The Defenders Fansite

Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Flag Waving

The baron of Yinsen City was dead. Hostile invaders from Mondo City were invading the utopian metropolis, and the Defenders were all-but stripped of their powers.

Only through the diplomacy of outsider Captain Britain (Dr. Faiza Hussain) did the two domains achieve a state of peace (Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2).

Out of appreciation, the Defenders gave Captain Britain a flag, with a design drawn out of their own fragmented memories. Yet the heroes had no clear recollection of Great Britain or the symbolism of the British flag.

Captain Britain: … Right now we all get to decide what it means.

Had their memories been intact, the heroes might have known that the flag of Britain combined the red cross of St. George (patron saint of England), the white saltire of St. Andrew (patron saint of Scotland), and the red saltire of St. Patrick (patron saint of Ireland). Each of these saints is steeped in lore, such as the legend of St. George slaying the dragon and the legend of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland.

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders. No. 2. October 2015. "… And Mine Is a Faith in My Fellow Man." Al Ewing (writer), Alan Davis (penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist).

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Mighty Defenders

The multiverse was destroyed!

The heroes of Earth-616 and Earth-1610 were powerless to save it!

Now, all that remains is Battleworld!

A massive, patchwork planet composed of the fragments of worlds that no longer exist, maintained by the iron will of its god and master, Victor von Doom!

Each region is a domain unto itself!

Something was amiss in Yinsen City well before a costumed figure called Captain Britain illegally entered the walled metropolis. Like Captain Britain (Dr. Faiza Hussain), the Defenders who protected that domain had vivid dreams that they were in fact following in the footsteps of deceased heroes (Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1).

Spider Hero (Hobie Brown), for example, had a vision that he gave up his pervious guise as the Prowler following the death of the original Spider-Man (Peter Parker).

Rescue (Ho Yinsen, baron of the city), dreamt that he had invented his suit of technological armor with a dying Tony Stark. (In the original Marvel continuity, it was Yinsen who died after helping Stark build his Iron Man armor in Tales of Suspense #39.)

Other Defenders in this timeline included Kid Rescue (Antonia Yinsen, the baron's daughter), White Tiger (Ava Ayala), and She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters). Also the Thor if this domain, She-Hulk carried a gavel instead of a hammer (suggesting her former career as an attorney).

As an aside, Prowler and the original White Tiger (Hector Ayala) were both Defenders for a Day.

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders. No. 1. September 2015. "Theres Is a Land with a Wall Around It …" Al Ewing (writer), Alan Davis (penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist).

Monday, July 20, 2015

Defenders of the Earth

When Marvel launched Star Comics in the 1980s to appeal to young readers, one of the titles added to the imprint was Defenders of the Earth. The short-lived series reintroduced several characters who originally appeared in newspaper comic-strips during the 1930s.

  • Flash Gordon, a football hero turned space adventurer. His classic nemesis, Ming the Merciless, became the overarching enemy of the Defenders of the Earth.
  • Mandrake the Magician, a mentalist with hypnotic and illusion-casting abilities. An updated version of his colleague Lothar fought alongside the heroic team as well.
  • The Phantom, an athletic jungle adventurer rumored to be an immortal ghost.

Like other Star Comics, Defenders of the Earth took place outside of the the mainline Marvel Universe. But Mandrake and the Phantom certainly would have meshed well with the Defenders non-team.

Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work for Bob McCoy (son of Wilson McCoy, one of the early illustrators of the Phantom). Bob told stories of modeling adventurous poses as a youth, so his father would have a point of reference when he drew the comic strip.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Not According to Plan

One of the X-men's earliest enemies was an extraterrestrial known as Lucifer (no relation to Daimon Hellstrom). But the antagonistic alien vanished into obscurity after his appearance in Captain America #178 (Oct. 1974).

Dominus, another agent from Lucifer's homeworld, later set out to conquer Earth. Establishing his base of operations in the Arizona desert, Dominus prepared to encounter the New Defenders (including three of the original X-Men who had battled Lucifer).

Dominus also anticipated fighting the Rangers, who had formed by answering a distress call intended for the Avengers in The Incredible Hulk #265 (Nov. 1981).

The would-be conquerer ultimately suffered defeat in West Coast Avengers #24 (Sept. 1987). In their defense, however, the New Defenders were no longer a team by that point and the Rangers were rather loosely organized to begin with—as suggested with Red Wolf's guest appearance in New Defenders #139 (Jan. 1985).

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