This reminds me of the ads they’ve been running in the current Marvel Comics.
This reminds me of the ads they’ve been running in the current Marvel Comics.
|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
This past week the Hulk’s portion of the new Defenders story was released. If you haven’t read it you totally should! The story is amazing! Anyways, there were 5 variants released including a brilliant Jack Kirby 1:200 cover. See below:
As you can see in addition to the regular cover we were also given an obligatory Skottie Young cover! The list below is as follows:
If you have yet to read this issue then take a moment right now to crack open this book! It’s just awesome! They use snippets from past stories and it was seriously flat out exceptional!
Don’t forget to pick up Namor: Best Defense to continue the story
If you are interested in reading up on the Defenders history check out the recent issue of Back Issue! where they delve deep into the long box and talk Defenders chronology. Also you get a sweet Defenders cover – where Hulk looks sort of “Sloth” from the Goonies – more monster than man. I just finished the article and thought it was pretty great. Check it out yourself!
So, I know that WalMart has an exclusive 6″ Avengers line – but they have yet to show up on the East Coast… if any of my Gamma Bros that visit this site have found an extra and want to help me out I would be truly grateful! Anyone?!?!?
Well, in the meantime – check out the art I did on a blank Defenders #1 cover. Let me know what you think! As you can see – it’s featuring the original Defenders only! 😉 Actually, there is another side to this cover – if you’d like to see the other side just click on the image (Trust me – it’s so worth seeing!)
Last year I picked up one of Bowen’s best busts – admittedly it is not the Hulk so I have yet to show it – but Dormammu is one of Dr. Strange’s (and the Defenders) best villains. His look, though, is one that some thought to be pretty impossible to capture in 3 dimensions. But Bowen was up to the challenge – and he delivered a likeness so amazing – the only thing that could top it would be sitting this amazing bust on a phenomenal base. Bowen, once again, delivered!
Whenever a sculpture is trying to display fire it is a bit tricky – the only way to do it right is to make it look as real as possible. You can’t just, for example, sculpt some fire and paint it orange! This was the challenge that BD and Jeremy Lloyd, the sculptor, was facing and they solved the problem by having a translucent plastic surrounding the head.
This Ditko based sculpt is one of my favorite I own – the base, like I mentioned before, has a heavy Asian feel to it which is perfect for the character with the magical energies that encompass him. One of the better Defenders stories is the mini-series called Indefensible and if you have not read it, you should. It really captures everything that makes the Defenders so great! And of course D-Man here is a HUGE part of it!
Let’s break it down, shall we? I liked how I broke the last review up, so let’s get started.
Story: I was already on the defensive with this comic – expecting to hate it because they have replaced the Hulk with none other than… Red She Hulk. Right there is a reason to hate this comic! Except, it’s not. Not only does Fraction explain the absense of Hulk from this adventure (one that HE is the reason for – but I will get into that later) but it’s the Hulk who actually offers his ex-wife as a suitable replacement. I also enjoyed how Fraction “got the gang back together”. When did Strange become such a poon hound, by the way? As for the ultimate evil – why the Defenders are together – well, let’s say we’re off to a great start – we’ve all known that Hulk has had a dark side for a LONG time now – and it’s become a physical force. I don’t think much more needs to be said to pique your interest! The Defenders against an evil, black Hulk!
Of course, there is also some negatives. For example, what the hell happened to Surfer? Why is he a Zen master able to recreate himself from thin air? He’s everywhere? He’s the falling snow? What?!?!? That’s not so much a negative as it is more a “I am sort of lost in what’s happened in the MU” but if they are keeping with continuity with the Surfer – why is the Hulk not being paid the same respect? The Hulk is dealing with some real issues over in his book – ones that aren’t even addressed here. Let’s move on…
Art: Terry Dodson does an exceptional job here – Strange and Co. have never looked better! Of course, I am not the biggest fan of his Hulk – but then again, like I told you, the Hulk is not really a big part of the first issue. I am waiting to see more of the Black Hulk. Here’s to hoping they defeat him and he just fades away though – instead of becoming a new member… shudder at the thought!
Variants: I didn’t bother picking up the 1:50 Strange variant – it seemed cool enough but I am getting really picky with which variants I decide to pick up now. Seeing as this isn’t an actual Hulk book I was not too worried about picking up every variant. The 1:25 Neal Adams variant has a large image of the Hulk front and center though – so I was all over that!
Overall: This is a classic Defenders story through and through – pick this up and feel like you’re reading some classic Marvel. Grade: A