THE DEFENDERS #3
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Terry Dodson
Release Date: February 1, 2012
The Defenders is a very unique book compared to what else Marvel is putting out right now and I get the feeling from issue #3 that the editorial staff has really let Fraction cut loose with this book. This is not just Avengers featuring a bunch of different heroes, nor is it simply a nostalgic romp about getting the Defenders band back together. It is an intelligent, funny, mind-bending and somewhat astonishing title, with issue #3 being the strongest yet. I will warn you, if you haven’t read the first two issues of this series you will have absolutely no clue what is going on in this issue, but I strongly urge you to pick up all three. Rather than feeling like a filler issue in a 6 arc series, issue #3 feels rather like a mini-conclusion point where the adventure is really just beginning for this motley bunch of powerhouses. Fraction wields these characters well, and the addition of Iron Fist and Red She-Hulk to the original Defenders members makes this title all the more interesting. More so than any other title in the Marvel Universe I honestly have no idea where this is going next, as the twists and turns involving Concordance and the Breaker of Worlds have absolutely baffled me in the best of ways. I feel like this is Matt Fraction’s Planetary, and I do not say these words lightly as it is probably my favourite series of all time. I hope the immense scope of this title never changes as it is an absolute riot to read.
In the art department Terry and Rachel Dodson match up with Fractions script wonderfully. I applaud Marvel for giving this title an A-list creative team as something this wild in scope needs quality art to go with, and the Dodsons deliver. Terry’s pencils are sharp and clean, never looking rushed or at all out of place with what was occurring in the story. The layouts are visually unique and Dodson can deliver the bold visuals required for the tale Fraction is telling.
Pros: Immensely entertaining comic with great characters and twists and turns constantly. Excellent visuals.
Cons: Not at all accessible to new readers, I even took a spin through issue #2 again to make sure I fully understood every portion of #3.