Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Chaotic Good: Moonglow

Nighthawk charged his former teammates in the Squadron Supreme with abusing their authority and then enlisted help to defeat them. One of Nighthawk's recruits was Moonglow, a new hero who would infiltrate the Squadron Supreme only to turn against the team. Intensely private, Moonglow felt a certain thrill in the subterfuge. Adding a layer to her undercover work, she used her actual power of illusion—sometimes carelessly—to give the Squadron the misimpression that she had other superpowers instead. Moondglow's covert modus operandi would align with Chaotic Good.

  Lawful Good    Neutral Good    Chaotic Good  
  Lawful Neutral    True Neutral    Chaotic Neutral  
  Lawful Evil    Neutral Evil    Chaotic Evil  
This panel with Moonglow comes from Squadron Supreme #11 (July 1986).

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Defenders Dialogue: Non-Team

Defenders #21 (March 1975) included this letter contrasting the Defenders to Marvel's other superhero teams. For context, the original X-Men were appearing in reprints at the time; their series would revitalize with an "all-new, all-different" team of mutants starting with X-Men #94 (August 1975).

Dear Marvel,

With their new official headquarters, the Defenders seem to be slowly edging toward becoming a real team instead of a non-team. This should not be done.

What makes each Marvel superhero group individual is its form of organization. The Fantastic Four is a family, and with all its supporting characters it almost takes on the form of a tribe. The Avengers is a democratic body. The X-Men, of course, are organized as a school, so they never quite gained the respectability of the F.F. or the Avengers. There is nothing more respectable than family and democracy, but students don't really belong to polite society.

But the Defenders are anarchistic. They don't even exist as far as society is concerned. They should stay as loose and anarchistic as possible to retain their distinctness from the other Marvel groups.

Jana C. Hollingsworth
Port Angeles, Wash.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Lawful Evil: Badoon

The Badoon had green hides when they originally appeared in the pages of the Defenders. When those stories reprinted in the U.K. magazine Rampage, however, the militaristic extraterrestrials were red instead. No matter how they looked, the Badoon likely prescribed to the alignment of Lawful Evil while conquering the galaxy during the 31st century.
  Lawful Good    Neutral Good    Chaotic Good  
  Lawful Neutral    True Neutral    Chaotic Neutral  
  Lawful Evil    Neutral Evil    Chaotic Evil  

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Introducing Power Man

When Defenders #17 reprinted in Rampage #16, the cover art changed significantly. Instead of picturing Hulk alongside Nighthawk and Dr. Strange, the reprint showed the green goliath deserting his comrades. Of the two versions, the cover of Rampage #16 was more accurate. Within the story, Valkyrie left the non-team (temporarily) to learn about her alter ego as Barbara Norriss. A saddened Hulk then blamed Dr. Strange and Nighthawk for Valkyrie's departure and leapt off to be alone. Only afterward did Dr. Strange and Nighthawk meet Power Man.

Rampage #16 also modified the original cover verbiage to introduce the guest star as "The Menace of Power Man!" Within the story, the hero for hire was guarding Richmond Enterprises and mistook the Defenders for intruders.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Lawful Good: Comics Code Authority

I started posting about Dungeons & Dragons alignments almost a decade ago, usually as a lens to discuss various characters or teams. Along the way, I have wondered how the Comics Code Authority would fit within the nine alignments. Introduced in 1954, the lengthy set of rules greatly limited the artwork and text within comic books—to the chagrin of many fans and creators. As contentious as the code may have been, the prohibitions against glorifying crime or depicting criminals in a positive light would most closely match the alignment of Lawful Good. The revised version of the code from 1971 loosened some of these restrictions, allowing more depth and mature themes. The end result was still Lawful Good but certainly a more nuanced version of that alignment.

I plan to continue posting about character alignments intermittently in the coming months.

  Lawful Good    Neutral Good    Chaotic Good  
  Lawful Neutral    True Neutral    Chaotic Neutral  
  Lawful Evil    Neutral Evil    Chaotic Evil