Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Namor, the Evil Mutant

After several former X-Men found their way into the Defenders, the non-team seemed to veer away from its mystical roots.

So it's easy to forget that Sub-Mariner, a founding member of the Defenders, had once called himself a mutant. Well at least for an issue (X-Men #6). What else could explain why the man from Atlantis had feathers on the side of his feet?

When the criminal Magneto informed Prince Namor of his homo superior genetic status and offered him a spot in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Namor took the invite in stride. After all, Namor already considered himself superior.

Ultimately, though, it was his hatred of the surface world, not his connection to mutantkind, that prompted Sub-Mariner to join the Brotherhood … just long enough to see that he had no interest in following Magneto's orders or taking sides in the mutant struggle.

X-Men. Vol. 1. No. 6. July 1964. "Search for the Sub-Mariner!" Written: with the flair of Stan Lee. Drawn: with the air of Jack Kirby. Inked: with the care of Chic Stone. Lettered: on a dare by S. Rosen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Weddings usually spell trouble in the world of comics. So when Patsy Walker and Daimon Hellstrom decided to tie the knot, they should have expected some unwelcome guests (Defenders #125).

Now known as Mad-Dog, ex-husband Buzz Baxter led the villain group Mutant Force in an attack on the bride and groom.

But there were also more heroes on hand than anyone had expected. Beast (arriving with guests Iceman and Angel), Valkyrie (now in custody of the headstrong Moondragon), and Gargoyle soon defeated the intruders.

Like other super couples before them, the happy-go-lucky Hellcat and the so-called Son of Satan now wanted to hang up their costumes and try to lead normal lives. They weren't the only ones to say goodbye to the team.

In response to a cryptic prophesy by the murderous Elf, Doctor Strange, Prince Namor, Hulk, and Silver Surfer announced their departures as well. If certain visions of the future held true, the Earth would lay in ruins unless the four earliest Defenders vowed never to work together again.

After such an official changing of the guard, the six heroes who remained formed the New Defenders.

Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 125. November 1983. "Hello, I must be going." J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin and Kim De Mulder (artists), Christie Scheele (colorist) Carl Potts (editor), Jim Shooter (chief).

The above image by Mike Zeck comes from Defenders #130, during a rematch against Mutant Force.

Monday, July 6, 2009

And Then There's Cloud

On a break from their crimefighting careers, Scarlet Witch and Vision planned a quiet get-together with Gargoyle, Beast, and Iceman (Defenders #123). Over dinner, Scarlet Witch made a telling remark about her experience as a reformed criminal.

Scarlet Witch: Strange how time changes things, isn't it, Bobby? It seems like only yesterday that my brother, Quicksilver, and I battled your original X-Men as members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
No sooner did the heroes clear away the dinner plates than the group came under attack by three agents of the Secret Empire. Their objective was to capture the Vision.

The trio of attackers consisted of Seraph (with super strength and eye beams), Harridan (with a near lethal touch), and Cloud (with transformation powers suited for her name). As dangerous as they were, in-fighting contributed greatly to the villains' defeat. It would come as no shock when Cloud, the most sympathetic of the bunch, later changed sides herself and joined the Defenders.
Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 123. September 1983. "Of Elves and Androids" (J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (penciler), Kim De Mulder (inker), Janice Chiang (letterer), Christy Scheele (colorist), Carl Potts (editor), Jim Shooter (tall guy with a big office).