Friday, July 19, 2013

You've Been Warned: Defenders #101

Don't get me wrong, traditionally I am a defender of The Defenders. I just can't get behind this particular issue. In the early 80s, it seemed as though every Marvel writer (in this case J.M. DeMatteis) felt the need to write a 'stop and smell the roses' issue once a year. When these work, they can be quite touching. When they don't, they leave the reader with a saccharin aftertaste that can last for days. In this story, each and everyone of the Defenders feels the need to find their purpose in the world after the battle in the 100th issue. They all make their way out into the world with Doctor Strange and Clea awkwardly performing a tribal dance in Africa and the Devil Slayer criticizing the personal hygiene of a burnt out hippie. In the end, they all hang out on Doctor Strange's stoop feeling rejuvenated. It is all done in a very ham-fisted way. DeMatteis would cover similar ground in a much more elegant way in Marvel Team-Up #119. Avoid.


Chris Gumprich said...

Have to disagree with you here, Scott. This was the first issue of DEFENDERS I ever picked up, and for a kid, it was pretty mindblowing to see superheroes just hanging out.

Of course, other than Silver Surfer and Dr Strange, I had no idea who any of these people were...

I still see people who remind me of "Sunshine".

Edo Bosnar said...

I pretty much agree with you on this one. I followed Defenders pretty regularly up to #100, but then started to lose interest afterward and dropped the title a few issues later. Then picked it up again during that whole "New Defenders" thing out of curiosity - and rather quickly dropped it again. DeMatteis is a fine writer otherwise, but I really don't think he was ever a good fit for the Defenders.