The DEFENDERS #7
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor with Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 11/15/17
He’s not on the cover, but don’t worry! Deadpool is back again in The Defenders #7 along with another old friend – Elektra.
Plot: Iron Fist wants to know why Elektra broke into his office, but Daredevil insists she’s not after them. Meanwhile, Diamondback decides to take over some new territory and doesn’t care what it costs.
Story: On paper the idea of going from nonstop babble to almost no dialogue seems like a recipe for disaster in a comic. When that comic moves from a wisecracking Deadpool to two deadly fighters, however, it makes way more sense. Starting out the issue with Deadpool’s quippy monologues reminds readers he’s there and also provides a funny take on the book (and Marvel as a whole) before things get too serious. It’s an interesting plot device for Brian Michael Bendis to use to lighten readers up before things get too heavy.
And even with the amount of time spent on fighting, Bendis manages to move the plot and characters forward in a meaningful way in this issue because of what Elektra’s presence does. If you’ve seen the Netflix show this scene will sound familiar, and it should. Why the hell should they trust Daredevil’s scary ex-girlfriend? Whether she truly drives a wedge in the team is left a mystery as Bendis cuts away from the team to Punisher and Daredevil. The team’s trust or lack thereof is a plot point I’m waiting to see explored more in the next issue.
The only minor quibble I could add about The Defenders #7 is that the scene with Diamondback, while very entertaining, broke up the flow of the story for me and might have worked better in the end or beginning. Of course he plays an important role in the story, but it felt like he was just thrown in there to remind you about the gang war in case you somehow forgot as you were mesmerized by David Marquez’s art.
Art: There are two elements this book has that David Marquez excels at drawing: New York City and action sequences. Marvel books set in NYC sometimes fall into the trap of a looking like a stylized, fake version of the city, but Marquez’s drawings look like the actual city as it is today. His rooftop scenes with Elektra, often set with the skyline in the background, make me feel like I’m on a neighboring rooftop watching the action.
The action scenes, which in this book focus primarily on Iron Fist and Elektra, expertly show off the two fighters matched abilities and skilled movement. There is also an interestingly drawn scene involving a bullet later that captures a slow-motion vibe in a neat way.
In addition to the very solid action sequences, there are lots of additional details included that showcase the wordless panels. In an artistically clever move, you’ll notice the coloring of the panel background shifts depending on who is in control (red when Danny is, green when Elektra is). Interestingly it’s the reverse of their costumes, so it could be the background slashes of color represent the impact. Pay attention to the panel layout in this section as well as the panel number gets cut in half the further you go (16-8-4-2-1).
Verdict: I might have to censor myself a la Deadpool, but holy s@!t The Defenders #7 was fantastic. As I’ve already waxed poetic about, the art was impressive down to every detail. Bendis writes a sharp Deadpool and bookends a dialogue-light issue with some great moments with the character. While other characters don’t say as much, the dynamic of The Defenders also gets tested in this issue, adding to the tension moving forward. It’s unclear per Bendis’ recent blog post whether #10 will just be his final issue or the final issue of the entire book, but I can’t wait to see where he takes it in the remaining time.
Rating: 5/5 Stars