TIME TO GRAB YOUR BIG-ASS SWORD!
If there's a group of characters I'm really not familiar with, it's The Defenders. Luckily writer Matt Fraction has re-introduced the team for modern readers and given each of the characters their own personal role in the classic team structure. You've got Doctor Strange, the unsure leader who has recently lost his powers as the sorcerer supreme and is sleeping with grad students, Red She-Hulk, who has only recently come into her powers, Namor, who rarely likes to include himself in the problems of normal humans, Silver Surfer, who sees the world from an objective outside view, and Iron Fist, who would just assume collect the insurance on his multi-million dollar plane destined to crash on its maiden flight.
This first issue is the classic "gettin' the team together" and it works on every level. For people who aren't familiar with these characters it's a great introduction to Marvel Comics characters that normally wouldn't get the spotlight or their own series. I especially enjoyed all the scenes with Doctor Strange, and have now sided with many other writers and artists that doing a Doctor Strange story is always in the back of their mind.
The artwork by Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), and Sonia Oback (colors) was incredible. It felt modern but classic at the same time. The scene where the group is falling from the destroyed plane is one that both conveys great sequential storytelling and the ability of a new team to pull together in a crisis situation. I'm also a very big fan of Doctor Strange's new outfit. Many people have been a little iffy on him losing his cape and usual color scheme, but I think this new modern look fits with the new aspect of Strange as a magical warrior without the sorcerer supreme powers on his side.
For a first issue that isn't a completely new concept with brand new characters this book delivers on many levels. There's tongue-in-cheek humor, action, and wonderful moments between characters like Silver Surfer and The Hulk. This book gets a 4.5/5 without any regrets, and I look forward to adding it to my pull list every month.