I was initially really excited about Matt Fraction's Defenders; at the moment, the poster promoting the first issue sits behind me on a wall. However, as time went on I kind of soured on the book because it moved really slowly without much actually happening. While I enjoyed the characters that were involved, the stakes just seemed too high to be plausible - it's a common problem with throwing threats at characters like Doctor Strange and the Silver Surfer. Because their power is so high and often unclassified, it's really tough to make them seem like they're in trouble.
So naturally after a couple issues I decided to check back in and see what was up. This week, I look at issue #11, nearly a full year after the series' debut.
What I liked:
- Mirco Pierfederici's art is outstanding, and really captures the essence of what Defenders is, aesthetically - a lot of solid colors that tend to compliment hard lines, or blacks. While there are little bits (particularly faces) I don't like, the issue looks to be of decent quality.
- One strength of the plotline is that if you're paying attention, little bits are going to click into place and give you some gratification. Converging plotlines is something that Matt Fraction does well, and it's nice to see laid brickwork finally look like something coherent.
- Namor + controlling tidal waves = awesome.
What I didn't:
- A certain character's death seemed a bit ill-timed and powered through quite quickly (four pages); I actually didn't mind how Fraction carried it out, but the little amount of dialog left me wanting a little more. Doctor Strange's selfishness has really been a focal point of this series, and I'm glad it was worked in to his reaction - I just hope it won't be forgotten about.
The Defenders #11
The Verdict: Grading this issue on a scale is really difficult because despite my above comments about things starting to fall into place, it looks like we're going to have to wait another issue before we get some resolution. The Defenders' story seems to be on such an epic scale that it risks losing its readers within its vision, but for now it still ranks a high three out of five abstract concepts.