Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hard-Rock Heroes

With unique stage costumes and face makeup to mask their identities, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss of the rock band KISS became comic book heroes in Marvel Comics Super Special #1 (1977).

The foursome gained their super-powers from the Box of Khyscz, which held mystical properties understood by a man identified as Dizzy.

At the Sanctum Sanctorum, Dizzy met with Dr. Strange and a group of the Defenders consisting of Daredevil, Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Son of Satan, Hulk, and Red Guardian. The Defenders, along with other established super teams, decided not to intervene as the members of KISS embarked on an inter-dimensional adventure that pitted them against Dr. Doom.

KISS returned in Marvel Comics Super Special #5 (1978). This go-around the group encountered the infamous Elf with a Gun while entering the Land of Leftovers, where symbolic figures of the 1960s lived out that decade indefinitely.

Stever Gerber wrote Marvel Comics Super Special #1 and #5 after his tenure as writer of the Defenders.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Valhalla Can Wait

Slain by Valkyrie (a.k.a. the Doom Maiden of Rage in Fearless Defenders #6), archaeologist Annabelle Riggs would spend her afterlife among the honored dead in Valhalla. Whereas others might have felt at home, Riggs felt out of place and despondent among the Norse warriors who too died in combat.

Back to her senses, Valkyrie sought to remedy the predicament by asking a favor of an old friend. Would Clea magically return Riggs to the land of the living? Though sympathetic, the sorceress was reluctant to interfere with matters of life and death. She warned Valkyrie that such a request would come at a cost (#7).

As a result of the sorcery, Valkyrie could dematerialize to allow Riggs to return in her place (and vice versa). But the two women could not exist at the same time (#8). Having previously shared her existence with Samantha Parrington and Barbara Norriss, Valkyrie was undoubtedly prepared to make this sacrifice.

Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by by Stephanie Hans, the above scene comes from Fearless Defenders #7, the strongest issue of the new series.

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