Comic Review: The Defenders #4 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week will be a bit of a short review (its late!), but I picked up The Defenders #4 from Marvel Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by David Marquez, with colours from Justin Ponsor and letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

Cover by Marquez & Ponsor

This iteration of The Defenders stars Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Daredevil (hey, isn’t there a TV show coming soon with this exact team?), as they face off against a back-from-the-dead Diamondback, who is not only pushing a new deadly drug onto the streets, but also seems to have equally deadly superpowers of his own. He has already beaten Cage, and at the close of issue #3 it looked like he had put Iron First down permanently. But now that members of this newly formed Defenders team have started to work together a little more, Diamondback may have bitten off a little more than he can chew with these heroes.

It is interesting to see how much The Defenders has been informed by the Netflix shows, or at least what has been well regarded about them. Most of the characters are consistent between the comic and TV show versions (Diamondback not so much). However, Danny Rand is much more in line with the comic book version of the character, and the series is better for it. But there does seem to be a leaning on recognizable elements, and the next threat the team will face looks to be no different. However, with issue #4 wrapping up the initial conflict with Diamondback, this has been a very kinetic, simple and fun story.

Art by Marquez, Ponsor & Petit

However, as with Civil War II last year, the real headline for this book is David Marquez’s art. Everything in these 4 issues has been consistently great, with superb character work and even stronger action. The start of the issue is quick but subdued, with some very good shadow effects in the club and facial work from both the couple partaking in the Diamond drug, and the journalists at The Bugle. But the 3 pages with  Iron Fist unleashing his full power on Diamondback was gorgeous work from Marquez, and Ponsor’s use of dazzling yellow fire and red strikes made those pages sing.

The Defenders #4 is a fun cap to a very enjoyable opening arc. Bendis knows how to write team books and he knows how to write these characters. But David Marquez turns this into a truly strong book, and well worth picking up. Check it out digitally or in our local comic book shop now!

Score: 8 Emergency Transfers out of 10

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