Super Types

December 10, 2011

Marvel Reviews: The Defenders #1

The Defenders #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artists: Terry & Rachel Dodson
Cover: Terry & Rachel Dodson

Spinning out of the events of Fear Itself #7, this new incarnation of The Defenders has come together to stop The Breaker of Worlds at the request of Hulk. He was one of the worthy that possessed Hulk, and now that the two have been separated, Nul is running free. So Doctor Strange puts together this new squad to see if they can lend a hand and stop things from getting worse.

This far exceeded my expectations, and Fraction shows great command of the cast of characters here. The team is brought together rather quickly and pretty easily, but nothing about it seems forced or out of place. Everything fits here and it was great that Fraction touched on Hulk’s recent past with Strange, since he was one of the Illuminati that exiled him into space. Reinforcing why it was so hard for him to even ask Strange for help in the first place. There’s also the amount of pure fun that’s here which is delivered by the great dialog throughout the issue. The first exchange between Namor and Strange was just one of many great moments found here.

Visually, you still get the great work you’ve come to expect from Terry and Rachel Dodson. They take Fraction’s words to another level and move the story along with ease. Their artistic pacing may have also been what contributed to things not feeling so rushed as elements began to come together in the story. The reveal of the Surfer was one of my favorite scenes; from the coloring to the effects it was just one of the more stand out parts of the book when it comes to visuals.

When it’s all said and done, The Defenders #1 is a really good issue and it does exactly what I thought it would do if it was executed well. That would be making the epilogue in Fear Itself #7 a waste of paper, since Fraction does such a great job establishing everything here. The cliff hanger at the end also introduces a new character while leaving the good guys in a bad way. So if you were on the fence about this issue, get off and then go pick this up!

Infinite Speech



  1. Billy

    I thought it was decent as well. I was slightly concerned with Fraction being the writer because he’s typically an X-writer, but did good. Not a huge fan of the Doc Strange costume redesign though. Get rid if he dopey red belt or sarong or whatever that thing is.

    • Do you know how hard it was for me to pick this thing up knowing that he would be in it? lol Still a good start and I’m hoping that Fraction keeps giving us some fun stories in this title as well. I also liked the fact that they’re keeping this team a secret from the Avengers as well.

  2. Do not call Matt Fraction an X-writer. He doesn’t deserve the title. He happened to write Uncanny for a while, but the run was overcrowded, ridiculous, and poorly executed, just like Fear Itself. However, I can’t speak on this since I haven’t read it, but one of the reasons I haven’t is because Fraction hasn’t impressed me on anything. But if Speech says read it, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and check it out.

  3. Kristin

    You know…Dr. Strange is a little old to be sporting spandex or leather or whatever they’ve got him wearing.

  4. Not all of what Fraction did was horrible Jeff. You act like he wrote the Ghost Boxes arc lol

    Kris, Strange is sleeping with a woman who is probably half his age in this issue and Namor accuses him of trying to hit on She-Hulk too. He’s pretty confident if anything with his tight fitting new outfit lol

  5. Hate to say it, but this fell flat for me. Not bad, just kind of “blah.”

    Fraction writes excellent solo books like in Mighty Thor and Invincible Iron Man, but really struggles with team books, like Fear Itself and Uncanny X-Men… and now, possibly, Defenders.

    I’m hoping for the best though, and will stick around through the first arc.

  6. I wasn’t all too upset with Fraction on UXM. Sure, he did some things I didn’t like from time to time but what writer doesn’t? This was a fun issue and the only problem I thought I would have was reading something with Strange in it because I’m REALLY not fond of that character.

  7. Jeff Jackson

    Everything I read that Fraction has done has been awful. But I haven’t read everything, I admit.

  8. Billy

    Well, Fraction did do a decent. Job on Thor IMO. I’ll give him that.

  9. Fraction smoked UTOPIA. That story kicked some serious ass, but everything after that (maybe except Nation X) was pretty rough.

    Probably because around that time FEAR ITSELF was announced, and his run on THOR was about to commence. Ah, well.

  10. I liked this book, it was pretty good. Fraction’s run on Uncanny was awful but he did ok here and Dr. Strange is cool, well maybe not his costume.

  11. […] This one was…….somewhat merry…… NickZ: It’s a wonderful life, ‘Pool style.The Defenders #1 (Marvel) Andy: Why is it when Matt Fraction has to write more than a one central character, he […]

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