Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Defenders Dialogue: The Old Order Changeth

The letters page of Defenders #15 addressed whether two founding members of the Defenders had an ongoing place in the non-team.
Dear Marvel,

Just as you phased the original Avengers out of their comic so many, many years ago, I believe you're planning to do the same, eventually, with the Defenders. Apart from the implausibility of the string of coincidences involved in having a group-that-isn't-a-group meeting time after time, the Hulk and Sub-Mariner simply are not teamwork characters. Namor is too arrogant and haughty to take orders or even advice from anybody, and the Hulk is too unpredictable and (let's face it) stupid to be of any real value to a group. His only contribution is his enormous strength, which could be provided by the other members of the group in combination. As far as I'm concerned, the sooner Hulk and Namor say "bye-bye" to the Defenders, the better.

Mike Cruden

Here was the editorial reply:
Well, Mike, as you know, Namor has indeed taken a leave of absence from the group to concentrate on his not inconsiderable troubles in Atlantis. And, too, we'll probably be doing an occasional issue now and then without the Hulk. And furthermore, you'll be seeing a number of heroes sort of filling in for Sub-Mariner while he's away. (Which is even weirder, since, as you point out, this is a group that isn't a group … so how can somebody fill in when somebody's not missing from something that supposedly doesn't even exist? HALP!!!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Not long after Power Man went into business with Iron Fist, an old enemy from Power Man's days with the Defenders came looking for revenge. But as a side effect of an adventure the previous issue, Luke Cage had no super powers when ambushed by Arthur Nagan, a.k.a. Gorilla-Man of the Headmen (Power Man and Iron Fist #68).

Unquestionably outmatched, Luke Cage did his best to flee … until an attack from Gorilla-Man flung the hero-for-hire into an electrified fence and unexpectedly reinstated his powers.

Just as Iron Fist arrived at the scene, Power Man delivered the closing blow to Gorilla Man by slamming the villain into the ground head-first.

Power Man and Iron Fist. Vol. 1. No. 68. April 1981. "Where Enemies Gather!" Mary Jo Duffy (writer). Bob Layton (co-plottter). Kerry Gammill (penciler). Ricardo Villamonte (inker), Jim Novak (letterer), Ben Sean (colorist), Denny O'Neil (editor), Jim Shooter (gipper).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Secret Defenders vs. Original Defenders

A time-warp in Secret Defenders #23 found five members of the ever-changing team defending themselves against past versions of Hulk, Prince Namor, and Silver Surfer—transported from a time soon after the original Defenders formed. A misconstrued battle transpired between the two teams in #24.

With impressive strength, Sub-Mariner and Hulk fended off Cadaver, Dagger, Deathlok, and Drax of the Secret Defenders.

But the most telling showdown came between Silver Surfer and Shadowoman/Sepulcre, who imprisoned the cosmic champion in magic tendrils. When he broke free, the former herald of Galactus sensed that, in this era of the Secret Defenders, a cosmic barrier no longer trapped him on Earth. Feeling detached from the conflict, the Silver Surfer flew off into space.

Silver Surfer: At long last … the freedom which has ever been my heart's desire is attained! But at what price? The Earth sprawls out before me … as lush and green as any sphere I have ever beheld! Though my place of exit, it has also proven a land filled with awe and wonder aplenty! Though its inhabitants are often primitive and barbaric … they nurture within them a spare of greatness which may one day buoy them to heights! How thoughtless, how … human … of me, to place my own personal needs about those of the common good …

With a sense of moral obligation, the Surfer returned to Earth to rejoin the battle—just in time for the Defenders of two eras to discover a common threat at hand.

Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich wrote Secret Defenders #23-24. Bill Wylie pencilled those issues.

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