The Defenders has always been a different sort of team. Other teams like the Avengers and X-Men are weighted down by so much baggage that it sometimes adds a heavy feeling to the story. This team, while they are on an extremely important mission, don't have all that extra weight. At seven issues into the series, it still feels like a strange mix of characters. There are some familiar elements from past incarnations obviously but the overall vibe and energy is different. Of course we can attribute this to Matt Fraction.
You can see in different scenes where Fraction puts a little of himself into his writing. He can be a funny guy and it shows in the tiniest of ways. This adds to the unique feeling and sets the pacing apart from other team books. Having characters like Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer and Red She-Hulk only adds to the fun.
And then of course we have Black Cat's appearance. Her role in the story is interesting and it will be nice to see how it all plays out. And any mention of the Immortal Weapons or Orson Randall brings a smile to my face.
Terry Dodson adds a unique feel to the story as well with his depiction of the characters. His style is one you can't help but keep your eyes glued to. Each page and panel offers the right amount of detail to take in without becoming distracting.
As much as I enjoy the slightly goofy nature of the series, you can't help but wonder how they get anything done. You almost feel that the team doesn't take themselves seriously but we're supposed to. Characters like Doctor Strange and Silver Surfer have an immense power level and you don't usually equate them with a light-hearted feel.
Matt Fraction keeps the story, pacing and humor moving while giving us crazy adventures without the forced the-world-is-about-to-end stories we've seen too often. He has a great mix of characters to work with and ones that I personally enjoy seeing. That, plus Terry Dodson handling the art makes this a book that would be hard not to like. As much fun as it seems, there is a little something missing in terms of their motivation. The story is progressing and I'll want to see how it all ends. I've been left with the feeling of not caring about who the bad guys are that the team has to fight. It's always great to see Black Cat pop up in comics. If you're looking for a team that's different from the others in the Marvel Universe, you should be reading THE DEFENDERS.