The Defenders Fansite

Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Defenders of the Deep

The latest run of the Avengers introduced a new team of underwater adversaries called the Defenders of the Deep. Sub-Mariner formed the super-group to enforce his longstanding demand that humans steer clear of the ocean (Avengers #9-10).

Most members of the Defenders of the Deep were established criminals, including Tiger Shark, Orca, King Crab, Manowar, Echidna, the Piranhas, and Bloodtide (a.k.a. Water Witch). The exception was the heroic Andromeda, whose Atlantean partisanship fueled her involvement with the group.

Aside from a fondness for the word Defenders, this configuration of denizens from the deep had no substantive ties to the original non-team of Defenders that Sub-Mariner helped found or the New Defenders that Andromeda later joined.

This image of the Defenders of the Deep comes from Avengers #9 (December 2018).

Monday, October 29, 2018


Dr. Strange #29 began with a telephone call from Yellowjacket describing how a statue of the Black Knight had seemingly come to life (Avengers #157). The phone conversation was a subtle reminder that Yellowjacket had worked alongside the Defenders during a break from the Avengers.

As soon as the call ended, Nighthawk arrived at the Sanctum Sanctorum with an unrelated request for help investigating the mysterious death of a research scientist with ties to Richmond Enterprises. The investigation led Nighthawk and Dr. Strange into battle against the nefarious Death-Stalker.

The most dramatic part of the story came, however, when Clea offered to accompany Nighthawk and Dr. Strange … and Dr. Strange insisted she stay home instead. Clea had successfully worked with the Defenders, so why prevent her from participating in this mission? Was Dr. Strange overly protective of Clea because she was his apprentice? Or because they were romantically involved?

Or were his motives selfishly driven? Was Dr. Strange afraid that Clea might eventually outshine him as a sorcerer? Did he fear that Clea would leave him once her mystical training was through? Either way, the unequal footing within the relationship was driving Clea away.

Dr. Strange. Vol. 1. No. 29. June 1978. "He Who Stalks!" Roger Stern (writer), Tom Sutton (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker), Annette K. (letterer), Petra G. (colorist), Archie Goodwin (editor).

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).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...