Current Reviews


Last Defenders #4

Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Joe Casey
Jim Muniz, Cam Smith (i), Antonio Fabela (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: The Last Defenders #4 arrives in stores tomorrow, June 11.

"I never thought it would come to this," thinks Kyle Richmond, a.k.a. Nighthawk. He looks down at a photo of the old Defenders longingly. "Where our entire history is discounted because of someone else's political agenda..."

The situation for The Last Defenders does not bode well, be it with super villains, friends, or this reviewer.

I dropped out after the first issue because when it came spending money on further issues, I opted to wait and see what would come of the series. I was curious enough by now to see if things had changed. My major complaints were the hokey dialogue, awkward visual storytelling, and disjointed peripheral stories.

Nothing has changed in regards to these problems, save that now there are even less enticing characters on the roster. Gone are Tony Stark's Initiative picks: She-Hulk, Colossus, and Blazing Skull. Now Nighthawk himself hastily assembles the team of Atlas, Junta, and Paladin. I found these characters to be unappealing in their own books ( Thunderbolts, The Crew, and Heroes for Hire , respectively) let alone all together.

Nighthawk assembles these former villains/heroes after his team is disassembled. Intercepting a distress call, Nighthawk sends his team into action and causes more harm than good, while still saving the day no less.

The only intriguing element of this book is Nighthawk's journey. He's a D-list superhero who has done worthwhile stuff and wants the same recognition as the big boys. It's a remarkably touching situation, especially when he takes responsibility for his unauthorized actions, and succumbs to bureaucratic punishment for the sake of "making an example out of him." He's a strong and persistent character whose neurosis is being a superhero. As he states, "After all these years, it's all I know."

I do hope this series finds some sturdy feet to stand on because it has potential in Nighthawk's pathos and eventual resolve. But with a team of lackluster characters like this, I'm not interested.

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