"The Last Defenders"
"Destiny Falls" The Last Defenders 1 (2008)
"The Breaks" The Last Defenders 2 (2008)
"The Movement You Need" The Last Defenders 3 (2008)
"What Means Everything" The Last Defenders 4 (2008)
"Old Ghosts" The Last Defenders 5 (2008)
"Violent Evolution" The Last Defenders 6 (2008)
Reader Rating: Above Average
Summary: Desperate to reform The Defenders as part of the Initiative, Nighthawk accepts leadership of the New Jersey team assembled by Iron Man: Blazing Skull, Colossus and She-Hulk. This team destroys a casino while battling the Sons of the Serpent and a manifestation of the god Quetzalcoatl and is disbanded by Iron Man forthwith.
But when Nighthawk discovers that his protoge, Joaquin Pennysworth, is being held by the Serpents, he hires his own team: Atlas, Junta and Paladin, who end up in battle with robotic Quintronic Men. After mixing it up briefly with a genetically-enhanced Krang, this team is rousted by the Avengers (The Sentry, Wonder Man and the Wasp).
Under the Registration Act, Richmond is stripped permanently of his Nighthawk identity -- at which point he is sucked through time by the Recorder to a meeting with Yandroth at the Omegatron. Here, Yandroth babbles about destiny and quantum manipulation of time, then generates a zombie version of the Squadron Sinister (Hyperion, Doc Spectrum and The Whizzer).
Kyle is bailed out by the arrival of The Last Defenders: She-Hulk, Krang, The Son of Satan and Pennysworth as a new Nighthawk. Yandroth claims that "The Last Defenders are reality's greatest hope...they are also its greatest liability. And the race is on to see which will be exploited first."
With appearances from the Ancient One, Dr. Strange, Hellcat, Henry Gyrich and the Scorcher.
Continuity: Dialogue reveals that "Hammond brought [Erik] out of [his] coma, but they wouldn't place [him] on a team" because his "size changing was still too unreliable." Richmond gives up his Nighthawk identify, apparently for good, but takes on a new role as financial backer for the Last Defenders. The Whizzer that appears here is a soulless construct, and definitely not our Jim Sanders.
Comments: Solid, rousing comic-book action with some amusing characterizations and a full-to-the-brim plot. I just wish it could have been delivered with less elliptical dialogue and without elevating a second-string villain like Yandroth to deus ex machina status.
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This page was revised on January 3, 2009
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