Defenders #2 by Al Ewing

Defenders #2Defenders #2 by Al Ewing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is exactly the kind of mind-blowing cosmic nonsense I want from a Defenders comic. We’re not exploring the origins of the universe here, instead Ewing and Rodrigues are taking us back far beyond that, to the universe before our own. The universe that gave birth to the world devourer, Galactus. But Galactus is just a baby here, and the Defenders face that most basic of time travel based moral quandaries: Do you kill the monster before he becomes the monster?

Of course, you don’t, that was never in doubt, but there’s a moment when you think the Surfer might. Which begs the question: If the Silver Surfer killed Galen before he became Galactus, then Galactus could never have turned him into the Silver Surfer, and he would never have travelled back in time to kill Galen…so it’s probably best all round that he didn’t do it.

There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in this issue, with the revelation that the previous universe was purely science based, and so magic doesn’t really work there (which is a bit of an issue for the Sorcerer Supreme). But the world devourer of this universe, Omnimax, came from the previous universe, so magic does work on him. It’s all utterly nuts, but fantastic fun.

But if you think that visiting the previous universe was as crazy as this book was going to get, it’s got one last surprise left in store for you…

This is magnificently written and superbly illustrated. Defenders might just be my new favourite comic!

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Defenders (2021) #1 by Al Ewing

Defenders (2021) #1 (of 5)Defenders (2021) #1 by Al Ewing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have fond memories of sitting in a hotel bar in Inverness until the wee small hours of the morning with Al Ewing, listening to him talk about how much he loves The Defenders and Doctor Strange. That was many years ago, and I couldn’t be more delighted that he’s finally got his hands on these characters!

To be honest, I was originally going to pass on this book because a) I hadn’t realised Al was writing it and b) I didn’t know that Cloud was in it. See, I love the New Defenders run that included the character Cloud, Marvel’s earliest genderfluid character. Cloud was way ahead of their time. In fact, that whole run was brilliant, particularly #142, which tackles subjects like gender fluidity and institutional racism and discrimination.

The original run of Defenders had two distinct eras, the classic era, which featured the like of Dr Strange and the Silver Surfer, and was full of awesomely batshit cosmic and magical nonsense, and the New Defenders run, in which a number of former X-Men join the team, along with Cloud, Gargoyle and Moondragon. That second era was generally more grounded, but still included some fairly out there mystical stuff. At first glance it seems that Ewing and Rodriguez are marrying the two eras of Defenders, and it definitely works.

This famous “non-team” are thrown together to counter a threat to all creation and end up thrown back in time to the universe before our universe…the universe that Galactus is the sole survivor of.

This is epic and awesome, and it also picks off where Ewing left off in Marvel Comics #1000, so if you haven’t read that then maybe check it out before you read this. But do read this! The only thing negative I have to say about this book is that it’s a miniseries and not an ongoing book!

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