Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Cover: David Marquez & Justin Ponsor
The battle to decide Hell’s Kitchen’s fate is on the Defenders are united and one the same page. In their way is the Hood taking over for the defeated Diamondback who has his own endgame…
The final issue starts at a slower pace with the Hood talking to Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin the newly elected mayor. The Hood is saying he is vying for control for of Hell’s Kitchen and that he and the Kingpin should work together. The conversation though is mostly one sided as Kingpin is mostly listening while the Hood lays his plans out. We flash to the Defenders members killing time in their own special ways. We even get a glimpse of a special character making his debut in this issue who seems to be working with them. It then cuts to Misty Knight talking to Felicia Hardy aka the Black Cat while in prison. They’re talking about her doing time and Felicia mentions bringing the Hood in working with Knight and her people. We see the Hood next without the Hood on being attacked by the all of the heroes in rapid succession. After being defeated the Hood springs an explosive trap almost killing the protagonists. We then see him talking to several villains explaining his master plan. The Hood was going to have territory divided into several regions controlled by the table of villains answerable only to him. Everyone was to be called “The Kingpin”. This would be a startling departure from Fisk’s reign as the Kingpin where only he had the title. The villain collective would all be the Kingpin of their own territory and the Hood brought Hammerhead in as proof that not even death could stop them. Hammerhead was “Killed” by Diamondback in an earlier issue. While talking the Defenders show up issuing a warning to the villains that they WILL stop them if this plan goes forward. After being challenged by the Hood we see the Defenders with a lot of heroes at their side showing the forces of good are united just as much as the forces of evil.
I wasn’t overly impressed with this issue for a finale. I’m sure I can’t hang it all on the writing team 100% as this was a story Marvel ended up canceling for w/e reason. I just hate when companies cancel good titles and it seems to me Marvel does it more. Had this not been cancelled we could have got a considerable run from the Hood as a villain and it would have been something to see the Defenders and the Heroes fight to win the territory back from the collective Kingpins that the Hood envisioned. Otherwise yeah I was disappointed the last panels show the heroes there but no final battle. I think the execution could have been better. I liked the talk between Hood and Kingpin though. I liked the changing of the guard but Fisk being apprehensive because he is used to ruling with no equal.