Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bearing a Resemblance

While looking through back issues in my collection, I noticed that the covers of Avengers #169 (March 1977) and Uncanny X-Men #139 (November 1980) bear a resemblance to one another. Each cover shows members of the respective teams facing three threats—with a polar bear in the upper right of both covers. In all transparency, the polar bear on the X-Men cover is actually the shapeshifting hero Snowbird of Alpha Flight.

In addition to defeating an actual polar bear in the Arctic Circle, Black Panther impresses his fellow Avengers by providing the final answer on a challenging crossword puzzle. A twelve-letter word that means "producing sweat"? Sudoriferous!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Most Startling Non-Group in Comics History!

This ad for The Defenders appeared at the bottom of the letters page of Daredevil #150 (January 1978).

Published the same month as Defenders #55, the ad pictured Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Hulk, and Hellcat, who would remain core members of the team for the next few years.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


The latest comic book series of the Defenders—chronicling Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist's crusade against organized crime—concluded with Defenders #10.

Making a cameo appearance that issue, Hellcat noted that she remembered every detail of Reed Richards and Sue Storm's wedding yet at times had forgotten events that actually had happened to her. That remark was telling. In a serialized medium with decades of history—and, by the nature of the work, revamped continuity—only so many comic book stories have a lasting impact on the characters or the storytelling universe. Over the years, not every published issue remains key to the ongoing narrative.

On a related note, it's getting hard to keep track of every Defenders relaunch attempted over the last ten years, when I began writing this blog; I don't begin to predict what versions of the team might appear in the future. In the meantime, this blog provides me with space to continue reflecting on their past.

Brian Michael Bendis wrote Defenders #10 (April 2018).

Saturday, March 10, 2018


When I recently purchased Marvel Treasury Edition #16, I wondered if the collection included Defenders #25 because of the similarity between the two covers—but that appears to be a coincidence.

Rather, the treasury reprinted Marvel Feature #1, Defenders #4, and Defenders #13-14 in an oversized format.

Marvel Treasury Edition #16 (1978) also contained a pin-up of Nighthawk's ranch and two-page image from Defenders #50, picturing characters who did not appear in the four collected issues.

The Defenders previously guest-starred with Howard the Duck in Marvel Treasury Edition #12.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Daredevil Meets Power Man & Iron Fist

The cover may have said Daredevil … Meets Power Man & Iron Fist, but Daredevil #178 (January 1982) wasn't the first time they made each other's acquaintance.

Power Man met Daredevil in Defenders #24 (June 1975).

All three heroes worked together in Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 (1981).

Daredevil #178 was, however, the first of a two-part crossover that continued in Power Man & Iron Fist #77 (January 1982).

Interestingly, when Iron Fist and Daredevil later faced one another in Contest of Champions #2 (July 1982), Iron Fist introduced himself as though they had never met—or as if Iron Fist knew that Daredevil's radar sense enabled the blind hero to detect a silhouette but not see the details of someone's costume.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Return of Over-Mind

Upon the destruction of their homeworld (a.k.a. Earth-S), the surviving members of the Squadron Supreme escaped to the dimension where most of Marvel's superhero comics take place.

The Squadron's arrival had an unusual effect on Over-Mind, who had once enslaved the team (Defenders #113).

Although six psychics collectively known as the Chorus had subdued Over-Mind, he returned to his original personality of the warlord Grom and soon regained mental control of the Squadron Supreme (Quasar #13-14).

The mysterious Stranger, a former enemy of Over-Mind, intervened to stop the powerful foe yet again. Numerous members of the Watchers witnessed the battle, as did the admittedly outclassed hello called Quasar (#15-16).

Mark Gruenwald wrote Quasar #13-16 (August-November 1990). Mike Manley penciled those issues.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Continued in Quasar

Quasar may have been a Defender for only a day (back when he was still called Marvel Man), but several story lines from the original run of the Defenders continued in Quasar's solo series, which took the hero into the far reaches of the cosmos.

Quasar #19, for example, unexpectedly brought back Gargoyle—one of several heroes who appeared to die in New Defenders #152 but later returned.

Quasar #19-20 also featured Red Guardian and Presence, who left Earth in Defenders #56 and were last seen in The Incredible Hulk #258-59.

Mark Gruenwald wrote Quasar #19-20 (February-March 1991). Greg Capullo penciled both issues.

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