The Defenders Fansite

Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Reading with White Tiger

Of all the Defenders for a Day, White Tiger had the most recognizable dialogue, as the hero often incorporated Spanish words into his speech. This pattern was similar to the way the villain Batroc used French, as evidenced when the characters fought one another in Defenders #63-64.

When White Tiger appeared in Spidey Super Stories, his use of Spanish served as an educational tool, with footnotes translating each Spanish word into English. This editorial decision was in keeping with the "Easy Reader" intentions for the series.

Footnotes in Spidey Super Stories #57 (March 1982) told young readers that señor was Spanish for mister and amigo was Spanish for friend.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Avenging Angel

Warren Worthington III faced a crisis of conscience during a shocking chain of events that could put Hamlet to shame. At home visiting his parents, Warren accepted an invitation to go out on a date that evening. While out on the town with his date, Warren heard over the radio that two masked men had just murdered his father. In his costumed guise as Angel, Warren tracked down the killers and learned they were working for a criminal known as the Dazzler (Ka-Zar #2-3). After capturing Warren and his date, Dazzler revealed himself to be none other than Warren's uncle Burt (Marvel Tales #30). The family drama aside, Warren felt torn about his role as a crimefighter, as so much of humanity still regarded mutants like himself as freaks.

Even though Warren's romantic interest during this three-party story was named Candy, the following evidence suggests this was not Candy Southern, an old flame from X-Men #31 who would become leader of the New Defenders.

  1. Whereas Candy Southern consistently had black hair, the Candy introduced in Ka-Zar #2 had red hair.
  2. Looking at a picture of redheaded Candy, Warren exclaimed that their relationship was over, as Warren held her indirectly responsible for his father's death (Ka-Zar #3). In contrast, black-haired Candy Southern returned as Warren's romantic interest in Incredible Hulk #7.
  3. Candy's last name went unstated in Ka-Zar #2-3. Then, in Marvel Tales #30, Dazzler referred to the redhead as Candy Summers.

Granted, one could explain away the above inconsistencies by arguing instead that

  1. Candy Southern simply dyed her hair red prior to Ka-Zar #2 and later changed it back,
  2. Warren no longer felt reminded of his father's death when he saw Candy with dark hair, and
  3. Dazzler mispoke, confusing Candy's last name with the last name of Warren's classmate Scott Summers (a.k.a. Cyclops).

In a skewed take of the Oedipal complex, Warren's interest in Candy Southern began to wane as he romantically pursued the mutant hero Dazzler (no relation to Warren's uncle). Warren's feelings went unrequited, however, and he returned to dating Candy Southern. As for Dazzler, she would similarly turn down romantic advances from Hank McCoy during the Beauty and the Beast limited seires.

This image comes from Marvel Tales #30 (April 1971).

Friday, October 8, 2021

Variant

As much as I might like having a choice of covers when buying comics, some variant covers are misleading. For example, this cover of Defenders #3 (December 2021) displayed Namor, who had no connection to the story. Told from the perspective of Betty Ross, the Harpy, the issue brought the latest band of Defenders back before science: to a time of unrefined magic.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Return of the Nautilus!

Like a number of other issues during the run of the series, Sub-Mariner #53 (Sept. 1972) drew upon the character's history. While the main story teamed the Prince of Atlantis with Sunfire, a relatively new hero at the time, a back-up feature reprinted a Sub-Mariner tale from the 1950s.

In that back-up story, an occult magician stole a painting from the Fictional Art Section of the Manhattan Historical Museum. The stolen painting pictured the Nautilus submarine from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Making matters worse, a ghostly submarine began appearing out of nowhere and attacking naval vessels. Sub-Mariner's investigation led him to a ramshackle shanty, where he found the magician dead from heart failture. The villain's hand clutched the stolen painting … with the image of the Nautilus inexplicably absent.

Before and after renditions of the painting appear below.
 

Friday, September 24, 2021

A Question of Canon

Revisions to the Comics Code in 1971 loosened the restrictions on horror comics, allowing Dracula to star in his own series set in the world of superheroes. How beholdent, however, was the Dracula from superhero comic books to the text from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel? Tomb of Dracula #49 (Oct. 1976) broached this subject, as this version of Dracula adamantly distanced himself from the literary depiction a century before.

Dracula: That foolish novel Stoker half-based on my diary? Bah! He turned what I am…the power I possess, into a children's story. A mere fable based half on lies.

This same year, interestingly enough, Marvel Classics Comics #9 (1976) featured an adaptation of Brahm Stoker's Dracula. The title character's appearance in the adaptation closely resembled his appearance in Tomb of Dracula and other contemporary comics.

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