Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Review of The Defenders by Matt Fraction: Volumes 1-2

Much of my summer has been filled with reading books and, as of this past month, comics! In preparation for the Netflix show in 2017, I recently read the first two volumes in Matt Fraction's The Defenders series. I figured that this series would be different from the Netflix one, and it was. What I didn't expect was for me to fall head-over-heels in love with this comic series.

The Defenders have had many iterations, but in Matt Fraction's version, the Defenders are a group of heroes tasked with defending the world from supernatural and otherworldly things. An unlikely combination of several different heroes results in a team similar to The Avengers but with rougher edges.

In volume one, we are introduced to our core team: Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Silver Surfer, Namor, and She-Hulk. As someone with minimal or no exposure to these heroes, I greatly enjoyed getting to know them better, especially in preparation for the upcoming Doctor Strange series and Iron Fist Netflix show. Each of these characters brought their own unique voice to the comic. Their perspectives and inner monologues were one of my favorite parts of these comics.

"The older I get, the more life seems to be the stupid, frustrating stuff that gets in the way of you and reading comics..." -Danny Rand

Not only that, but I was pleasantly surprised to see familiar faces, too, such as The Hulk, Captain America, T'Challa, and Scott Lang--all of whom you can see currently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seeing these characters was exciting, and they all added to the story.

In volume two, the cast remains mostly the same, but we are introduced to Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat, who unwittingly helps our heroes. She brings me to another favorite part of these comics: the girl power. Felicia and Betty Ross (She-Hulk) are both powerful forces to be reckoned with (well, that and Betty's "big-ass sword.")

With this colorful cast of characters, The Defenders volumes 1-2 take us on an adventure through the most mystical sections of the Marvel universe. We travel to different places and even different dimensions, due mostly to the Concordance Engine. The Concordance Engine has five iterations scattered across the galaxies, and it's basically a map to the universe that influences time, reality, and everything in between. It's first discovered in the first volume, and by the second, it's led to something drastic and dangerous. Most of The Defenders first two volumes are centered around it and the consequences of using it, which leads us to some pretty interesting places.

The art is gorgeously drawn, and the writing is solid. While the story could get confusing at times, I was solidly riveted by these comics and read the two volumes within a weekend. With lovable characters, hilarious moments, and an entertaining story, The Defenders series is definitely marvelous.

Have you read The Defenders? What did you think of it? 


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