|Artist: Pencils / Ink||Joe Bennet / Belardino Brabo|
$3.89 – $289.99
The Defenders, Marvel’s greatest Non-Team! It has been way too long since we’ve seen the original lineup take on a force threatening the world. Truth is, The Defenders biggest problem is that they truly have the most powerful team in the entire MU. Can you name a team with more powerful members? I bet you can’t. Go ahead and try! You have Marvel’s mightiest powerhouses banding together – not because they want to, mind you, but because if they don’t then worlds will end! That’s right, this team, comprised of Hulk, Namor, Strange and Surfer, had a problem being a monthly title because how do you continue coming up with villains – or threats – big enough to give these powerhouses a worthy foe? They did the only thing they could, really – they changed the team. Over and over and over they added members and lost members on the regular just so that the writers could write believable stories where the members were being challenged!
One thing that I’ve always looked forward to was that Marvel has continues to bring back the original members every now and again to tackle a new threat. This time a parasitic type ghost named Nebulon has infected the Conductor of the Train. The Train is hurtling through space picking up planets, using them as fuel. Nebulon has taken control of the train and re-routed it to the Sol System. Lucky for us the Surfer has met this enemy before and engages in some chit chat. He hears Nebulon’s plans to snuff out the Earth and, unfortunately for the Surfer, has powers far greater than he remembers.
Meanwhile, the Hulk and Strange are getting re-acquainted. Strange needs the Hulk for his part of the plan, only Hulk doesn’t exactly understand the complexity of the situation they are in. Strange breaks it down as simply as possible – Earth will die. Maybe Hulk will survive but it won’t be any fun – so just help save the world.
We now see two leopard brothers acting very Trading Places as they bet on the outcome of Nebulon after they gifted him with this upgrade in power. Nebulon, on the other hand, is having nothing but success speeding up the train and torture Norrin Radd. All of this is going swimmingly until Silver Sub Mariner shows up to surf his way through Nebulon’s hold on the Conductor. If you want to know just how Namor became the new Surfer you have to buy a precursor issue that features just him and, truth be told, is quite freakin’ boring.
The Hulk shows up to see the feline Duke brothers and even beheads one with his face hole. It’s pretty disturbing – but let’s remember, its a pretty dark Hulk we’re dealing with here. When the souls of the brothers move to Nebulon, dosing him with additional power, he flings Namor into the void of space. Now Surfer has a choice to make – save the world and beat Nebulon or save a former teammate, grumpy sea king. How is this even a choice?
Actually, Norrin doesn’t even need to weigh the pros and cons because the Hulk shows up and takes charge once again! He hurtles the Surfer at Namor while appropriating his board to bitch slap Nebulon.
How, you ask, how is Surfer supposed to save Namor without his board? Well, if you guessed becoming the board himself then you’d be right and I’d be witnessing one of the most ridiculous moments in 2018 comic history! With Hulk’s continued onslaught on Nebulon it gives Strange the chance to distract the Conductor – freeing him from Nebulon’s control – just for a second. It’s enough to save a planet of Atlantean’s from becoming fuel and even more so, enough to knock the train off course a fraction of a degree and right into the hands of Mephisto.
Our story concludes with Namor feeling good about saving the world of his kind. Surfer back with Galactus, feeling used and misunderstood, Hulk back on Earth and Strange, now a prisoner of Mephisto. smiling devilishly because things went just how he expected.
I love a good Defenders story – and this one is pretty damn great! Don’t forget to check out the 1-shots that were all pre-cursors to this. Especially the Immortal Hulk one which is just SO good!
|Grade:||Bag and Board It