Defenders #3 immerses readers through its narrator Harpy going with the flow and showing how comic books are like magic spells.

Review: DEFENDERS #3: Comic Books Are Magic Spells

Defenders #3 continues this epic of Marvel’s non-team by diving straight into comics magical connections. As the characters and art demonstrate, a comic book’s structure and narrative are like spells.


Just a bit of recapThe Defenders magically summoned by Dr. Strange and their journey takes them to unusual places. In the chase for a rogue scientist who goes through past versions of the Marvel Universe’s reality, they recruit Taaia, the mother of Marvel’s Great Devourer Galactus.

Defenders #3: A Spell’s Outline

Defenders #3 spread part 1Al Ewing continues the adventure of a lifetime, this time by making clever use of foreshadowing. Harpy serves as the point-of-view character of Defenders #3 and explains her role in the bigger narrative. She’s the one who has to save everyone’s skins the most, as the intro demonstrates. But it’s not just because Harpy’s the only one to retain her full power, unlike the others. It’s because Ewing makes use of Harpy’s childhood as a military brat. spread part 2

The CMYK Model Is Magic

Javier Rodriguez highlights the design of Moridun, the creature who becomes the Devourer from last issue, Omnimax. His cephalopod-like appearance, tall stature, and the way Moridun moves his limbs to cast magic looks just as terrifying as his future form.

Rodriguez also decorates parts of Defenders #3 with symbols that serve as creative exposition for an ancient magic system. Initially, Moridun uses these symbols to demonstrate his power over the fish-out-water Defenders. That is, until the Defenders are shown in panels that are shaped like these same symbols. Which means, even with their pants down, the Defenders have a chance against Moridun.

But it’s the fact that those panels are filled with CMYK colors that stand out. These colors tell the reader that comic books are magic in and of themselves.

The Magic Lettering

Joe Caramagna letters the words of the characters in patterns that befit them. Almost every humanoid speaks with the standard word balloon. But in the Sixth Cosmos’ reality, the more monstrous characters like Moridun and Harpy, with warped word balloons, are normal.

Defenders #3 is Spellbinding

Defenders #3 features an immersing look at how comic books function like magic. Through clever foreshadowing and artistic stylizations of comic book elements, the reader becomes spellbound. The reader is left waiting in anticipation for the next issue.

Jake Palermo
Jake Palermo
Greeting panel readers, My name is Jake but I never replace anyone or anything; I merely follow and fill in the gaps. I write stories and articles that help people piece together anything that helps them understand subjects like culture, the people who write their favorite stories, and how it affects other people.
Defenders #3 immerses readers through its narrator Harpy going with the flow and showing how comic books are like magic spells.Review: DEFENDERS #3: Comic Books Are Magic Spells