Review by: JohnVFerrigno

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 3.7
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Matt Fraction
Art by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Colors by Sonia Oback
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Neal Adams, Paul Mounts & Stuart Immonen

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.99

A little back story:

When I was a kid, I used to spend pretty much all my money on comics. My weekly allowance went to comics, my birthday money, any cash i got a hold of: comics. Nowadays, $5 doesn’t seem like a lot of money to go into a comic shop with, but back then comics were only $0.75 a piece, so that fiver could get you a decent little stack of comics. When there was nothing new I wanted, I would hit the back issue boxes and look for things that I thought i would like. Wanting to stretch my money as much as I could, instead of trying to get pricer back issues, I did a lot of rummaging in the fifty cent bins. It was in these old 50 cent boxes that I discovered a comic series from the 70s and 80s that I instantly fell in love with. That series was Marvel’s “non-team” book, The Defenders.

The Defenders was everything I wanted in a comic: interesting characters going on crazy adventures that didn’t take themselves too seriously. The villains were crazy and when the heroes weren’t fighting them, they were fighting each other. The Defenders also boasted the most powerful line-up of characters ever: Dr. Strange, The Hulk, The Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer made up the core line-up. Any ONE of these guys could go toe to toe with the entire Fantastic Four or the Avengers. Together? They were seemingly unbeatable. Toss in teammates Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Hellcat, and a rotating band of characters that included some of my all time favorite B and C list characters like The Beast, Gargoyle, Son of Satan and many, many others and you had one Hell of a fun comic.

Remember when comics were fun? When heroes weren’t torn and miserable? When they weren’t made to look like barely sane anti-heroes? When you could actually tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys? Does anyone remember when reading comics was fun and not depressing?

Defenders was the ULTIMATE “fun” comic.

Since the original series ended after 152 glorious issues, there have been several attempts to reboot or revive it. None of them really captured the flavor of the original. The fun just wasn’t there. Erik Larson had a pretty decent little run with a reboot. There was a 3 issue story arc during Peter David’s legendary Incredible Hulk run that saw the Hulk, Dr. Strange and Namor team up for what very easily could have been a defenders mini-series. A very fun Defenders mini-series DID come out, with the much loved Justice League international creative team of Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire going for laughs and amping up the friction between the teammates. Not all of these relaunches were fun. The less said about Secret Defenders, the better.

Spinning out of the events of Fear itself, marvel has launched a new monthly Defenders title, with Matt Fraction providing the scripts and art by Terry and Rachel Dodson.

Matt Fraction is a writer that seems to divide the comics community. Fans have thoroughly trashed Fear Itself all over the place. My only exposure to Fraction is his run on Invincible Iron Man, which i have mostly loved. I never read Fear itself, so have no opinion on it. I was a little worried about Defenders because of this. Would this series read like the Fear Itself story that people seem to be disliking so much? Or would it be more like Iron man? More importantly, would Fraction “get” what the Defenders is supposed to be about?

Yes, yes he did.

This comic was everything I was hoping it would be and then some. The Hulk, Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer and Namor all show up in the story, joined by the Red She-Hulk and Iron Fist. It has all the trademarks of a classic defenders story: A mismatched group of heroes banding together to take on a bizarre, supernatural threat. The heroes were all written with a distinct personality, and each was introduced in a way that made the story very new-reader friendly while not bogging us down with exposition and explanation.

It was also a comic that was well worth the $3.99 price tag. This was not a comic that you could fly through in three minutes. It actually took a little while to read it, but it did so without being overly wordy. There was plenty of text, but it never once felt drawn out or over-written. In fact, there was so much going on and so many little moments packed into the book it was hard to believe it was a standard 22 page story. It seemed like a longer issue.

The Dodson’s are the perfect art team for this book. They have a clean, almost cartoony style that really fits the light-hearted tone of a Defenders story, but also the cartoonist chops to really show action and story telling. The coloring is also top notch, and none of the Marvel muddiness shows up in this book.

Also, it was just a hell of a lot of FUN, something i wish more comics were these days.

If you want to jump in on the ground floor of a fun comic that is well worth the price tag, I would definitely recommend checking out Defenders.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Interesting review, if there’s still some left at my LCS when I go I might give it a go just for shits and giggles! 🙂

  2. Great review. I might have to check this out too.

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