Defenders #1 (2005)

Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire (the Fab Three who brought us the funny JLA back in the 80s & early 90s) are assaulting the Marvel Universe with a 5-issue Defenders miniseries.

This thing is funny! If you don't like this gang's sense of humor or if you have no sense of humor about The Defenders, stay away from this one. I am a hardcore Defenders fan and I don't see how you can not have a sense of humor about them.

I've been reading The Essential Defenders Vol. 1 collection and the first issue of this miniseries fits into the mold of the first few Defenders issues perfectly.

Which is to say, Defenders #1 is funny because Namor and the Hulk/Bruce Banner spend the whole time fighting with each other and the Defenders series from the 70s was funny for exactly the same reason. Giffen and DeMatteis also spend a great deal of time making fun of the way Dr. Strange talks. Again, this is straight out of old-school Defenders.

The writers did their homework. They obviously like The Defenders a lot and they also see the inherent humor in putting four über-powerful, egotistical beings together and forcing them to work together in order to save the world about once a month. It's like a superhero reality show where everybody is the "loudmouth who's gonna get kicked out" character.

I love Kevin Maguire's art but there are some parts of this issue where he out-Maguire's himself. Namor and the Silver Surfer look too stylized for my taste but it's not enough to put me off the comic. Maguire's facial expressions are still the best in the business and he has drawn the most amazing Dormammu I have ever seen. Ever. Maguire should be the only person allowed to draw the Lord of the Dark Dimension for the rest of time.

Even if you've never read The Defenders, this is worth picking up just for the laughs.


Charles W. said...

In the panel where the Surfer starts talking about how much he can learn from the people he'd just discovered, Dr. Strange has this expression on his face . . . I swear, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. I don't know what it is, but that expression just kills me.

I think the Silver Surfer's "new look" stems from that last mini-series he had, but I never read it, so I'm not 100 percent sure.

Vaklam said...

I didn't know about Surfer getting an Extreme Makeover.

I agree with you about the expression on Doc's face. Maguire did the same thing to me throughout the "I Can't Believe" storyline.