Nul the Breaker of Worlds, the malevolent god that possessed The Hulk during ‘Fear Itself’ continues rampaging toward Wundagore Mountain, drawn by an unknown force only he can feel. Meanwhile, The Defenders face off against the Beast Men that inhabit this mysterious mountain, led by a former Christian leader, now immortal zealot Prestor John. Last issue, one of the Defenders was struck down by a bullet through the chest. This issue, that hero uses their powers to expel the bullet and heal themself. It’s on, as The Defenders battle the Beast Men! After the long set up last issue, it was nice that this chapter had so much action! The heroes do well, but Prestor John has an ace up his sleeve, the ultra powerful “Evil Eye,” which he uses to capture the Silver Surfer and force the other heroes to surrender.
Once captured, She-Hulk hatches a plan to escape, but the result may be a permanently strained relationship with Dr. Strange. (Maybe he really lives up to that name?) Once free, there’s yet another slug-fest against the Beast Men, notably Count Tagar. But once again, Prestor John uses the Evil Eye to threaten the Silver Surfer and force the heroes to cease fire. He reveals that he is luring Nul to Wundagore in hopes that he will destroy the supremely powerful Concordance Engine which can open portals through time and space. Dr. Strange surmises that time travel has addled John’s mind, making him unstable. John sees the world as corrupt and wants it destroyed and plans to escape through a passage to a better world, although the way he talks, he may be planning on simply dying and going to heaven. Nul arrives and it looks like John’s plans may come to fruition!
This book was action packed and nicely balanced last issue’s set up. The dialogue is intentionally somewhat awkward, emphasizing that these heroes aren’t your typical super team. They don’t really seem to like one another that much and don’t work well together. They are, after all, Marvel’s non-team. Strange, Namor and the Silver Surfer have a long history so they seem more comfortable with one another, with Iron Fist and Red She-Hulk as the new additions that don’t quite fit yet. The threat is nicely huge. Can these heroes get it together to stop Nul and prevent the destruction of the world? It doesn’t look good!
Terry and Rachel Dodson never fail to impress with their super clean, smooth art style! They’re definitely one of my favorite art teams in comics and this is a fine example of why. Their action sequences are so smooth, you can practically see the movements. In quieter moments, their facial expressions are hard to top! They just excel in every area. If for no other reason, this book is worth picking up just for the pretty pictures!
One thing I didn’t like, were the ads and notes along the bottom of every page! It’s like those little pop ups you get on nearly every TV show nowadays, advertising other shows. As a society, we’re constantly bombarded by advertisements and I’m getting tired of it. I don’t need it in my comics, too!
But anyway, the original run of The Defenders lasted many, many years, but subsequent revivals haven’t managed to catch on as well. Here’s to hoping this new run gives the original a run for its money! I’m enjoying this lighter, fun team book! I do hope to see some of the other classic members like Hellcat and Valkyrie show up, but for now, I like this line-up. If you’re looking for something more fun and less angst-y or dark, this could be the book for you!
THE DEFENDERS #2
Written by Matt Fraction
Art and Cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson