The Defenders has been nothing but excellent, be it fun character dynamics or incredible art. This issue is no different. Well, it’s a bit different actually, because Deadpool shows up in a unique way.
So what’s it about?
Why does this matter?
Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez have been making magic with this series. The art has been superb and the street-level crime story feels fresh. It’s going to be sad to see this go because I could have easily read this series for 200 issues.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Test, your might!
You know those recap pages that some people hate, but most appreciate? Bendis writes three of them to start this issue. The all involve one image of Deadpool chatting it up and making notes on the credit portion of the page. It’s a new way for Deadpool to go meta and it’s not only funny, but he even refers to things that happen later in this issue. He also closes the issue in another meta way by talking about the next issue. Nice stuff!
The issue itself involves working Diamondback back into his street-level planning and Danny Rand going toe to toe with Elektra. In fact, Elektra plays a big part in this issue, but in a slightly different way. Bendis essentially flips the “heroes must fight Elektra to get information” plot point on its head. It’s a fun way to increase the tension between Daredevil and the rest of the team (they’re a bit wary of him since he won’t reveal his true identity) and gives the reader a chance to reflect on the action.
And that action is superb. Marquez is a wizard when it comes to choreographing fights and pacing them too. The panel work before Iron Fist and Elektra fight is beautiful, symmetrical and calming. Then when things get crazy the comic drops into a 16-panel fight, down to 8, down to 4, down to 2, and finally ends on a full page splash. This pacing allows the action to feel more dramatic and enhance the moment. The rest of the issue pushes the plot forward and adds in some Deadpool, who Marquez has fun with (like seeing him kiss through his mask) and shows off how good he is at blocking a scene with just talking. Masterclass stuff here folks.
Wow, just wow.
It can’t be perfect can it?
A major character gets taken out in this issue and it kinda bums me out. It’s possible it’s a red herring, but if this is a true twist it’s such a quick surprise it almost depletes the purpose of this character in this series.
Is It Good?
An excellent issue that’s jaw droppingly good. It’s incredibly well paced, plays around with comic book storytelling tropes, and has a ton of fun doing it. This is the superhero comic you show your naysayer friends and make them believers.