The Defenders Fansite

Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dog Days

Canine characters were a recurring theme among the Defenders.

As Beast began to consider himself a mainstay member of the group, he decided to get a pet dog. Introduced in Defenders #122, Sassafrass would remain a loyal companion and provide (unnecessary) comic relief throughout the run of the New Defenders.

Determined to stop ex-wife Patsy Walker (a.k.a. Hellcat) from marrying Daimon Hellstrom, Buzz Baxter assumed the criminal identity of Mad-Dog (#125).

The hero Red Wolf helped the New Defenders on one occasion. Although Beast indirectly asked Red Wolf to become a regular member of the team, Red Wolf's strong ties to Cheyenne nation prevented him from uprooting (#139).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Love and Hate

Visiting her hometown of Centerville, New Jersey, was painful for Patsy Walker. Aunt Sofia complained that adventuring as Hellcat and marrying Daimon Hellstrom had tainted the image of Patsy Walker that previously appeared in comic books. Childhood friend Hedy Wolfe was unceasingly sarcastic, and neighbors threw a brick through a window to drive Patsy and Daimon out of town (Marvel Fanfare #59).

Much of the hostility toward Patsy came from a misperception that the super-heroine now looked down on her Centerville roots. She rectified the situation at a press conference near the end of her visit.

Marvel Fanfare. Vol. 1. No. 59. October 1991. "The Town and Patsy Walker!" Richard Howell (script, pencils, letters, and colors), Al Milgrom (inks and edits), Tom De Falco (editor-in-chief). Admiringly dedicated to that "prize" pair Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
The back cover of the issue pictured a genre-appropriate cover titled Marvel Romance.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Silver Lining

Members of the Defenders with a solid white appearance had extraterrestrial origins and began as reluctant villains. This held true for Silver Surfer as well as Cloud.

Moon Knight was more a friend of the Defenders than an actual member. But he, too, had an all-white costume with an astronomical motif.

Beneath his frozen armor, Iceman's actual costume consisted of a pair of light blue shorts and boots during his time with the New Defenders. This image of comes from New Defenders #132.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Purple Problems

Hulk and Gargoyle, the two Defenders with the most monstrous appearances, both wore purple.

Other heroes who wore purple had only temporary membership in the Defenders. Clea was the apprentice to Dr. Strange but seldom adventured with the non-team. Andromeda so idolized Sub-Mariner that she joined the New Defenders—just barely before the group disbanded.

Hawkeye, too, wore prominently purple. His short-term stay with the Defenders served largely to create conflict with the Avengers during an eight-issue crossover event among the two teams (Avengers #115-118; Defenders #8-11).

Jealous over the relationship between the Scarlet Witch and Vision, Hawkeye had resigned in Avengers #109 but would later rejoin.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Green with Antipathy

Hulk's skin. Prince Namor's swim trunks. Moondragon's costume. Among the Defenders, the color green was inherently suspect. Heroes in green had a tendency to change sides and turn on their allies.

Underlying the dualism of each of these green-clad characters was a recurring frustration with puny humans, surface dwellers, or mere mortals. Through this lens, it's not surprising that the New Defenders refused to let Frog-Man join their team (New Defenders #131).

Perfectionistic to a fault, Moondragon long considered herself morally beyond reproach (Avengers #149; #211; #219-220). When Odin felt Moondragon finally learned humility, he removed the headband that limited her powers (New Defenders #139). Within comics, changing costumes often symbolizes a change of heart. True to form, Moondragon temporarily replaced her green costume with a black-and-white costume (#140).

But the lesson of humility was short-lived, as Moondragon ultimately betrayed her teammates just the same.

This image comes from New Defenders #128.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Orange and the Occult

The color orange carried a unique subtext among the Defenders. Devil-Slayer and Gargoyle, the two Defenders with unmistakable amounts of orange in their appearance, both had origin stories tied to the occult—and both were intent on battling demons.

Daimon Hellstrom, the begrudging Son of Satan, had similarly colored hair when he made his debut in Marvel Spotlight #12.

Although Hellstrom appeared blond in Marvel Spotlight #13-19, his hair color was consistently red (a.k.a. orange) from that point on, including his appearances with the Defenders.

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