Synopsis: A strange and impossible lost memory from his days in World War II draws Namor the Sub-Mariner to his one-time compatriot Captain America — but the two heroes and their respective allies find themselves pulled into a labyrinth of pain, destruction and madness courtesy of the Infernal Ichor of Ish’lzog!
Review: The Avengers and The Defenders take on a mission involving the occult.
There’s a lot happening in this first issue, which involves a flashback to Captain America and Namor’s time in World War 2 when they both came face to face with a Nazi by the name of Obenfuhrer Akkult. In the flashback, Captain America gets angry and somehow transforms into the Hulk. In the present, a preoccupied Namor is teamed with Valkarie, The Hulk, The Human Torch and Doctor Strange as they take on Cyrus Black. Upon defeating Black and recovering the evil Ichor from him. The Defenders who are led by Dr. Strange head to Avengers HQ where they find Captain America and his team locked in combat against some robots and an out of control Vision.
When Namor asks Captain America about the mission in the second world war. He has no memory of it and the archives do not reveal anything either. Which confuses Namor given that his memory is usually pretty damn good.
The final page of the book reveals that the big villain of the piece is none other than Diablo who admits responsibility for The Vision losing his marbles, but could he also be culpable for the fake memory that is bothering Namor or could this memory be the real deal?
Paul Renaud does some great things with the artwork. Indeed the first few pages are absolutely brilliant. I loved the rather large panel featuring Obenfuhrer Akkult on his horse as he defiantly refuses to surrender insisting that his knowledge of magic is beyond reproach and will help him destroy all his enemies. There is no end of action beats in this issue and Renaud does a great job of bringing them to the page.
Overall. This is a strong opening issue, which throws us straight into the action and is very economical with dialogue so as not to bombard us all with tons of exposition. Alan Davis does a great job of voicing all the characters and I loved the back and forth with the Hulk and his other Defenders as they explained that he needs to subdue the zombies without hurting them because they are not in control of their actions. The Hulk’s disappointment at having to hold back on his standard rampage was a fairly amusing thread.
A solid first issue, which leaves us with an interesting cliffhanger, which could well lead to us seeing The Defenders facing off against Earth’s mightiest heroes in the new issue.