This is a weird situation, clearly Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders is supposed to be a takeoff of the Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, but I’m going to review this one first and the other one next week. Don’t ask me why, it just happened that way. Just accept it and move on.
So is this 2-issue mini any good, judging it as a stand alone title? Let’s find out.
Following some flashbacks that are played off as dreams, we see that in the Battleworld city of Yinsen, Tony Stark sent his medical doctor friend off in the Iron Man suit, choosing to sacrifice himself instead of the other way around. But it’s all a dream and Yinsen has taken the Iron Man technology, created Rescue (instead of Pepper Potts) and has created a utopian city where no one is sick and everyone lives in harmony with nature. But when a mysterious stranger arrives, causing many of the inhabitants to have memories of life before Battleworld, God Doom allows the next door city to invade and teach them a lesson.
This is a weird comic, sorry. That’s not weird in a bad way, just weird in a… um… weird way. As I said, it’s playing off of another series to a large degree but as I have to review this on its own, I don’t know how much I can say. Writer Al Ewing isn’t taking it all that seriously, he’s crafted an evil city next door that is a clear twist on Judge Dredd and his world of the future that comes crashing in to take over, but it isn’t for conquest, it’s to provide a better world for their citizens and in that, I suppose it is admirable to some degree. There really are no bad guys here, just two sides that have to learn to get along.
The only really bad part here is the length of the comic, two issues is not nearly enough time to adequately explore the situation, which is why it all wraps up conveniently in just a few pages. You never really have a chance to get invested in the characters, beyond the obvious issues that nothing in Secret Wars really has any lasting impact anyhow. Baron Yinsen dies! Okay… so what? We knew him for a handful of pages anyhow. Our Defenders are captured! Big deal. There really are few consequences and the ending battle is fairly uninteresting, it all just falls into place without much trouble, Captain Britain and the Mondo City Boss fight for a few frames before they give up and decide to be friends. The end.
This could have played out into a much longer mini-series, at least 5-6 issues and the fights might have meant something. At two issues, there’s no build-up, no time to get to know the characters and no reason to really be concerned what happens to them. It’s a cute setting, the art is fun, but in the end, it really means nothing and that’s the problem.