Defenders #1 from Marvel Comics comes to comic stores on August 11 with a splash. Writer Al Ewing, with series artist and colorist Javier Rodriguez, mystifies readers by introducing the titular group. With additional inking by Alvaro Lopez and lettering by Joe Caramagna, these characters present themselves as larger than life.
Defenders #1 On First Impressions
Between Ewing and Rodriguez, making a good first impression is what matters the most. Ewing understands all of the characters he is working with, especially those who drive the plot forward. This is why Doctor Strange serves as the point-of-view, his great power and tactical knowledge make him an excellent leader. Plus, with how Rogriguez presents Strange’s magical capabilities, it’s impossible to look away. With Strange floating upside down and with the border of the page looking like the edge of a card, Rodriguez actually makes the scene look like a Tarot card.
As for the other characters, their portrayals vary to a degree. Despite an impressive presentation in Masked Raider’s introduction, it raises an important question. Why does he draw a gun on Strange when he just wants to talk? Other characters in Defenders #1 act realistically in comparison. Especially with how breakneck the pace becomes once the conflict comes up. Some of them like Silver Surfer and Red Harpy are going through troubles. Being plucked out of their places against their will leaves them more than a little peeved.
With how much Rodriguez puts into the art, having some backup in the form of Lopez’s inking helps a lot. With so many abstract illustrations, Lopez helps lighten a creative burden. As for Caramagna, his lettering makes the magic coming from Strange twice as impactful. The bright blue bordered word balloons and font from the magic he utters give off a more powerful impression. Unlike when a scientist utters a spell from a book in a more diminutive font and word balloons. In this way, Strange feels like he’s in a completely other league.
Defenders #1 Assemble!
Defenders #1 opens strongly by showing off the awesome power and influence of Doctor Strange. Through Strange’s eyes come a perspective so dire, it leaves the reader wondering how this mish-mash ensemble will handle everything going forward.