spider Hero, and She-Hulk, are all devising a way to escape and face down the Bosses who are holding everyone captive.
It’s no secret that Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders is a loving parody of Judge Dredd and 2000 A.D. From the dystopian layout of Mondo City to the design of the Bosses, Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders is full of homages. Bringing these to life is penciler Alan Davis, along with inker Mark Farmer and colorist Wil Quintana. Davis’ dynamic lines provide the issue with a sense of momentum, and the action appears forceful thanks to the use of movement lines. Davis’ art has a gritty physicality to it; readers will feel the shackles around She-Hulk’s wrists strain at her might. Mark Farmer’s inks add to that sense, providing heavy shadows that not only emphasize the musculature of the heroes, but also help create the dark dystopia that is Mondo City.
Look at his guns! Look at them!!!
While the parody is fun in itself, Al Ewing doesn’t lean on it as a crutch, and still injects his script with a lot of fun moments for the main cast. It’s especially nice to see Hobie Brown as Spider-Hero: a member of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, Hobie Brown and his alter-ego, the Prowler, have been absent in recent years so it’s nice to see him pop up, even as an alternate universe character. In addition, other characters get their moments, including White Tiger and Dr. Faiza Hussain as Captain Britain.
Unfortunately, the brevity of the mini-series means that it’s harder to buy into the stakes of the characters. Fans of Al Ewing’s work in Mighty Avengers and its second title Captain America and the Mighty Avengers will likely bring in their affection for these characters, even though they’re alternate versions. For new readers however, there isn’t quite enough here to go on to become heavily invested in the characters due to the story length. Ewing knows this and Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders isn’t looking to become a large character epic, but it would have been nice to get just a tad more character work for Captain Britain so that the end of the issue was more impactful.
Is It Good?
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2 is an entertaining, though brief, tie-in to the Secret Wars event. Wrapping together great artwork by Alan Davis and fun beats by Al Ewing into a Judge Dredd homage, the book provides enough to keep fans satiated. While not striking the same emotional chords of Ewing’s earlier work in Mighty Avengers, Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2 is still well worth a look, especially for readers who may only want to dip their toe into the larger Secret Wars frame.