The Defenders recently dropped on Netflix and it's a huge hit with many fans of the Marvel series. Chances are, if you're like many of us, you've already binged through the eight episodes available to you and you want more. Well, there's something to help tide you over until then.
#Marvel is currently publishing a Defenders comic series starring the paper versions of your four favorite street-level heroes: Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It's being worked on by two of the industry's best: Brian Michael Bendis (writer), and David Marquez (artist). Do you still need some convincing to check it out? Well here are four reasons you should be reading The Defenders.
Warning: Some spoilers for The Defenders TV series and comics.
4. The Artwork
The artwork in #TheDefenders is some of the best in current comics. From the covers to the interiors, everything looks great. Artist David Marquez has this cool new-age comic book meets anime style that's like nothing else in the industry today. It's truly unique, and really fits the title really well.
Everything about Marquez's art is amazing, including the anatomy, the characters and the backgrounds. Each character looks different, no one looks the same. The way Marquez depicts action (especially a character being hit, as shown below) is amazing.
This is aided by color artist Justin Ponsor. His colors are just jaw-dropping: they're vibrant and overall some of the best colors in modern comics. The Defenders is one of the best looking books on the market today, with some of the most talented comic artists today working on it.
3. The Writing
The writer for The Defenders is Brian Michael Bendis, and I couldn't think of a better writer to head this comic. Bendis is one of the main reasons why these characters are so prominent today and he really understands these characters. It's evident immediately through the way he writes them that he has a great love for their stories.
The dialogue in The Defenders is written beautifully: it's sharp and well-paced, while still feeling natural. Seeing these characters interact and have conversations is simply a joy to read. You get the feeling they've known each other for a long time, and are friends just by them talking to each other. Bendis is definitely on his A-game writing – reading The Defenders is like watching a master at work.
In only four issues (at the time of writing this article), Brian Michael Bendis shows why he's one of the top writers in the comic industry. The way he writes characters and their dialogue in this series is truly exceptional. Everyone gets a moment and no one feels left behind or useless, which is great.
Diamondback was one of Luke Cage's first villains, and the one responsible for putting Luke in jail where he would gain his superpowers. He would later die in a fight against Luke Cage by one of his own exploding knifes. Diamondback has been dead for quite a long time in the comics, and only being mentioned in passing since his death.
He has now returned in the pages of The Defenders as the current primary villain. I have to say Diamondback is a fantastic villain! He's engaging and charismatic each time he speaks, and every time he appears in a panel he demands your attention. His actions have an impact on our heroes, like when he shot Jessica Jones, or when he beat Luke Cage and poisoned him. He demonstrates our heroes are not untouchable, and we thank him for it.
The whole mystery of how he came back to life makes him even more interesting, and fans have been running wild with theories. The most popular one (and the one I subscribe to) is him being the Diamondback from the now destroyed Ultimate Marvel Universe (a alternate Marvel Universe). Since Marvel has been slowly bringing back some of The Ultimate universe characters, this goes quite well with the fact that Diamondback runs a club called 'Club Ultimate,' which could be a hint to him being from the other universe.
1. The Defenders Themselves
The Defenders originally started out as an Avengers-esque team featuring Dr. Strange, the Hulk and Namor. The team went on in future incarnations to feature heroes such as Thor, Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Hellcat and more. The team has been relaunched multiple times but none of them lasted. This current incarnation is made up of four street-level heroes: Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil. I love it when Marvel does revamps like these – changing The Defenders from a traditional superhero team into a street-level superhero team. It's a fresh take on the Marvel we typically see in the movies.
The dynamic in The Defenders really makes this book great – seeing Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage interact with each another is a delight. Unlike in the Netflix show, these characters have known and fought along side each other for a long time in the comics. The Defenders feel like real people while still feeling like superheroes – they feel authentically like friends for a long time through the way they interact. If you're looking for a comic with strong character development and the ability to fill the hole that Netflix's The Defenders left behind, then The Defenders is the perfect title for you.
Will you be picking up The Defenders? Let us know in the comments below!