Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Greatly Exaggerated

The closing pages of New Defenders #152 found Angel, Iceman, and Beast mourning several teammates who had turned to ash. Disbanding the Defenders, the threesome joined with other original X-Men to form the group X-Factor.

Imagine Beast's surprise when he later crossed paths with Andromeda, one of the New Defenders he thought was dead. During her short time with that team, Andromeda initially hid the fact that she was a native of Atlantis. But why was she so guarded about her past? Because, as she disclosed to Beast at last, Andromeda's father was the Atlantean warlord Attuma. Andromeda still did not explain to Beast how she astonishingly was alive (X-Factor Annual #4).

X-Factor Annual. Vol. 1. No. 4. 1989. "I Just Go Down to the Sea Again…" John Byrne (story and pictures), Walter Simonson (embellishment), Jim Novak (lettering), Tom Vincent (coloring), Bob Harras (editing), Tom DeFalco (down the hall, turn left).
The Defenders initially battled the forces of Attuma in Defenders #8. The non-team later faced Attuma in Fear Itself: The Deep.
The top panel comes from New Defenders #152. This image of Andromeda in her natural blue form appeared in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ruffled Feathers

Angel's decision to accompany Beast and Iceman in Defenders #125 turned the non-team into a partial revival of the original X-Men. And that's exactly what Angel wanted.

Before joining the New Defenders, Angel tried renewing his involvement with the mutant team. Yet beginning with X-Men #137, the high-flying Angel was uncharacteristically careless and klutzy when working alongside the "new" X-Men who largely replaced the original team in #94.

Though initially depicted as out of practice, that wasn't the full story. Rather, any beginner's mistakes on Angel's part resulted from him feeling ill-at-ease among the reconfigured team. A disapproving attitude toward Wolverine, and shock that the X-Men would tolerate anyone with such homicidal tendencies within their ranks, led Angel to again fly the coup in #148. Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters no longer felt like home.

The above image comes from from Uncanny X-Men #148 (August 1981).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


In the five years since I started this blog, this is the first time I've felt prompted to mention Free Comic Book Day. Available Saturday, May 4, 2013, one of this year's titles is a sampling of work by authors Jonathan Kellerman and Louis L'Amour. The free offering brings back a memory from my early years reading comics.

While growing up, I occasionally perused a secondhand bookstore in my neighborhood that also sold back issues of comic books. One summer around the time I was in junior high, the owner of the shop started up a conversation with me by saying I looked like someone who spent a lot of time at the library. He then asked if I would be willing to do some research for him by reading through the neighborhood library's microfiche catalog and writing down every entry for Louis L'Amour. The shop owner was a fan of L'Amour's westerns and said he would pay me for the legwork.

In all honesty, I actually did like going to the library on my own. But I felt self-conscious that I came across that way. So even though I had the time, I declined the offer. In retrospect, I wish I had said yes.