Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Riddle Me This...

Here's a lighthearted ad for the New Defenders that appeared the back cover of Marvel Age #7 (October 1983).

In retrospect the riddle reads like a trick question, of course, since more than two mutants formed the New Defenders. But there may have been sound reasons to frame the question that way.

With more-or-less symmetry, the ad used only images on the front cover of Defenders #124, which was on sale that same month. And only two of the heroes spotlighted on that cover were mutants.

Even so, the puzzle continues...

QUESTION: Why were Angel, Beast, Valkyrie, and Gargoyle the only New Defenders pictured on the cover of Defenders #124?


Luis Olavo Dantas said...

Part of the reason is because they weren't yet the _New_ Defenders. That arrangement only came to be at the tailing end of #125, after all.

james said...

Thanks, Luis.

I had added that last question in the post about the cover somewhat rhetorically—not sure if anyone would take a stab at an explanation. So you get credit for the being the first person to respond.

Here are some additional notes. Even though Angel was on the cover of Defenders #124, he was not a Defender at that time.

Whereas Iceman began adventuring with the non-team after his arrival in #122, Angel didn't join them both until #125 (the same issue Moondragon arrived as Valkyrie's prisoner).

Ultimately, I see Angel's appearance on the cover of #124 as a partial teaser about the direction the team was headed. The closing page of #124 included a future-forward image of all six heroes who would form the New Defenders at the end of #125.

~P~ said...

I'm going to take a stab and say that a matter of juxtaposition and balance was in play.

The DEFENDERS, for the most part, in the minds of most, were the "big 4" (as seen in the corner box), so a new 4 would comfortably fill the niche.

Of course, anyone who read the Defenders issues during that time know that there was a heck of a lot more going on than just the "big 4" (since Valkyrie was a long-term member already, as well as Gargoyle, Hellcat and others).

Of course, the real answer is probably that this cover image was all the production department had to work with at the time.


Doc Savage said...

The letters page in #128 specifically states that the inclusion of Angel and Valkyrie on the cover of #124 was a teaser of the change starting in #125. The editors were well aware those two weren't even in the story in #124. Great classic cover.

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