Posted - June 10, 2013 | Updated: August 9, 2015
Defenders Indefensible was brought to us by the same creative team that was responsible for Justice League Europe. It was unique during its run because of the very light-hearted and humorous approach adopted by writers Kieth Giffen (also a wickedly good artist when he puts his mind to it), J.M. DeMatteis and artist Kevin Maguire. I can still remember those amazing issues, so I was very excited to pick up Defenders Indefensible to see that same approach being taken to The Defenders.
Well, I've gone and read it and I enjoyed it too. But, fair warnings, this is not the same as reading Justice League Europe. The humor in Defenders Indefensible mainly comes from the dialogue, but JLI's dialogue organically rose from the stories' plot, the Defenders Indefensible dialogue is character driven - a series of funny critiques and low blows that becomes more effective if the reader has previous familiarity with the Defenders (the comics, not the ones from Netflix).
So is this something your going to enjoy?
Sit back, and let me show you around . . .
The focus of this book are the original Defenders. A quartet composed of . . .
Dr. Strange, to me this guy is the Defender - the heart and backbone of the team.
Namor the Submariner. Oh, sorry, I meant Prince Namor.
And the Silver Surfer.
The particular feel of the work is introduced by the early appearance of Nightmare.
In Defenders Indefensible he isn't talking like he normally does - he's joking around, poking fun at Dr. Strange's archaic speech pattern and - justifiably - criticizing Strange's continued reference to Wong as his 'man-servant'. 'You don't even know if Wong is his last or first name do you?" quips Nightmare.
Nightmare warns Strange of the imminent arrival of two more classic Dr. Strange villains : the Dread Dormammu and his sister, Umar. Readers of those early adventures in Strange Tales know that those two siblings are mystical powerhouses - and evil to boot. All this leads to a deja vu moment from both Marvel Presents and the first issue of The Defenders: Dr.Strange going out to recruit allies.
As you'll see they are all very enthusiastic in joining Dr. Strange.
The Surfer will end up not joining because he would rather hang with some surfer babes. He has the Power Posmic you know? Cosmic Awareness. What better way to demonstrate Cosmic Awareness then having to choose between half-naked beach babes and Dormammu - and choosing the girls.
Speaking of Dormmamu (and Umar), the story takes us from normal earth settings to this breathtaking and foreboding page by Maguire.
Wonderful sequencing, we go from Dr. Strange's house in Greenwich, to the desert with Bruce Banner to under the waves with Namor then this otherwordly scene so beautifully wrought. We are immediately made aware of the unique relationship between the two siblings.
Soon we are back to Strange's drawing room and witness to the fact that Namor and Bruce are not each other's biggest fans.
Of course, you can only rib Banner so much before you bring out the other guy.
Soon our adventurers are on their way and yet another part of the Dr. Strange mythos is introduced - the Mindless Ones.
Denizens of Dormammu's home dimension, the Mindless Ones are those grey brutes clustering around the Hulk. One aspect of the Mindless Ones are not featured though, the Mindless ones can shoot beams of energy from their visor-like eyes, just like the X-Man Cyclops.
Impressive looking as Dormammu is with that flaming head, he takes a backseat to the enigmatic Umar.
Those green, whatever they are, are the luckiest slaves I've ever seen. I mean, just look at what they're doing.
He's losing the word war against his sister, but there can be no doubt about Dormammu's power
Ah, more Umar panels.
During the course of the story, the Hulk has been turned into a crystal statue by Dormammu. Umar leaves no doubt about what she's planning for the Green Goliath
". . . be still my beating libido . ..
. . . royal bedchamber . . . this way, he'll be exactly were I need him!"
I've read a lot of Hulk stories but I've never come across one where the Hulk is so obviously set for a roaring good time.
Oh yeah! Just look at the Hulk's face!
From small scenes to cosmic scenes; the story moves back and forth and its wonderful to read. Here, Dormammu has taken out Eternity himself.
What this means is while all the naughty scenes, side jokes and bantering has been going on, Dormammu has successfully taken control of reality. Which means we are in for a treat - and Dr. Strange and Submariner are in for a shock - as we see : The world according to Dormammu!
Dormammu even created his own version of Dr.Strange.
That's not all Dormammu created. Let's see
Dormammu versions of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wolverine (the coolest looking in my opinion), Beast, and in the foreground Spider-Man and Daredevil (so eerie with those eye stitches).
Next, it's action time.
It gets better and better. Here's Dr. Strange vs. Dr. Strange.
Namor also meets William Everett MacKenzie.
Yes Namor meets himself, albeit a more human (and non-arrogant) form of Namor. Seeing this heroic, noble soul beside the proud Prince is worth the price of admission. Note the name MacKenzie was actually an alter ego used by Namor in the past but I like the 'Everett' part. The legendary Bill Everett is Namor's creator. You know, come to think of it? All characters should have middle names taken from the last names of their creator. Kane-Finger would be Batman's middle name: Bruce Kane-Finger Wayne. Snappy.
Bruce Banner also meets the Dormammu version of Bruce Banner.
Kudo's to Maguire for drawing so well that the Dormammu Banner actually stinks through the comic book panel.
So how does all this end? In the classic manner. Dr. Strange always, ALWAYS, outsmarts Dormammu. That's just how the Marvel Universe is set up.