Current Reviews


Defenders #5

Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2006
By: Mark J. Hayman

"The Enemy of My Enemy Isn't Exactly My Friend (But She'll Do In A Pinch)!"

Writers: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Artists: Kevin Maguire, Chris Sotomayor (colours)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

"Why you stinkin' little fishfaced--"

Umar betray Dormammu? Pshaw! Besides, the Dread One has skived off the power of Eternity, making him Uber-Super-Duper-God (minus One, the Big E, himself, right?). You know, unvincible or thereabouts. Ah, the Silver Surfer will have an awakening and zoom in to save the day! Or maybe eat a bad clam that not even the Power Cosmic can overcome. There's the token resistance, of course, resisting the will of He What Knows All and Before It Happens Even. No?

Wellll... there's Banner (no, another Banner... well, the same Banner, but different... Umar is keeping the genuine article on a short leash). This Banner, the one without the leash (thought I was calling on another metaphor, huh? Suckers!), is probably more likely to hump your leg and wax nostalgiac for his Precious (or in this case, his Rick). Nope, Monkey Banner t'ain't no help to nobody.

I never caught the roster of MacKenzie's (the un-Namor) doomed if they do, doomed if they don't resistance brigade, just the name. Which you know. You do, trust me. Did I mention the Perfect Being, the Divine Light that is the Slightly-Eternitized Dormammu? Right, I didn't, seeing as He Who Must Be Dreaded falls more on the side of utter imperfection and darkness and all that sort of ick. Do you see the flaw in D's plan? I mean besides being notoriously nutzoid? Actually that's sufficient. Crazy as a loon, he is. Un-Banner (or Anti-Banner or Uncle-Banner, what have you) is in every respect the mortal personification of both how Dormammu began and the state to which he, er, ascended isn't quite the right word... he was already depraved and despicable, so descended doesn't quite fit, either. Huh. Well, that thing that he is. Big, scary thing. Crazy. Mean. Not so bright. Don't forget nuts. No, no, not those nuts, no sign of the GLA/X in the Dormammuniverse. Just plain nuts. Unsalted.

"Nothing up my sleeve... !"

You know the one thing that's missing? I mean really missing? At some point Namor could have dusted off that terrific chestnut: "I was an Imperius Wreck!" It worked in the Hembeck FF special, it could'a worked here, plagiarism being the slickest form of flummery.

Okay, okay. You DO know the outcome. You always know the outcome. Good triumphs over E-Vil in an obvious way. DeMatteis' Moonshadow this ain't. It really is not. (Quick pause to be thankful that it isn't JMD's old Defenders. I'm thankful.) Neither is it Giffen's new-wave Legion of the Great Darkness Saga (yes, yes, Levitz wrote that), nor even his re-boot-i-conned post (and now pre- again) Crisis Legion - the one that I adored and everyone else hated. It's not even the grisly trio's Beetle&Boosterized Justice League, but we're getting closer. Super Buddies? Almost, almost. Oh! Smack me! It's the Defenders! That's what the cover said in the first place! Magicpants and fishsticks and gobs of green goo and mirror-polished chrome. That's them. I do miss Kyle Richmond.

Very silly. Terrific fun if not exactly ART. Maguire's E-Vil Wolverine looks suspiciously like one of the Cockroach's mid-term personalities, but we'll let that pass seeing as an earlier incarnation taught me how to pronounce Sienkiewicz.

Right, Defenders. Uh, dig it! Buy it! If you missed an issue or two, go find them! Or buy the trade, it should be shipping any minute! And say your prayers every single night so that this never, ever happens again. Ever.

"That's Prince Namor!"

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