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!