Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Madame Olga

Experiencing something of a mid-life crisis, a melancholic Adam Henderson sought guidance from a carnival soothsayer named Madame Olga. Adam had worked as a high school English teacher for eight years but dreamed of being a professional musician.

Madame Olga, on the other hand, was a charlatan who only pretended to have psychic powers; her crystal ball was a prop she'd purchased for $1.98. So Madame Olga was understandably shocked when her so-called "mystic crystal" filled with images as Adam sat down to speak (Ghost Rider #71).

Adam described how a race of winged beings called the S'raphh had ventured into space in search of the reason for being. The S'raphh never found the ultimate truth, however, and their despair led them to a point of racial suicide. The negative emotions from the collective unconsciousness of the S'raphh brought forth the evil being called Null—the Living Darkness!

Originally defeated in Defenders #103, a bitter Null traveled to Earth in energy form to merge with a human. With his despondent disposition, Adam Henderson proved to be a compatible physical host.

Null proceeded to go on a minor rampage until the hero Ghost Rider used his hell-fire powers to banish Null from Adam's body. Following the experience, Adam gained new appreciation for life and for his dedicated wife, Maureen.

Ghost Rider. Vol. 1. No. 71. August 1982. "The Tears of Adam Henderson." J.M. DeMatteis (scripter), Don Perlin (breakdowns), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Diana Albers (letterer), George Roussos (colorist), Tom DeFalco (editor), Jim Shooter (chief).
Null would return much more powerful in Defenders #113.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Avenging Wasp

Almost any issue of the Defenders shows the non-team defending themselves against something or another. In contrast, however, how much avenging do the Avengers actually do?

Seeing how it was Wasp who suggested the group name in Avengers #1, the cover of Marvel Team-Up #59 stands out. Here we see Wasp promising to avenge the death of her husband, Yellowjacket. Though not identifiable from the cover, the villain at hand is Equinox (previously seen in #23).

For better or worse, Yellowjacket is merely presumed dead in #59. The hero safely returns the following issue with a rather complicated account of escaping death.

Marvel Team-Up. Vol. 1. No. 59. July 1977. "Some Say Spidey Will Die By Fire … Some Say By Ice!" Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (artist), Dave Hunt (inker/colorist), B. Patterson (letterer), A. Goodwin (editor). Dedicated—with respect and admiration—to Roy Thomas.