Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Friday, October 9, 2009

They Might Be Giants

Only days had passed since their unofficial first mission (Defenders #125), but the Beast was already concerned that the newly revamped Defenders lacked solidarity (#126).

When Beast suggested that the team form a charter and nominated himself as leader, Valkyrie restated her prior objections to such plans. Iceman, meanwhile, tripped over his words defending the Beast (landing one observant reader a No-Prize).

But there was more chaos underfoot than anyone realized. Twice that issue, simultaneous thought-balloons showed Angel and Iceman romantically wondering about Moondragon, a woman who had mind-controlled them both in Avengers #211, before Odin limited her powers (Avengers #220). What came across as humorous serendipity in Defenders #126—with Angel and Iceman thinking the same words—brilliantly foreshadowed events that no reader could have foreseen at the time.

The more immediate threat that issue was Leviathan, a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist accidentally transformed into a giant, rampaging neanderthal.

Valkyrie had bravely faced giant opponents before. Now in her true Asgardian body (since Avengers Annual #11), she was the physically strongest member of the New Defenders.

But Valkyrie was not invulnerable. To her surprise, one blow from the towering opponent almost did her in, prompting Gargoyle to fly her safely out of the way. Ultimately a coordinated group effort was needed to defeat Leviathan.

Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 126. December 1983. "State of the Union!" J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Alan Kupperbert (guest artist), Janice Chiang (letterer), Paul Becton (colorist), Carl Potts (editor), J.M. Shooter (chief).

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