Brian Michael Bendis ends his run on Defenders today which is one of his last at Marvel Comics. After reading it I can safely say this is one of the most Bendis comics I’ve ever read and it may just leave a tear in your eye as you’re reminded he won’t be writing these characters ever again.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This story not only wraps up Bendis and David Marquez’s excellent run, but it also offers some big ideas. You get the sense maybe Bendis is leaving a few stories on the table so as to leave us wanting more, or for our imaginations to run wild with what could have been. Either way, it’s a nice send-off!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I’m going to miss these summary pages.
This issue opens with Hood telling Kingpin what is what when it comes to being the crime boss of New York. Since Kingpin is mayor now he can’t say much to this affront, which allows Bendis to give Hood plenty of dialogue. Seriously, there are some pages in this book where it’s bubble after bubble after bubble. Those who love Bendis’ style will relish in this as he delivers plenty of dialogue to chew on. There were moments reading this where I thought I was reading a play which made me actually add my own flourishes of how characters might have said things. Bendis was a master of dialogue and you can tell he wants to go out with that at the forefront of this story.
There is a surprising amount of story to be had in this issue. Not only does it open with a crime boss confrontation, it also brings back an interview style page with characters talking to the reader about news, a revitalizing of Heroes for Hire, and even an interrogation between Misty Knight and Black Cat. Sounds like a lot of talking, but there’s an action scene that’ll play to fans’ expectations as well.
One of the coolest elements of this issue is how Bendis and Marquez end it. Bendis introduces a new type of crime operation, building the reader’s expectation for an epic multi-part story, and then drops one hell of a twist. The build-up is phenomenal and had me thinking comics really need a soundtrack to amp up the reader. This leads to a double page spread Marquez nails perfectly and it’s the type you’ll look at for much longer than your average page. A fitting end to an excellent story arc.
Get your glasses there’s a lot of reading.
It can’t be perfect can it?
One could argue there’s a lot of talking, too much talking, to the point where you can grow tired. There’s certainly not enough going on at times to sustain it and yet it seems so right for Bendis to go out like this.
I will say it’s somewhat odd how few pages our title heroes get on the page. The focus is much more on Hood, who opens the book and ends up being the confrontation to thwart near the end. If you had no idea Bendis was moving on to DC you would probably assume this was setting things up for a new arc, but instead, it’s more of a farewell for Bendis’ rendition of Hood.
Is It Good?
This is the sort of comic you’ll appreciate more when you take into account it’s one of the last Marvel Comics by one of the most prolific voices at the House of Ideas. It’s a magnum opus that you could study and devour knowing the history and style of a creator. There are faults to be sure, but it’s a beauty of a book that keeps you entertained and does its best to defy your expectations.