Saturday, 5 March 2016

Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders #2 - Marvel Comics

Doubtless disappointingly for Al Ewing, this concluding issue of “Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders” is arguably a far cry from the “really fun, warm, beautiful book that hopefully Avengers’ fans - - as well as fans of everyone else involved - - will love.” In fact it is hard to see even the most dedicated of the British writer’s supporters taking much positivity from a nauseating narrative that twists former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill into a mismatched gestalt of Thor, the Punisher and Mega-City One’s Chief Judge, and re-imagines “War Machine” as a giant tank which both looks and sounds remarkably similar to the “2000 A.D.” A.B.C. Robot Mek-Quak; “Yeah! ‘Cuz I’ll squoosh ya! An’ I will, too! Look at all my guns!”

Certainly it comes as no surprise that the twenty-page “Secret Wars" periodical sold a deflating seven thousand less copies than its predecessor when first published. Although quite how it still managed to outsell the likes of “Omega Men” (“DC Comics”) and “Fade Out” (“Image Comics”) by shifting 20,453 issues during August 2015 doubtless has more to do with Alan Davis' excellent artwork than its calamitous storyline.

Admittedly the "second ‘Mighty’ Marvel series from Ewing” does "spotlight" the 'popular' wielder of the sword Excalibur, Faiza Hussain; a version of Merlyn’s champion who was introduced by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk in “Captain Britain And MI:13”, and eventually donned the hero’s mantle during the "Pax Britannia" novelist's tenure on “Avengers Assemble”. But even the book's titular character isn’t actually given that many opportunities with which to demonstrate her extraordinary “control over living organisms” with and is instead limited to inexplicably reconfiguring Boss Dan [Luke] Cage’s “sentient torture chair” and an astonishingly short single-panel showdown with the “Baron and Thor of Mondo City”, Big Boss Hill.

What “…And Mine Is A Faith In My Fellow Man” does offer however is plenty of opportunity for Davis to demonstrate just why the English artist has remained a mainstay of American comic books since he was first hired by “DC Comics” to pencil their “Batman And The Outsiders” title in 1985. For whilst the Goodreads Choice Award-nominee’s source material is atrocious, and his design of Mondo City’s law enforcers questionably unoriginal, the illustrator’s rendering of the Defenders action-packed escape from Yinsen’s temporary detention zone is both splendidly detailed and dynamically drawn.
Writer: Al Ewing, Penciler: Alan Moore, and Inker: Mark Farmer

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