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Comic Book / Best Defense

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The OG Defenders

Best Defense is a 2018 series of five one-shots that connect together to form a larger story. Each issue is from the perspective of one of the original Defendersthe Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer.

The issues are:

  • The Immortal Hulk: The Best Defense #1
    • Written by Al Ewing, with art by Simone de Meo.
    • Bruce Banner finds the charred body of Stephen Strange in an abandoned barn outside of a deserted town. Intent on finding out who killed his friend — and where exactly the Eye of Agamotto went — Bruce knows that the only one he can rely on might be the Immortal Hulk.
  • Namor: The Best Defense #1
    • Written by Chip Zdarsky, with art by Carlos Magno.
    • The King of Atlantis, Namor, has declared war on the surface world, but with all his plans, he needs more allies. So he goes off in search of a lost hidden tribe of Atlanteans called the Vodani. But what he finds may end up causing more harm than good.
  • Doctor Strange: The Best Defense #1
    • Written by Gerry Duggan, with art by Greg Smallwood.
    • In a desolate wasteland, Stephen Strange carries on past the end of the world. Everything around him has turned to dust and ashes and all he's left with is what's in his bag. But perhaps that's enough...
  • Silver Surfer: The Best Defense #1
    • Written and illustrated by Jason Latour.
    • Sent on a mission by Galactus, Norrin Radd investigates the worlds about to be consumed by a cosmic Train and has to decide if there is anyone there worth saving.
  • The Defenders: The Best Defense #1
    • Written by Al Ewing, with art by Joe Bennett.
    • "The lost Atlanteans. The Train. The bedsheet man. Dead Steve. The Stock Exchange of Souls. Trust us, it all makes sense. In fact, it makes enough sense to destroy our entire solar system… Unless four very different heroes can come together to stop it."


Tropes included in The Best Defense:

  • Always a Bigger Fish: Doctor Strange tries getting Mephisto to remove the taint of the thing that's gotten into Immortal Hulk. Mephisto says he can't, whatever's in the Hulk is far more dangerous than he.
  • And I Must Scream: Future Strange winds up as a permanent "guest" of Mephisto, who gloats that no-one knows he's there, so no-one's coming to rescue him. And Strange is still planning his way out.
  • Apocalypse How: The Train will either collide with a world, destroying it, or it will drag the world behind it, strip mining it of every resource. And when those resources are gone, it will burn the world for fuel.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: For some reason, there is a person (or being) wearing a bedsheet who is stabbing aliens. Interludes showing him stabbing aliens have appeared in every one of the issues.
  • Body Horror: The creatures that attack old Doctor Strange in the ruins of the world. Every human is dead, so what, exactly, they are is unclear. Only that they serve Dormammu and want to eat Stephen.
  • The Bus Came Back: Nebulon, an old villain of Doctor Strange's from some time back, and is the one responsible for the Train coming to Earth.
  • The Chessmaster: Future Doctor Strange manages to manipulate a lot of people, Hulks, Namor, Heralds of Galactus and demons alike, to save the world.
  • Deal with the Devil: The People's Faces Eating Leopard-Demons plan to scam Mephisto.
  • Driving Question: Who killed Stephen Strange? What is the Train? How can you stop it?
  • Eyepatch of Power: The old Doctor Strange wears a piece of cloth wrapped around his head, as opposed to an actual eyepatch.
  • Eye Scream: The old Doctor Strange plucked out his own eye in order to restore the Eye of Agamotto.
  • Genre Shift: The first issue (Immortal Hulk) plays out like a mystery...and then the next issue (Namor) is a fantasy. The Doctor Strange issue is post-apocalypse, while the Silver Surfer issue is post-apocalyptic science fiction.
  • Horrifying the Horror: People's Faces Eating Leopard-Demons, meet Immortal / "Devil" Hulk. He kills and eats one, which causes the other to beg for his mom and run away.
  • Losing Your Head: The old Doctor Strange is carrying a bag around with him and whatever is inside talks back to him. It turns out that it's the Hulk's head.
  • Magic Eater: The old Stephen Strange has mystically altered the Hulk's head so that he no longer consumes gamma he eats magic. And Dormammu just gave him a feast.
  • Morph Weapon: During his journey the surfer kept his board rolled up.
  • Morton's Fork: The Silver Surfer is shown a world about to be consumed by Galactus. He is told he can save it if he finds one honest person, but when he looks into a small boy's future, he sees that the world is already the Train. So even if he saves it, it will be destroyed. He ends up letting Galactus consume it.
  • Shout Out:
    • The face-eating leopard demons are horrified at the turnabout Hulk inflicts on them, never expecting people would eat their faces. This references an old internet meme sardonically mocking people who vote in a candidate on campaign promises of disenfranchising a group of people, who are surprised that the same candidate doesn't care for their wellfare either under those same policies.
    • One of the panels in Silver Surfer: The Best Defense has what is clearly Bojack Horseman, drunk off his ass.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The old Doctor Strange arranges to go back in time, even knowing that doing so will kill him...but not his astral form, which can still talk to and interact with the Hulk.


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