Review: Captain Britain and The Mighty Defenders #1

DefendersAs Secret Wars moves along, we are getting more books showing us the different regions of Battleworld and where the characters from the Marvel and Ultimate Marvel universes have ended up and how they’ve changed.  And to that, we get Captain Britain and The Mighty Defenders, a book modeled after the Mighty Avengers and featuring new versions of some of it’s members.

The story opens on a familiar scene to most Marvel readers; Tony Stark and Dr Ho Yinsen in the cave where they were held captive and Tony created his first Iron Man suit…but Dr Yinsen is in the suit, and Tony sacrifices himself for the doctor to get away.  Then forward to Dr Yinsen addressing a crowd in Yinsen City, talking about all the good the city has done…and then a giant red plant appearing in the sky…and then Baron Ho Yinsen being awakened from a dream, having nodded off while receiving a briefing from this regions Thor, She-Hulk.  Yinsen asks Jennifer is she has been having any strange dreams, and questions her about this world they live in and their God, Doom.  Jennifer reminds him that such talk could have him sent away, but to herself reveals that she has been having strange dreams.

We then are introduced to other members of this regions ‘defenders’; Spider Hero, who has memories of a Spider-Man and having a spider sense..but has no recollection of what they are; Antonia Yinsen, Kid Rescue, daughter to Baron Yinsen, who is also known as Rescue; and White Tiger.  There seems to be something happening beyond the walls of Yinsen City, and they ask for Jennifer’s assistance.  They find, to their surprise, a lone woman walking towards the city through the warzone.  Jennifer forbids any assistance, as it is against the law to allow crossing between domains in Battleworld….but the mysterious woman raises a sword and smashes through their supposed to be unbreakable wall.  The woman introduces herself as Dr. Faiza Hussain, also known as Captain Britain.  She explains her memories of how she gained that title, and that she comes from Great Britain…all people and places that don’t exist in this world.  The group is joined by Baron Yinsen, in time to hear Captain Britain denounce Doom and the entire word they live in…and he agrees with her.  The group realize they all have their doubts and decide to help the Captain realize the truth…but are interrupted by Doom, listening to all that happens in his world.  He strips Jennifer of her Thor status, and as punishment, breaks the walls between Yinsen City and neighbouring, war like Mondo City.  The heroes take up defense, doing what they can, but Captain Britain is taken down by Boss Frost…and awakens to find she is now the prisoner of Boss Cage.

This was an alright story for me.  I wasn’t wowed by it, but I wasn’t disappointed by it.  I enjoyed this unusual group of heroes, and anything with She-Hulk is always a good read, but I felt that the backgrounds of the characters and the flashbacks kind of dragged on and felt like a slow walk getting to the meat of the story.  I really like the fact that these people are questioning Doom and his world and are having dreams about a different world they were apart of.  It would seem that Doom’s hold on this world he created may be slipping, and people are now wanting to find answers.  Al Ewing does a good job writing these characters and bringing us into this domain in Battleworld, although as mentioned the pacing was a little slow.  I’ve always enjoyed Alan Davis’ art, and he doesn’t disappoint in this book, giving me exactly what I would expect from his work.

I am looking forward to the second issue of this story and I am very eager to see more of Mondo City and the Bosses who make it up (and I hope others catch the similarities to another known comic character that Mondo City seems to be based on).  I really enjoyed Captain Britain, even though I am not familiar with this character and look forward to seeing more from her.  I only wish this title wasn’t only 2 issues long, and allow more time to flesh this story out.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Alan Davis
Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read