Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Defenders at Fifty

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Marvel Feature #1 (Dec. 1971), the first appearance of the Defenders. While I enjoy many of their early stories, particularly Defenders #13-16, I'd select #89-138 as my favorite fifty-issue run on the original series.

Given those preferences, it should come as no surprise that I think the preview cover of an upcoming Defenders series looks promising. The image shows the mysterious Masked Raider prompting Dr. Strange to bring together a new team of Defenders. Depicted on Tarot cards, the prospects are largely heroes who were Defenders at one point or another during the original series, including several members of the New Defenders.

As a non-team throughout much of their history, the Defenders attracted mystics, monsters, and iconoclasts while never gaining the foothold of the Avengers, X-Men, or Fantastic Four. In the thirteen years that I've been blogging about the Defenders, I've lost track of the numerous attempts to revamp the team, from Iron Man's vision for the Last Defenders to Heroes for Hire adopting the name Defenders more recently. All that being said, I hope this upcoming incarnation, with its nod to the past, will have some staying power.


BK said...

I wonder if Marvel will do aanything else for the anniversary?

james said...

Marvel announced that this will be a 5-issue limited series, beginning in August 2021.

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