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Comic Review- The Defenders #1
Defenders (2017-) #1Defenders (2017-) #1 by Brian Bendis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I haven’t picked up any first issues in awhile (sorry DC), but obviously couldn’t resist this one. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that this is going to be a Netflix series. I, at times, do live under said rock, so that was news to me. This teams up Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist. It is in theory, the perfect Bendis book. So why am I grading it so low?
I love Bendis, and this seems to be down his alley. These characters. That 70-ish noir feel. Great art by David Marquez. I usually love this stuff. For me, it fell a bit flat. As if this book could not be more Bendis-y, it became formulaic.

This book is tied to the Netflix series, so recent events in the Marvel universe between Jessica and Luke are brushed away. I don’t have a problem with that. I do love the characters and I do love the art. There’s just a lot going on in this first issue, but it moves too quickly, as if he can’t wait to get started. I didn’t really take much away from it, and I didn’t feel like there was much character building (sure it’s not really needed with these characters, but it would have made it a more enjoyable issue.)

It feels, I hate to say “Bendis by the numbers”, and it suffers in the way I felt some of the recent Iron Man work did. I feel BMB needs to do a project that is a bit out of his normal comfort zone. It got me thinking about if Bendis would ever go to DC (surely, some day he will) and that would probably breathe some life into DC, and to him. OK, DC fans may shriek at that thought. Still, Bendis used to make killer #1 issues and they turned into pretty great series, and he still is very good, but there’s less and less of those great Bendis moments. If Bendis wasn’t writing Alias/Jinx/Powers for the 100th time, then we might get excited about him again.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sticking with this (issues 2 and 3 already out). Bendis is still one of the very best, and this is set up to be a good book. Also, the reviews I have read of Defenders #1 are mostly 4 and 5-star, so maybe it’s just me. We will see how this progresses.

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