Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Coming of Age

The end of Defenders #16 left five members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants transformed into infants. Yet when the evil mutant Blob next faced the Defenders (#63), he was an adult again. What happened to the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in the time in between?

Following his transformation into an infant, Magneto went in captivity at the mutant-research facility on Muir Island, off the coast of Scotland. When the villain Eric the Red used an energy ray to restore him to adulthood, the master of magnetism broke free (X-Men #104).

Held inside a neighboring cell, other members of the Brotherhood inadvertently returned to adulthood as well. But they did not rejoin Magneto. Instead, Blob, Lorelei, and Unus teamed up with Vanisher, who concocted a plot to keep them free (Champions #17).

Chased by a trio of mutant-hunting Sentinels (secretly controlled by Vanisher), the escaped members of the Brotherhood sought refuge in headquarters of the Champions. Since Angel and Iceman of the original X-Men were members of the Los Angeles super-team, Vanisher gambled that the Champions would sympathize with their fellow mutants and agree to harbor them.

The first part of the plan paid off beautifully, as Black Widow, Hercules, Ghost Rider, Angel, Iceman, and Darkstar trounced the Sentinel robots. But instead of taking in the evil mutants, the Champions captured the band of criminals.

Mastermind, a founding member of the Brotherhood who too became an infant in Defenders #16, did not regroup with his teammates in Champions #17. But the master of illusions must have returned to his true age with the others, as he would become the lynchpin in the Dark Phoenix saga in the pages of the X-Men.

Champions. Vol. 1. No. 17. January 1978. Bill Mantlo (writer), George Tuska (artist), John Byrne (embellisher), John Costanza (letterer), Phil Rachelson (colorist), Archie Goodwin (editor). This was the last issue of the Champions series.


Don Hudson said...

How do you feel about "The Secret Defenders?" It featured a different Non-Team with every storyline.

james said...

I see the Secret Defenders as separate from the original Defenders/New Defenders rather than a continuation of the earlier series. As a result, I haven't covered the Secret Defenders here.

Don Hudson said...

Got it. Pity tho.

james said...

Don, I should add that I liked your work on the Secret Defenders. Down the road, I could see giving the series some coverage.

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