Four Colour Thoughts – Defenders #1 (2021)

The Creators – Al Ewing – Writer, Javier Rodriguez – Artist, Álvaro López – Inker, Joe Caramagna – Letters

The Players – Doctor Strange, The Masked Raider, Silver Surfer, Harpy, Cloud

The Story – There is a threat involving a man who has mastered time magic and that means Doctor Strange along with The Masked Raider must assemble a team of Defenders to take care of it.

The Take – Not only does Al Ewing along with his compatriot Javier Rodriguez bring back the Defenders with this issue, he also gets back to The Masked Raider whose story he started to tell in the Marvel Comics 1000 event from two years past. Thankfully for those who might have missed it or forgotten about it, there is a slight recap during the narrative which will catch people up quickly in order to understand just where it is he came from. As it is, Doctor Strange is doing his thing when the Masked Raider interrupts and after a quick disagreement, things are soon explained and the two manage to find a common cause in the threat that is made known. This of course all leads to the assemblage of a new team of Defenders and it is not the classic line-up that many remember as two new members in Harpy and Cloud are called forth by Doctor Strange’s spell as well as the Silver Surfer, a stalwart from the original title. It is a strange team for sure and just how they will work together remains to be seen as of yet, including the mysterious being called Cloud of whom little is known yet. As for the threat which they must face, the man named Carlo Zota and the time magic that was used, they follow thanks to Strange and it takes them to Taa, remembered as the home of Galactus in the universe that existed before the current one and it sees them in big trouble as they face a danger bigger than any before it. Ewing does a great job at creating suspense and excitement within the book, made better by the involvement of Rodriguez whose work is absolutely stunning at times. The colours throughout are bright and beautiful, the linework clean and altogether, it makes for a beautiful package. There is a good mystery about the book as Ewing leaves readers guessing as to where it is all heading and with a team such as this, one has to wonder if they will even be able to work together much less succeed. At the very least, it leaves readers guessing and wanting to come back for more to see what happens to the team and just what it is that the Masked Raider brings to the table.

Worth It? – Yes.

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