Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 22nd, 2013, 5:40 pm #121

New Defenders #151
Manslaughter sets a buncha' traps for the team, even dressing up Candy Southern in a stripper outfit as "Southern Belle". He wants to join the team, which is strengthened when the big hairy drifter shows up. Known as Interloper, he says it's paramount that both he and Manslaughter join... because here comes Moondragon and the Dragon of the Moon.

Avengers (vol 5) #17
After Manifold gets teleported all around the galaxy, the recurring message is (once again): "we need to get bigger". So the Avengers officially recruit Ex Nihilio, Abyss, Star Brand and Nightmask into the team.

Wait, this whole thing was about how crucial it is to have a buncha' cosmic Avengers for the upcoming "Infinity" crossover? It's been proven over the years that it's pretty easy to join the Avengers and they can call in the entire Marvel U whenever necessary, so why the build up?
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Erick Von Erich
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August 25th, 2013, 5:49 am #122

New Defenders #152
Here it is, the FINAL ISSUE. Moondragon and the Dragon of the Moon attack, easily grabbing Isaac Christians' soul and pulling it out of the Gargoyle body. The Gargoyle is briefly used as Moondragon's flunky. The Defenders all attack, defeating the Dragon of the Moon with Interloper's tactics.

Moondragon wakes up a couple miles away and still hears the Dragon of the Moon in her head. It tells her to summon the Beyonder who appears and grants her the "power to do good". Moondragon attacks the Defenders again, splitting the group in half. Val, Andromeda, Manslaughter and Interloper all face off with Moondragon while the X-X-men try to save innocent people Moondragon is threatening (Candy Southern, the duo on life support whom Cloud emulated and Defenders support guy Chris).

As the X-X-men are saving these people, the other Defenders all join hands and defeat Moondragon. They all turn to dust. Beast, Iceman, Angel and the other people all arrive via dimensional portal to mourn the loss. Sassafras the dog returns and they all thank the others for their sacrifice, as Moondragon did use her powers for some good, in the end. Angel even got his vision back.





It's cliche', but "what a long strange trip it's been". Defenders was a truly different Marvel title. Lots of demons, monsters and non-conventional villains. There are plenty of peaks and valleys. I'd say the Avengers crossover, the Guardians space story, the Six-Fingered Hand stuff and some of the Hellstrom issues are the title at its peak. Tunnelworld, the Headmen and the mess around Annual #1, the Mandrill story and the last 20 issues are rather awful.

"New Defenders" started well enough, but took a nosedive when Peter Gillis took over. It was too much Moondragon and the team seemed to take a backseat in their own title (see: Cutlass and Typhoon). Even when Red Wolf guest-starred, you hardly knew he was there. These were all fringe characters, so they really needed to be spotlighted more.

The title seemed to harken with the college kids tapped into some of that Twilight Zone vibe the title would have at times. Even the arrival of Andromeda, who tied the team back to Atlantis and was sort of a Namor "legacy hero". Gillis, unfortunately, tried to force too much stuff in and had to use excessive dialogue to explain things. It just didn't work. I don't know much about him, but his stories in "New Defenders" were awful.

The book really suffered when they wrote out Dr. Strange in issue #125. Defenders, as a concept; being a team of weirdos who fight strange menaces; is tough to swallow without Strange. With the exclusion of the Tunnelworld issues, it's safe to say: "If Defenders has Dr. Strange in it, it's a decent read". It also lost a lot when Hellcat was written out.

Of course, the "dead" Defenders were all brought back about three years later as "The Dragon Circle", spiritual Ghostbusters of sorts in the pages of-- yup--- "Dr. Strange". Then a few more re-launches in the past 13 years.

The last issue conveniently split off the X-X-men from the team, as all 3 jumped over to the new "X-Factor" a few months later (maybe even the very next month). Beast, Iceman and Angel all in another group not-called-X-men, is kinda' like having Ric Flair in a group not called The Four Horsemen. In the end, the three really didn't belong in the Defenders. Individually, yes, but not all at the same time.


Despite its flaws, I still recommend "Defenders" as solid Marvel reading. Now it's up to Mad Dog to see if I'm loony or not.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

August 25th, 2013, 12:10 pm #123

I haven't read any issues in awhile. Going to get back to it soon. August was a bit of a crazy month.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 26th, 2013, 9:10 pm #124

Did a full write-up of issue #1, but here comes..

The Cat #2 (1972)
After recapping her origin, the Cat runs into another science experiment scheme. This time, it involves the Owl. Cat subdues the guy behind the whole thing and the flunkies, but Owl escapes.

The Cat #3 (1972)
After recapping her origin again, the Cat goes on a boating date with guy named Ben Richards ("that Ben Richards is a bad mutherfucker") and senses something weird beneath Lake Michigan. She returns and gets captured by, seemingly, special government agents. They're being forced to work in their underwater base by Commander Kraken. Once again, Cat defeats all the flunkies, but Kraken gets away. The government agents turn out to be space aliens, as they blast off after the action's over. Cat is down on herself for not realizing this.

3 issues in and the Cat is made to look like a lightweight. Would've been nice if she could've captured or defeated one of the villains. There's also a dramatic art shift with issue 3, as they already had to go to back-up talent. Most of the art looks like the stuff from romance comics (think of Roy Lichtenstein's famous pieces), with the Cat/Greer looking somewhat distraught in most shots. Escpecially in the out-of-costume stuff. Issue 4 promises a story about "The Witch", but it never sees the light-of-day as we get something with the Man-Bull.
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Erick Von Erich
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September 4th, 2013, 5:30 pm #125

The Cat #4
The Cat and her girlfriend get hit on, at a bar. The guy is rejected, so he runs off and turns into the Man-Bull. Big fight, as the Man0Bull releases a buncha' livestock at the Chicago cattle yards. Cat ends it by smacking him in the external occipital protuberance with a lead pipe.

That's it for the Cat. A Chicago cop lets the Cat go, as he says the city needs her. A lot of stuff didn't get time to get established in this title. From creators to characters. The first two issues had a completely different tone from the last 2. In 3 & 4, it seemed like they tried to squeeze in some villains to make a rogues' gallery for the Cat.

She has what's basically a fifth issue over in "Marvel Team-Up" when she meets Spider-Man. It'd be about a year or two before she popped up in "Giant-Size Creatures" and became "Tigra the Were-Woman". Then about another year before Patsy Walker found her costume and became Hellcat. I think Hellcat is a good example of "What If...the Cat continued".

Avengers Assemble #18
The big "Battle of the Corridor" that kicked off the "Infinity" event over in "Avengers", now told from Spider-Woman's point of view. Basically, ancient aliens are advancing and destroy a giant coalition of forces; everything from Skrulls, Krees and the Avengers as Earth's team. I think they were angling for humor, but Spider-Woman comes off as a complete smart-ass ding-dong. The line "we have a Hulk" gets used AGAIN and it's definitely time to throw a moratorium on that.
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Erick Von Erich
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September 6th, 2013, 6:28 pm #126

Just kinda' realized that Jarvis has been MIA since "The Heroic Age" or so. With Marvel trying desperately to match their movie continuity in the comics (see: Fury, Nick), I'm guessing we won't be seeing him anytime soon. Most of the public knows Jarvis as "Iron Man's computer assistant", rather than "the Avengers' butler".
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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September 8th, 2013, 12:49 am #127

He made an appearance last year. Wong threatened to kill him if he touched anything in his kitchen.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 9th, 2013, 6:55 pm #128

Mad Dog,Sep 7 2013 wrote: He made an appearance last year. Wong threatened to kill him if he touched anything in his kitchen.
I remember that, but I think it was early in the run of "New Avengers (vol 2)". Right after Cage recruited Dr. Strange to be "The Magic Avenger".

Regardless, it was definitely "Pre-Avengers Movie", when they decided to link their comics and movies more closely.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 9th, 2013, 10:11 pm #129

Cerebus #1
Finally read it, for the first time. It's a re-print edition containing several self-serving letters from the writer, trying to put everything in perspective. I skipped over most of these, as I just want to read the story and draw my own conclusions.

It's a basic Conan-style story about Cerebus and two thieves wanting to steal a jewel from a wizard. There's a little twist at the end, though. It reminds me of the cartoons that would run in "Dragon" magazine in the early 80's. I was heavily into the anthropomorphic humor genre in my early teens and I can see several elements in this story (or maybe even their original inspiration).

Not necessarily a result of this particular story, but I'm remembering how stuff like this used to inspire me. I discovered early on that I couldn't draw "serious" super hero comics, so there was always a sense of liberation and inspiration that came with "serious" cartoon animal comics. I would see stuff like this and say: "hey, I could do this".
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 15th, 2013, 3:11 am #130

Avengers #19 (Vol. 5)
A group of Avengers are captured by the Builders. Ex Nihilia (the female Ex Nihilio) takes an interest in Captain Marvel, since her powers are fluctuating again, and begins feeling her up in some weird psuedo-lesbo panels.

The King of Spartax tries to make a deal with the Builders, but it backfires and allows the Builder to lock-in to their location and attack.

Really, this is just some half-assed sci-fi stuff that would feel at-home in a "Star Wars expanded universe" comic. Having a hard time getting interested in this.

Age of Ultron #1-10
The first few issues deal with establishing the desolation and body count of Ultron's attack. It's like a "Terminator" future, where everybody has to hide underground and fight robots. Luke Cage and She-Hulk sacrifice themselves to gain intel on Ultron; he's controlling things from the future. The remaining heroes then sneak to the Savage Land, where Nick Fury is hiding out in a doomsday bunker.

Captain America leads a group into the future, where Ultron easily creams them. Wolverine jumps to the past, with the Invisible Woman in tow. Wolvie kills Hank Pym to prevent Ultron's creation, but it backfires and they jump back to that timeline's present where it's now the "Age of Morgan LeFey", complete with yet another "alternate future/timeline" set of characters.

Wolvie goes back once more to prevent himself from killing Pym. They talk it out, but tell Pym to implant Ultron's AI with a "time virus". Wolvie kills his other version, then things are tied up in a quick re-telling of the Avengers "Point One"/FCBD issue where they fought the Intelligencia (released about 2 or 3 years ago, I think). The Spaceknights were a case of mistaken identity and are actually Ultron. Pym's time virus detonates and ends the threat of Ultron, easily.

Final few pages feature Pym and Tony Stark talking about how Wolverine's time travel antics damaged the timestream, especially other worlds'. We're shown teasers of Galactus finding the Ultimate Marvel U, while Angela (the Image/Spawn character who had about 4 issues of her own, circa 1995), pops into the mainstream Marvel U.

Yeah... don't care about either of those two developments. This little twist feels like something DC would do-- specifically their "Kingdom" series from 1998, when they created the "Hypertime" concept of multiple worlds/times.
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