The Defenders #3

Black Cat vs. Diamondback, Luke Cage vs. Punisher, and Iron Fist vs. Diamondback. Defenders #3 is super-charged, Bendis and company deliver the first climax as the opening story arc for the new series picks up steam. Jessica Jones, Powerman, Iron Fist, and Daredevil join forces to keep the streets safe, ’cause the other guys are too busy flying in helicarriers or orbiting in space stations preparing for the next interdimensional multinational threat. Defenders is a team for fans of hometown heroes that ties into the marvel universe on the small screen.

Brian Bendis writer, David Marquez artist, and Justin Ponsor colors, are a great trio. I got really excited about these guys with the relaunch of Iron man. Five issues in however, Marvel pulled the rug out from under me and shifted Marquez and Ponsor to work on Civil War 2. These guys put out a really fun comic to read and Defenders #3 is a perfect example of that. Bendis gives the reader all this enjoyable dialog between the Defenders, and Marquez and Ponsor turn Frank shooting a pistol and Danny throwing a punch into John Woo/Capcom epicness. I read the comic two weeks ago, and thinking about it still brings a smile to my face. Please Marvel, let these guys tell some stories, don’t break up the band after one or two hits.

I am a fan of the heroes in the comics and on the screen and I am a fan of the creative team, so I was pretty pumped for the debut of Defenders. The first two issues were okay, but failed to grab me and set me grinning ear to ear. I was on the fence and considered dropping the series, until issue #3. The Defenders are getting to know each other, while the reader gets to know the villan, Diamondback. This issue we find out the history between Luke and Diamondback. If you jump in on this issue, it’s important to know that Diamondback is back from the dead, (like real dead, not like when you die in a Spiderman comic) and he has moved up from two-bit hood to bona fide super-threat. Unfortunately for the Defenders they get a lot of time to know each other recovering in a 24 hour urgent care for supers run by the Night Nurse, Linda Carter. She evokes images of Wonder Woman from the 70’s serial and shares the actresses name; she also probably helped Gregory Isaacs convalesce¬†early in her career and was the muse for his smash reggae hit. These references are Mack truck obvious, but I enjoy them anyway. Kudos to you guys for creating an amusing secondary character built on pop refrences.

Brian Bendis is a monster comic writer and a great choice for this series. His good work over the last decade on several of the universe changing cross overs in Marvel, show him to be a persian rug maker, capable of weaving a colorful tapestry from the threads of the TV and comic worlds. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he was one half of the creative team that came up with Jessica Jones. David Marquez and Justin Ponsor are a powerful artistic combo primed for the hall of fame like the Bash Brothers of the late 80’s Oaklands A’s, or the chocolate and peanutbutter of a Reeses’ cup. Your first look at Defenders #3 you’ll be impressed by the art and think Marquez’s pencils are amazing. Then you’ll take a second look and realize it’s the shading that gives these characters this touch of the hyper real. A third consideration of the art, and one takes note of colors that seamlessly work page after page delivering the gritty noir entrance of the punisher that explodes into action as he pulls the trigger and Daredevil and Cage step in.

Defenders #3 is the first very good comic in this series. If the team can continue delivering books of this quality this new quartet has a long future of defending ahead of them. The cover shown for this comic is the Jim Lee X-men variant. I think that is supposed to be the Fear King in the background on the left. Neither the Fear King or the monster in the foreground have anything to do with this comic. I suggest getting the book in the standard cover if possible.