The penultimate issue to Brian Michael Bendis’ excellent run on The Defenders is out today. In this issue fights take place, Bendis appears within the pages, and Diamondback gets his due. Wait, Bendis is in the comic?!
So what’s it about?
Check out our exclusive preview.
Why does this matter?
If you ask me David Marquez is proving himself to be in the top echelon of artists with every passing issue of this series. His ability to draw action packed fight scenes with impeccable lighting is unmatched. Mix that with Bendis’ ability to have characters riff off each other in fun ways and you have an excellent series indeed.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s Bendis folks.
When reading this issue I got the impression Bendis decided to move on to DC Comics about four pages into the script. That’s because the comic shifts from a police department scene and back to the streets seemingly at random. It makes the first few pages seem somewhat pointless to the main narrative, but here we are as the creators must wrap this thing up next issue. As far as the rest of the book there’s plenty of action and fun barbs are thrown around. The Defenders must fight Diamondback and his hired supervillain goons which makes for some fun infighting and great bits of action. Cage gets some of the coolest scenes as he lets his rage get the better of him using an entire car like a club on Diamondback. There’s also a surprise or two you won’t see coming like certain characters popping up and a cliffhanger that brings one of Bendis’ creations into the front and center of the story.
Marquez once again blows you away with well-framed action and tons of detail. Take a double page panel of Luke Cage flying through a restaurant window. In this panel we see diners falling backward screaming and dropping things as the table Cage crashes into crumbles. Along the bottom of the double page layout, we get Iron Fist kicking a villain in the face (who throws a pretty hilarious derp face) and a few smaller panels to increase the pace as we turn the page. Each hero gets to shine in these battles too and the economical use of them helps show this is a team that knows what it’s doing.
Punisher is not having a good day.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As I said earlier, this issue opens in a police department and I’m not sure it really flows with the rest of the issue. There’s no transitional piece between this and the rest of the book. Misty Knight is introduced (who plays a part later in the issue) and it’s nice to see Punisher again, but it’s a clunky transition. It’s also hard to shake the feeling the plot of this issue is a retread of what we saw earlier in the story. That is, Diamondback getting his ass handed to him by the Defenders. The issue plays out in a way that suggests the plotting was rushed and that’s never good for storytelling.
Is It Good?
You’ll crack a smile or two and continue to love this art, but there’s no denying the plotting is a tad clunky due to a transition (or lack thereof) and a rush to get to the end.