Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Defenders for a Day

The day after a TV documentary promoted the Defenders' loose membership policy, more than a dozen heroes arrived at Nighthawk's ranch ready to join the team. Instead of welcoming the prospective members, Nighthawk was enraged.

It's no wonder that the new members' first line of business was to get someone else in charge. Putting it to a vote, they elected Hercules as their leader, but only after Captain Mar-vell said he didn't want the job (Defenders #62).

In a highly strategic move, Valkyrie proposed that the crowd of heroes would work best if they divided into three smaller teams. Nighthawk and Hercules concurred.

Picking his team first, the Son of Zeus chose Black Goliath, Captain Ultra, Havok, Hellcat, Iron Fist, and White Tiger.

Valkyrie then selected Falcon, Jack of Hearts, Prowler, Stingray, and Torpedo. This set a precedent for Valkyrie's later stance (in #121, #126) that the Defenders did not need an official leader, unless of course it was her.

That left Nighthawk leading Marvel Man (Quasar), Nova, Polaris, Tagak, and Daimon Hellstrom ("Son of Satan"), who questioned Nighthawk's leadership skills from the get-go

Although all of the heroes who joined in issue #62 left by the end of #65, Hellstrom later became a regular member of the team. As an aside, there were no signs that Hellstrom and future-spouse Hellcat even noticed one another when he was a Defender for a Day.

As for Captain Mar-vell, the Kree warrior decided he didn't want to join the Defenders at all.

Ms. Marvel, who guest starred in #57, basically returned here to brag that she was now booked up as an Avenger.

And Paladin, who also arrived at the ranch that day, declined to join the team because he worked only for pay.

The Hulk, meanwhile, lept away after many of the one-shot Defenders tried to capture him.

Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 63. September 1978. "Deadlier by the Dozen!" David Kraft (story), Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney (artwork), J. Costanza (letters), R. Slifer (colors), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief).


Peter Cooper said...

Having just reread this story, I'm now seeing just how shorted today's current comic book readers are. What was in this one issue alone, would, by today's standard be a seven part miniseries, with one shots, and crossover throughout a whole line of books. "Padded" is the word I use. And what's this!?! Characterization?

#6 said...

Defenders stands above pretty much all modern comics, having anticipated everything worthwhile in them. Gerber is sorely missed.

Cease said...

I miss'im, too. He died the same way as my father, also a Virgo, same age, a year later. (I hope his spirit sardonically looks upon my pastiche/ character jam tribute and whispers his wit.) I look forward to checking out his whole run, I loved HtD. Kraft left for Georgia after this---where I grew up!
Such a sweet kiss to the Silver Age, with a roster of over a dozen of its latter day sons. You just can't get characters speaking of themselves in the third person like this anymore!

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

hey cool, this is the first time i've ever seen any of the interior art for this issue. i've been curious for some time now about The Torpedo's short term participation on the Defenders back in the day.