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Defenders #2

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2005
By: John Hays



"Disaster!"

Writer: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Kevin Maguire

Publisher: Marvel Comics

While the Defenders struggle to escape Dormammu’s realm, Dormammu and Umar discuss their plans and schemes. Things go from bad to worse for Strange and his unlikely allies, and Umar sets her sights on a new lover. Oh, and Silver Surfer continues to ponder the infinite with a bunch of surfers.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the first issue. I did. I can only hope that level of hilarity returns for issue three, because Giffen and DeMatteis lost a comedic step with this issue.

There’s really not a lot to say here. The plot doesn’t advance much past the Defenders getting trapped and incapacitated by Dormammu, and Dormammu and Umar accessing the realm of Eternity using Dr. Strange’s amulet. Now, admittedly, in their previous DC runs, Giffen and DeMatteis loved filling pages with amusing dialogue, leaving the plot to fend for itself, and I loved every minute of it because it was hilarious.

This just isn’t that funny. The best banter is once again between the Defenders themselves, but that is all too brief, replaced instead with EXTREMELY repetitive bickering between Dormammu and Umar. In fact, whether it is with Umar or Dr. Strange, Dormammu is a broken record:

“I will finally be victorious!”
“You will be defeated!”

*repeat 10 times

A few pages also provide about a book’s worth of soliloquy by Umar, and that simply becomes exhausting to read. Fortunately, a brief reunion between Strange and Submariner re-introduces the witty banter this issue needs so badly, but the issue all too quickly switches scenes to the Silver Surfer with an idea (communing with surfers) that, while humorous in concept, is lacking in execution. I really hope they DO something with Silver Surfer before this mini series ends.

Umar’s insistence that Dormammu include her in his speeches is funny, and I like any story that involves beings on the level of Eternity, so at least the issue ends on an upswing.

I was considering 1BULLET here, but Kevin Maguire’s art is top notch as always, and the cover is entertaining, so I added a second bullet. I can’t believe I just wrote a mostly negative review for some of my favorite writers, and I sincerely hope that this issue is a deviation from the rest of the mini series and that the boys can get back into their groove with the next issue. As others have mentioned online, I’d love for these guys to get their hands on the original Avengers: dumb Hulk, yellow Iron Man, Ant Man, Wasp, and Thor. Now THAT would be rich material for some BWAHAHA!



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