Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Candy Southern: The Hidden Years

Spanning 22 issues, X-Men: The Hidden Years filled a gap in mutant history by presenting new stories set during the period of X-Men #67-93, when the original series ran only reprints.

One of the standout characters of the "hidden years" was Candy Southern, longtime girlfriend to Warren Worthington III.

When Warren went missing, Candy surprised the X-Men by revealing that she knew her boyfriend was the hero Angel and that Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngster's was their secret headquarters. Why her knowledge of these facts came as a shock to anyone was in itself surprising. Unless Warren kept his shirt on throughout their relationship, it was only a matter of time before Candy would learn about his wings and crimefighting career.

Candy requested to accompany the X-Men in their search for Angel. The merry mutants reluctantly agreed so long as she borrowed a spare costume from Marvel Girl to protect her true identity. Though lacking super-powers, Candy maintained an impressive (or naïve) level of confidence during the adventure—retroactively setting the stage for her role as leader of the New Defenders.

The above page comes from X-Men: The Hidden Years #13, written and pencilled by John Byrne.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Eleventh Hour

Iron Fist: We either shut the engines down, or the universe will break. Doc. The impossible is everywhere now…
Dr. Strange: … Déjà vu.

Foretold in Point One, those pivotal words of dialogue appeared on the closing page of Defenders #11. But the situation was far from predictable. Unlike the original vision witnessed by Dr. Strange, the version of Prince Namor who rendezvoused with the non-team this issue wore a beard. Another deviation was the presence of Black Cat, who began tagging along with the heroes after her appearance in Defenders #7.

Minor details aside, the big reveal of Defenders #11 came early that issue. In a surreal state, Silver Surfer learned that an Omega Council hid the Concordance Engines on Earth to keep the machines from the destructive Death Celestials, which now threatened to destroy the planet.

Though undetected for years, the reality-bending Concordance Engines accounted for the large number of highly improbably events on Earth, including the origins of many super-beings.

Defenders. Vol. 4. No. 11. December 2012. Matt Fraction (writer), Mirco Pierfederici (artist), Jordie Bellaire (color artist), VC's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Terry & Rachel Dodson (cover artists).