The Defenders Fansite

Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

ABC's of Law

The Defenders legal drama of the 1960s inspired a short-lived comic book series by Dell Publishing based on the CBS television show. The inside front cover of #1 (September-November 1962) included these four legal definitions.

Alimony—Allowance for support, ordered by a court, which a husband pays to his wife if she is not living with him. Alimony ceases with the death of the husband.

Barratry—A wilful and unlawful act committed by the master of mariners of a ship, as a result of which the owners of the vessel sustain loss or injury.

Corpus-Delciti—Literally, "the body of the crime". While it is commonly thought to refer to a corpse, the term actually means the existence of the essential fact which proves the commission of a crime … such as finding stolen goods on the person of an alleged thief.

Deforcement—The act of withholding property to which another person holds the rights, but of which he cannot gain possession.

The above image appeared with the definition of Barratry in Defenders #1.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Master of the Martial Arts

A crossover event that spanned Defenders #8-11 and Avengers #115-118 caused the two teams to clash in a series of skirmishes.

One of the biggest surprises in the multi-part story came when Black Panther and Mantis teamed up against Dr. Strange.

While facing the two Avengers, Dr. Strange revealed that his studies in the Himalayas included not only the mystic arts but also the martial arts (Defenders #9).

Although Dr. Strange held his own in physical combat remarkably well, he eventually defeated Black Panther and Mantis with these magic words.

In the exalted name of the eternal Vshanti--
And other gods beyond and below--
Let the strength and cunning of these, my enemies--
--from their mortal bodies flow!

The above image of Mantis and Black Panther comes from Defenders #9 (Vol. 1).

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Trick Arrows

Soon after joining the non-team in Defenders #7, Hawkeye upgraded his assortment of trick arrows. The master archer got to show off his new arsenal in #9, during crossover event that pitted the Defenders against the Avengers.

At the beginning of one clash, Hawkeye used an arrow with a boomerang effect to snatch from Iron Man's hand a fragment of the mystical Evil Eye that the two groups were competing to obtain.

Hawkeye then shot an explosive arrow that Iron Man identified as a "Blast Arrow" (although Hawkeye himself didn't use this term).

The archer's next two arrows, however, took Iron Man by surprise. One arrow released a burning acid that could melt through his armor. The other arrow was magnetic, pulling Iron Man's arm sideways as it flew by and thereby ruining his aim.

Hawkeye stayed with the Defenders through #11; it's indeterminate whether any of the other arrows he used as a member of the non-team had specialized effects.

The Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 9. October 1973. "Divide … and Conquer." Steve Englehart (author), Sal Buscema (artist), Frank McLaughlin (inker), Artie Simek (letterer), P. Goldberg (colorist), Roy Thomas (editor).

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Secret of Seraph

Introduced as a formidable operative of the Secret Empire, Seraph led a mission to kidnap the Vision in Defenders #123. Yet in a surprising turn of events, Seraph then helped the Defenders defeat the Secret Empire in #129-130. Here, Seraph revealed herself to be a Soviet agent who had infiltrated the Secret Empire to thwart the criminal organization's plot to manipulate the United States and Soviet Union into starting the next world war.

While undercover, however, Seraph had used her psionic powers to give Cloud false memories that the Secret Empire had killed her parents, turning Cloud's loyalty away from the Secret Empire and to the side of the Defenders. Cloud's complicated true past remained unknown until #149-150.

This panel of Seraph comes from New Defenders #130.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Best Defense

I am happy to see that plans are underway for the formative members of the Defenders to regroup later this year. Promotional images feature Hulk, Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer, and Dr. Strange.

The most recent comic book version of the Defenders ended at #10 with Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage re-establishing Heroes for Hire. This should help readers differentiate the two teams.

I recognize of course that viewers of the recent Netflix series will continue to identify the Heroes for Hire and Daredevil as the Defenders even as the comic books veer another direction.

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