The Defenders has been one of the most gorgeous books on the stands and the most fun. Brian Michael Bendis has been in top form, creating fun banter for this four person team while also delivering an interesting street-level affair. Diamondback is back, and if you thought this story wasn’t complicated enough buckle in.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
KINGPINS OF NEW YORK Part 3! The bloody battle for the streets of New York hits a zenith, as one of the potential Kingpin crimelords has a change of heart that sends shock waves across the entire Marvel Universe. At the same time, Luke and Jessica’s bad press has a disastrous impact on their lives! How does Diamondback know so much about the Defenders?
Why does this matter?
Bendis and artist David Marquez have been creating magic with this series and it will assuredly be a buy on sight trade paperback. Why? Because it’s fun, exciting, and interesting. All in one.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Look at that lighting!
This issue is visually striking in an extra way because Michael Avon Oeming supplies the flashbacks in a key scene for Diamondback. Oeming draws his scenes devoid of color, utilizing the shadows of a shady (heh) mobster scene to create a sense of dread and drama. Oeming’s style is incredibly striking comparatively to Marquez’s hyper detailed style and the entire sequence is a master class in utilizing light. This scene is impressive on a visual front, but also serves as a compelling way of showcasing how even villains can go from rags to riches. Good on Bendis for the interesting idea.
After these 8 pages the remaining comic focuses on Deadpool and The Defenders working things out, one of the heroes dropping a secret, a Bendis favorite villain rearing their head, and a bit of progress to the Black Cat story. The majority of the book focuses on Deadpool and you can tell Bendis is having fun with the character. He’s silly, pretty crazy, and nonsensical. He’s definitely oil to the Defenders’ water. By the end of the issue, the creative team has put enough pieces in place to get the ball rolling on one hell of a climax.
That is one hell of an art change for the flashback.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are two issues I had with this book. The first is the fact that I’m not sure anybody really cares about Diamondback enough to get an origin story out of him. Well, an additional layer to his origin story anyway. The scene is told very well and has a hint of an interesting meaning, but did it deserve 8 pages to tell it?
The second is the Deadpool portion which ends up being an entirely pointless endeavor. It runs 6 pages and is worth a chuckle, but ends up getting across only two points, one of which is Deadpool really didn’t even need to be in this comic. He shows up to complicate things and then exits when he realizes he doesn’t need to be there at all. It makes the overall experience reckless with its use of the pages.
Is It Good?
I liked this issue and some may just love it. If you’re a fan of comic book storytelling and innovation in the industry you will adore this series. This issue wastes time with unnecessary asides and red herrings, which will undoubtedly annoy many.