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NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

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Punchy
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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Punchy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Eli Katz wrote:Like a typical tyrant, you blame others for your own failures and inadequacies.


Well it's true.

Also, it wasn't me who picked shit like The Infinite was it?

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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Punchy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:18 pm

The Defenders #1 - 'Breaker Of Worlds, Part 1: I Hate Myself And Want To Die' - Fraction, Dodson, Dodson and Oback

Story - Marvel have tried to do Doctor Strange ongoings, they've tried Iron Fist ongoings, they've tried Silver Surfer series and Namor too, but it's never really worked, people like these characters, they're awesome, but they don't seem to like them enough to buy their solo adventures.

So why not bung them all into one book? And maybe thrown in Red She-Hulk so the book's not a complete sausage-fest. This is the basic idea behind Marvel's new Defenders series, all your favourite C-Listers, all in one place, with plenty of crazy other stuff too, and for me, it really worked.

I'm a big fan of Matt Fraction, I have been ever since I first read Casanova back when it came out through Image and was only in one colour, and I've read pretty much everything he's done since, and it looks like finally we've got a book that marries the experimental nature of Fraction's indie-work with his more conventional superhero stuff. Fraction packs this issue with as much stuff as he does in Casanova, and tries stuff that most other Marvel comics wouldn't. Pretty much every possible method of narration is used in this issue, and whilst I'm not generally a fan of a comic using more than one narrator, the fact that Fraction uses so many makes it work, it's not that he's just picking and choosing when to dip into someone's head at random (like in the TV show Glee, seriously, the narration in that show is infuriating, it can go for months without any, and then suddenly... boom! Kurt Hummel is telling you his life story!), this OTT approach is planned.

The other piece of experimentation I liked was the little captions/adverts/whatever featured on every page, which is a sort of call-back to the Defenders' roots in the Bronze Age. At times Fraction plays it straight, telling us that the story will continue after an ad, or to buy Avengers Academy or Journey Into Mystery, but sometimes these captions are a part of the story, for example 'The Impossible Isn't Coming... The Impossible Is Already Here'. This is part of the story, and it's cool to see someone attempt something different and try to tell a story outside of the panels. It kind of reminds me of the info-bars in Joe Casey and Guiseppe Camuncoli's cult-classic Wildstorm series [The Intimates]. Not only was that book the inspiration for the Punchy username, but it seems to have been a big influence on Matt Fraction (not just here, but in Casanova, the character of Kaito in that book is based on Kefong from [The Intimates]) among others. Is it the comic book equivalent of the Sex Pistols and Manchester Free Trade Hall? I think so.

But the main appeal of this book is not the experimentation, it's the characters, and man, is it a great bunch of characters that Fraction has got together, I love all of these guys, and it's going to be great to see them interact going forward and get into crazy impossible situations. I'm not too hooked on the main plot of the series so far, but I do like that Fraction managed to condense all of the events of his Fear Itself event into 'There's an evil Black Hulk and also She-Hulk has a sword now', this book may be spinning out of a crossover, but it's not indebted to it.

So basically, this is the kind of Marvel Comic I'm looking for at the moment, it's got cool characters with a lot of depth to be explored, it tries something new and it's not too reliant on continuity. I'm in for the long haul, Fraction, you better give us a wild ride!

Art - Terry Dodson is a great traditional superhero artist. That's something a lot of people forget, because much like Frank Cho, his ability to draw buxom women over-shadows all of his other aspects, which is a shame. I think the man can draw anything and make it look good, whether it be zero-G kung-fu or tiger-men, it all looks like a part of a whole. Another bonus for this book is that Dodson has a pre-existing creative relationship with Matt Fraction, they forged a fruitful partnership on Uncanny X-Men, and that mojo continues here, damn good stuff.

Best Line - I'm a sucker for Fraction's made-up kung-fu moves, so 'Stellar Astro-Fist. Um... Kick Of The Geosynchronous Thunderbird. Something' is the best line for me.

8/10

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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Eli Katz » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:27 pm

Punchy wrote:
Well it's true.

Also, it wasn't me who picked shit like The Infinite was it?

An effective tyrant wouldn't let The Infinite be selected. :P

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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Punchy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:29 pm

Eli Katz wrote:An effective tyrant wouldn't let The Infinite be selected. :P


I tried to steer Jude towards Fantastic Four #600, but it didn't work.

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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Starlord » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:44 pm

A good leader would at least keep the thread on the front page. :|
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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Grayson » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:02 pm

Amoebas wrote: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).


I'm pretty sure that there was a story around Fear Itself that established that something was wrong with Betty's mutation. I can't remember if it was because of her DNA or because of something in the gamma radiation but if Betty didn't stop transforming into Red She Hulk, then she would be stuck in that form permanently.

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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby Stephen Day » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:17 pm

chap22 wrote:it's been a terrific little book (other than the fairly average Fear Itself tie-ins and the totally pointless Spider-Island tie-in).


The Spider-Island stuff wasn't my cup of tea either, but I feel the need to defend the Fear Itself tie ins. T'Challa was at his coolest this series in those issues. His back was to the wall at times and he showed in the end that, despite that, he was never not in control of the situation.
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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby DeadFett » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:18 pm

Story
I found this to be a typical first issue of a new series. All the main characters are introduced along with the threat that brings them together. To me this issue was boring and almost a chore to get through. I couldn't wait for it to end. It was surprising because I like most of the characters involved and I love Fraction's Invincible Iron Man. I also enjoyed his work on Iron Fist and was looking forward to see what he would do with the Surfer so I had hopes going into this title. The "ticker" at the bottom of the pages was distracting and annoyed me greatly. I don't know, maybe part of my dislike of this is that it still has the stink of Fear Itself. Too many cliches here and way too boring for me. I expected more from Fraction. I can't imagine picking up the second issue.

Art
I normally like the Dodson's work but here it felt bland and boring much like the writing. These characters just don't seem to be a good fit for their talents. It almost felt like they phoned the effort in. Much like Fraction, I expected more from them than what I got here.

Story - 3
Art - 4
Overall - 3.5
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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby guitarsmashley » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:07 pm

This comic was a total chore to read, so much so that I started it last week and didn't even finish it. I normally really like Dodson's art but it didn't fit this book at all. Also Red SHe Hulk is a dumb character this is literally the second book I've read with her in it and it still doesn't feel like it's betty. That's pretty much where I gave up. After reading Betty's reaction to Bruce in Hulk #2 I can't imagine her wanting to be anywhere near anything Hulk/Bruce so yeah didn't finish the book had no interest in it, the art didn't feel right.

5
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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby DeadFett » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:47 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:This comic was a total chore to read, so much so that I started it last week and didn't even finish it. I normally really like Dodson's art but it didn't fit this book at all. Also Red SHe Hulk is a dumb character this is literally the second book I've read with her in it and it still doesn't feel like it's betty. That's pretty much where I gave up. After reading Betty's reaction to Bruce in Hulk #2 I can't imagine her wanting to be anywhere near anything Hulk/Bruce so yeah didn't finish the book had no interest in it, the art didn't feel right.

5


Seems like we had similar experiences reading this. I'm surprised you gave it a 5.
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Re: NEW Review Group Week #4!! - The Defenders #1

Postby guitarsmashley » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:32 am

DeadFett wrote:
Seems like we had similar experiences reading this. I'm surprised you gave it a 5.


Didn't feel right giving it a lower score considering i stopped reading it because I was bored not because I hated it....and I didn't want to anger lord fontlaroy.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


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