I'm one of those guys that just really enjoy's Dodson's art. Unfortunately he's been at Marvel for the last few years and I haven't. But after the preview I read in store in Pointless 0.1 I actually threw my sheckles on the lcs counter for the book.
Beautiful art from page to page. While Hulk looked smaller than he should, everything else looked fine to great. The coloring really stands out. I can't place the name Oback anywhere - is she new?
While not technically 'art' - I've always liked DC's use of colored thought balloons and they work just as effectively at Marvel (except the Surfer - the pale light blue forced me to turn a lamp on in the afternoon). I'll also echo the Pres's thought on O & D - initially the word 'blood' on page 6 read like 'blooo".
Art - 9
And then comes the disappointment. I haven't read a lot of Fraction and I guess I'm kinda grateful for that after this.
The grad student & Strange was just strange and served no different a purpose than Strange reading the newspaper pages later (except now we know that Dr. Stephen Strange prowls college campuses).
Nul is in Europe. Hulk wants to go nowhere near Nul. So of course, Hulk goes to Europe
And while I'm trying to forget that silly Fear 'Fear Itself', if Nul is around I'd assume the others are as well. Why keep this a secret from the Avengers?
The only Marvel books I've read with any consistency over the last decade have been the Cosmic books - so my only guess is that the Surfer in Defenders is a Skrull because he doesn't read or act anything like he does elsewhere. One reason I basically stopped reading marvel was because they let writers take established characters and do whatever they wanted to with them for the sake of the story (not the character). Fraction and the Surfer strikes me as this.
Red She-Hulk is just She-Hulk? What's Jen calling herself nowadays? If Betty wants to get drunk, why doesn't she just de-hulk? I assume she can because I saw her control the change in Hulk #1 (guess not here).
Namor has access to the Atlantean war fleet. He's supplied teams from the Invaders to the Avengers with aircraft many times over. Yet he has to take a train? And I know Fraction was going for a comedic effect with Strange floating on the train, but it just doesn't work (unless Strange doesn't care about being conspicuous anymore).
The book needed some action (of a non-creepy old man & young twenty-something kind) and the Iron Fist pages worked well. But what's with the assassination attempt? Danny spends his thoughts on making up kungfuey names but he never asks "why?" and there is zero follow-up because...
From out of nowhere Danny bangs some nega-banded bimbo.
What is Fraction's deal wanting to establish that his Defenders all sleep around irresponsibly? (and why does Danny so regret sleeping with the black chick?)
Next scene and we're back on Danny's HUGE plane that somehow is staffed by only two people. I guess that's all that's needed for a transatlantic flight in a "billion dollar plane'. I suppose King Namor had to fetch his own peanuts.
Oh! What good luck! Betty's sword landed so close to her and she didn't have to dig through 50 tons of crashed plane pieces to find it.
Prestor John and the Evil Eye? Now that's a blast from the past. Whether it be their first app in FF #54, an early M2i1, the Defenders/Avengers Clash or JLAvengers - I've always dug the Avalonian combo and despite the questionable plotting, characterizations and other nonsense Fraction has in this book - I'll be back next month just for this.
Writing - 2
Overall - 5.5