Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Shuffling the Deck

Tarot #4 wrapped up the dimension-crossing limited series by centering on a band of heroes who were creative hybrids of longstanding members of the Avengers or Defenders. Leading the unnamed team was Major Gamma, a version of Captain America with green skin resulting from exposure to Gamma radiation (like the Hulk).

Perhaps the most imaginative character in the new group was Doc Surf, a trippy take on Doctor Strange, equipped with a supernatural surfboard (resembling the model flown by Silver Surfer).

Another notable member of the team was Imperius Hex (the Latin term Imperius Rex with an allusion to the hex powers of Scarlet Witch). With trident in hand and emblem on his bare chest, this mystical counterpart to Sub-Mariner had a striking resemblance to classic appearance of Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan.

The hybrid characters remained rather one-dimensional, though, as they soon restored the metaphysical breech that had brought them into existence and was wrecking havoc across the multi-universe.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Disregarding the Defenders

Avengers #137 is perhaps best known as the issue when Beast and Moondragon joined the team, long before their involvement with the Defenders. Wasp returned to active Avengers duty in #137, as well, bringing husband Yellowjacket along for the ride.

Wasp bemoaned how her "bullheaded better-half" had left her behind while adventuring in Giant-Size Defenders #4. Upon his return, Yellowjacket explained to his Avengers teammates how he wasn't "let go" from the Defenders, as the non-team lets heroes come and go as they please. Hawkeye, who had already returned to Avengers status after a stint with the Defenders, dismissed the non-team as "that crazy crew--"

Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 137. July 1975. "We Do Seek Out New Avengers!!" Steve Englehart (saga), George Tuska (art), Vince Colletta (embellishment), C. Jetter (lettering), P. Rachelson (coloring), Len Wein (editor).

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Introducing the Unbelievables

The reality-bending events in Tarot #3 placed the Defenders and Avengers in a dimension occupied by "funny animals" … including a super-powered team called the Unbelievables.

Although the Unbelievables weren't direct counterparts to specific superheroes, they drew upon a variety of tropes. For example, the green-skinned Mighty Martian could read as a nod to the Martian Manhunter of the Justice League.

The character Devil Dawg, meanwhile, initially resembled the Harvey Comics character Hot Stuff until transforming into a powerhouse able to hold his own against the Hulk. Other members of the Unbelievables were Vampire Vixen, Sun Wukong and Sha Wujing.

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