Shout out to no one in particular, since i'm probably the last comics reader to see Defenders 1 - can't remember the last time i enjoyed a new Marvel miniseries this much! Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire would have a tough time actually 'desecrating' a book like the Defenders, but the delight is the updated, savvy approach combined with real fidelity to the giant size characters in the original team.
i won't do the page-by-page, because Neilalien did a great job here. Lucky for me my brain is like a sieve lately, and i forgot his comments while reading/laughing out loud at this book. Kevin Maguire's attention to detail in expressions and layouts gives new readers insight into characters, and adds depth for old Defenders hands. Umar's makeover is quite wonderful, and Dormammu hasn't looked this fine since Steve Ditko drew him. Each drawing of Doc and Namor is packed with energy and humor. Every talent seems to be working full tilt, and the colors by Chris Sotomayer and lettering by Dave Sharpe add so much shading and dimension to the storytelling. Team assembly over, on with the story - i can hardly wait!
As a pretty big Silver Surfer fan, i wasn't offended in the least by Doc's Surfer flashback. But then, the Silver Surfer has always seemed constructed from archetypal 60's hipster questing. The real joke is that he took this long to catch a wave. Oh, and in the wow-i'm-getting-old department: i actually remembered Giganto!