By Joe Casey (co-plot, script), Keith Giffen (co-plot, breakdowns), Jim Muniz (pencils), Cam Smith (inks), Antonio Fabela (colors)

If you’ve read previous incarnations of The Defenders, I’d love to hear your take on this new series. If you’re not very familiar with Defenders canon (like me), you’re probably going to think this book is sub-par. Not only am I lost as to what’s going on, but the art isn’t very good either.

Nighthawk’s been cutting his teeth under The Initiative for months, trying to prove himself to the cause after being on the “wrong side” during Civil War. Finally, after months of service, Tony Stark gives a opportunity to Nighthawk – he’ll be leader of the new Defenders team. The crux is Nighthawk will have no decision on who makes the roster and the odd member choices Stark  imposes almost makes this team destined to fail. In fact, it’s outright implied by Nighthawk that failure is exactly what Tony is setting them up for.

Well, if you ask me, not only is Tony setting this team up for failure, but he’s also setting this book up for failure. Comprised of Colossus (yes, that Colosssus), Blazing Skull (a ghost rider wannabe who just sucks), She-Hulk (yay!), and Nighthawk (who is this guy?), well, you can see for yourself that this is not a very compelling roster. The issue is completely readable, but it just doesn’t make any sense to me. With flashbacks pointing to the Son of Satan, a two-bit HYDRA like organization who can decimate SHIELD black ops teams, some Atlantean subplot, and a weird demon that looks like a T-Rex, parrot, and cobra, I honestly had one of those “WTF” moments.

There’s definitely a lot to be desired with this book, but one of its worst shortcomings is the art. Jim Muniz’s pencils are complete with an assortment of odd and stiff poses by characters, and the biggest crime is how he manages to make She-Hulk look retarded. Even Colossus, at times, looks completely bloated. Sorry, but I won’t be back for issue #2. There’s nothing here that appeals to me. A resurrected series like this needs to cater to new readers, not just old ones. But, because the story is incomprehensible to the average comic reader, it fails. (Grade: F)

– J. Montes