Writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Kevin Maguire
Publisher: Marvel Comics
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"
The hilarious interaction between the various members of the Defenders would easily be the highlight of this miniseries if it wasn't for the back and forth sibling rivalry between Dormammu and Umar. An example of the former can be found when Namor tells us why he hates Doctor Strange (he also shouts declarations to himself whenever he does anything remotely magical), followed later on in the book with Namor and Strange being held captive – cue Strange doing exactly what Namor detests. Another highlight is the Hulk’s encounter with Dormammu, which has a priceless payoff. The Silver Surfer doesn’t miss out either; his attempts to find spiritual enlightenment in a community of surfers is an inspired, but never mean-spirited, satire.
"May Tomorrow Be A Perfect Disaster"
Giffen and DeMatteis have turned Dormammu and Umar into Marvel’s funniest duos, using the pair to poke fun at a number of clichéd plot devices that super-villains forever engage in. The two of them feud over how to deal with the Hulk, their brother/sister dynamic being perfectly encapsulated when he tries to get her to repeat what she just said. The running gag where Umar has to continually insert herself into Dormammu's self-centred villainous rants remains funny; finally, the last two pages have to be the best writing Giffen and DeMatteis have ever done.
"The Hulk's not so Happy Ending"
Kevin Maguire's art presents a few curious moment: for example, when the Hulk is overwhelmed by the Mindless Ones, he has such a strange facial expression that I wondered just where they were grabbing him. However, Maguire is on his game most of the time, projecting emotion from Dormammu even though his head is encased in flames, and the personalities of the characters come through via their body language rather than relying purely on their words. The cover does go overboard when it comes to the veins in the Hulk's neck though.
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