Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Once a Defender...

With Dr. Strange, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and Yellowjacket captured by the Sons of the Serpent, Bruce Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk) knew he needed help thwarting the foes. As a result, Defenders #24 became the first in a two-part reunion, of sorts, bringing back several additional allies of the team.

In her first attempt at using the Crystal of Agamotto, Clea got the ball rolling by telepathically summoning several heroes who had lent a hand to the non-team in the past. The effort worked, and Daredevil, Power Man, and Daimon Hellstrom arrived to accompany the Hulk against the villainous organization.

I like this issue for accenting the history and dynamics of the team. Yet for all its strengths, Defenders #24 invariably reminds me of Giant-Size X-Men #1, in which Professor X used his Cerebro technology to telepathically summon mutant allies to help Cyclops rescue the original X-Men. With a May 1975 cover date, that milestone X-Men adventure appeared one month before this issue of the Defenders.

Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 24. June 1975. "--In the Jaws of the Serpent!" Stever Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (artist), Bob McLeod (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Phil Rachelson (colorist), Len Wein (editor).


Cease said...

OH, far and away one of my favorite reads of recent years. Over at A Trout in the Milk, Plok did the greatest write-up of this issue. No one ever did more to shake up cliche superhero dialog and antics in the 70s than Steve Gerber!! The limitations of the situation made it so much more interesting. It's a challenge not to have Dr. Strange zap every menace single handedly! Too bad the beautiful social commentary that kicks off this arc is submerged in this wonderfully character-driven issue: but what a strange epilogue with Pennysworth in #25!!

Cease said...

Loved Bruce's way of summoning Luke Cage: after all the mystic eyeballing, a phone call.

Daredevil's reasoning behind answering the mysterious call was a terrific juxtaposition between his materialist-based modus operandi and the mystic. The whole issue's loaded with WIN.
Your point about Clea/ Strange in the Nov. 25th entry underscores why we didn't see her as a primary Defender more often.

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