“Defenders: The Best Defense” #1
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Joe Bennett
Inker: Belardino Brabo
Color Artist: Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Classic Marvel Comics fans have been awaiting the return of one of the most unique teams in the Marvel Universe, the original Defenders, which have finally reunited after almost 20 years and several incarnations. Created in 1971 by comic writer Roy Thomas, the original team lineup consisted of the trio of Dr. Strange, the Incredible Hulk and Namor the Sub-Mariner. The Silver Surer, Valkyrie and others joined later as the team progressed. For the last couple of years, both comic book readers and Netflix watchers have known the current Defenders which comprised Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist. But now as the original team reunites to battle a powerful cosmic force, Marvel has released five titles as a non-crossover event featuring Dr. Strange, the Immortal Hulk, Silver Surfer and Namor the Sub-Mariner, with all four coming together in “Defenders: The Best Defense” #1.
“Doctor Strange from Earth’s cataclysmic future burned out his physical body to throw his astral form back in time to contact the Immortal Hulk, who came across his body inn a barn, and recovered the Eye of Agamotto from a homeless man. Meanwhile the Silver Surfer arrived at an impossible cosmic train of planets, hoping to find one life worth saving so Galactus would look elsewhere or sustenance. Before he could depart, his board raced off to the rescue Namor the Sub-Mariner, who’d traveled to the planet Vodan to seek reinforcements for his war against the surface. His entreaties ended violently, with both Namor and the King of Vodan cast into the void of space outside the cosmic train. And inside the train itself, something in a bedsheet seems to be murdering a lot of people…”
Although advertised as a “non-crossover,” all of the four individual books tie together in “The Best Defense” #1 as the finale to this mind-bending story. And while some of the story elements may seem farfetched, the finale promises to bring all of these story elements, including the lost Atlanteans and the Cosmic Train, together. If you are an original 70’s Defender’s team or a fan like me who better knew the other incarnations such as the “New Defenders” or the “Secret Defenders” of the 90’s, you will be enthralled in this large-scale cosmic-themed story which Marvel has always been best at. Featuring a very Jack Kirby-ish style splash page of the first issue, readers will know they are going to be in for a ride. While “Defenders: The Best Defense” may be a limited series, the tragic tale of the Silver Surfer and Galactus continues in the newly rebooted “Guardians of the Galaxy” #1. “The Best Defense” contains several variant covers from artists such greats as Sal Buscema and Ron Garney.