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Monday, May 5, 2008

Defenders Dialogue: DeMatteis

Remember when comic books used to print letters to the editor? Here's one from the "Defenders Dialogue" letters page in Defenders #112 that aptly captured the direction of the series, along with the general demeanor of the Hulk.

Dear Editor,

A few months ago, I was driving through a lonely stretch of Nevada highway, when I was suddenly forced to stop for a hitchhiker. I mean, this guy was big and green and there was no way I was gonna refuse to stop, y'know?

Anyways, with my new passenger weighing down his side of the van, I tried to make conversation … just to be friendly, y'know? I got to asking him about THE DEFENDERS comic … bad move! After calling them "puny humans" which didn't make me feel any-too secure, he added that they were "dumb" and that they fight "magicians and devil beings all the time."

I considered pointing out to "big green" that, as strange as the stories may be, they are a welcome relief from the standard super hero fare we get each month. But I thought better of signing my death warrant since, obviously, this guy disliked THE DEFENDERS with a passion that bordered on mania.

Well, my hitchhiker grunted something about getting out in upstate Arizona and I watched, incredulous, as he jumped—yes, jumped—right into the air with a single bound! This was the last that I saw of that hulking passenger, and I hope I never see him again. But once I had a chance to relax, I began to wonder: Can J.M. DeMatteis write a normal super hero story?

The Fantasy Farmer
Rumford, ME

Here was the reply:

The really big question is, F.F.—would he ever want to?

Defenders #112, incidentally, began a powerful storyline involving a world conquerer known as the Over-Mind. J.M. DeMatteis wrote the Defenders from issue #92 to #131.
Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 112. October 1982. "Strange Visitor from Another Planet!" DeMatteis (scripter), Perlin (penciler), Gustovich (inker), Leferman (letterer), Roussos (colorist), Milgrom (editor), Shooter (editor-in-chief).

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