THE DEFENDERS (2017) ISSUE #6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Color Artist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Diamondback has already escaped and the Defenders failed to locate him. But the same can’t be said for the Black Cat, who came home to find him waiting for her.
What You Need To Know:
The Defenders managed to capture both the Punisher and Diamondback who were handed over to the police. Both were being transported in the same armored vehicle, but a strange explosion freed Diamondback, who left the Punisher bound inside the vehicle’s wreckage.
Our heroes split up to find him but all failed. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage met with a “facilitator” named Raindrop Lily, who refused to help them. Iron Fist and Daredevil investigated one of Fist’s local offices that had been destroyed. They had no luck finding Diamondback, but Daredevil did catch a whiff of an old friend, Elektra Natchios.
Black Cat returned to her home to find Diamondback waiting for her. After a brief and unfriendly discussion, Diamondback shot her through the torso. Fatally?
What You’ll Find Out:
Diamondback stands in an alleyway looking at 5 red pills in his palm, different than the blue pills he’s been selling, but they have the same picture of a diamond on them. He eats the pills and his body and eyes glow red as he gets “jacked up” (in his words.) It’s unclear whether or not these pills have been the source of his strength the entire time, but it would be a safe guess. Just as he jacks up he is attacked by the Black Cat, who slices his neck. Diamondback responds by throwing her half a block away.
As she lands, we get a look at the gunshot wound by Diamondback in her torso. Luckily, Daredevil and Iron Fist show up just in time to stop the killing blow. A fight ensues which Diamondback appears to be winning. The fight is interrupted as headlights shine on the three of them. A car driven by Jessica Jones and Luke Cage plows into Diamondback. Cage and Jones exit and for the first time, all four Defenders are together in the fight against him. Luke Cage, who has a score to settle, beats Diamondback to a pulp then picks up Jones’ car and smashes him with it. Iron Fist tends to Black Cat who is still lying nearby. The attorney, Daredevil, cheapens the victory by telling them the courts will toss the trial.
Next, we see the pretrial of Willis Stryker (Diamondback) where the defense attorney proves Daredevil’s point. The defending attorney pitches that Diamondback is a victim of brutality at the hands of the Defenders. The Judge decides that the case will go to trial and Diamondback will be held on a bail.
We then see the Black Cat in the hospital, being guarded by the police. Ben Urich shows up to inform the police that Diamondback has already made bail. We also hear that there is a gang war coming.
We then move on to the best moment of the issue, Jessica Jones has invited a friend to ask for help, and his name is… DEADPOOL! That’s right, Jones needs assistance with the inevitable gang war and she asks Deadpool to help. Deadpool even ends with a reference from the TV show “Parks and Recreation!” “Rob Lowe Voice: That is LITERALLY the best offer I have had in the last 19 pages.”
In the final scene of the issue, we see Diamondback in a darkened room speaking with someone. It turns out that his goons in issue #3 were right, he is not working alone…
What Just Happened:
Up until this issue, the Defenders had not fought Diamondback as a complete group. They had fought him either alone and with a few of them together. This was the first time we saw them fight as a true team, and the result was Diamondback laying underneath a car after an amazing fight.
Through this series, the Defenders did not act very much like a team. They got along and worked together but it seemed like every time one of them knew where Diamondback was, they just ran off to fight him. Even when more than one fought him at once, the others showed up separately. This issue really made it look like they finally became the Defenders.
Although they had a victorious battle against Diamondback, the fact remains that not much was accomplished in this issue. The Black Cat got gravely injured and Diamondback ended up back on the streets anyway. I feel like the victory here was the Defenders not just working together as a team but finally decided to fight as one.
Of all of the brief visits by other heroes in this series, Deadpool is not only the coolest but also the one that has the most promise of returning. I am very excited to see if he assists with the gang war.
So far, this series has been incredible. So many questions remain like: How did Diamondback die and how has he returned? What is this mystery drug? What are the pills giving Diamondback superpowers?
Final Thoughts: This issue was an excellent mini climax for the series, I cannot wait to see what comes next!