Hulk, Namor and Silver Surfer created a VERY different squad before the Defenders
Today, find out how Marvel Comics had a Defenders precursor that only lasted two issues … and yet somehow faced off against the Avengers during that time!
This is “Just Like the Time Before,” a feature where I look at examples from comic book history where comic book creators have made early versions of later comic book characters and ideas. intrigue. Essentially, the “test runs” for later, more famous characters and stories.
In this case, we take a look at how Marvel set up Defenders. Ultimately, while there was a very important setup, there was also a more subtle setup before that.
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DOCTOR STRANGE MAKES A CONNECTION
This first example takes subtlety to a whole new level, as I don’t think Roy Thomas even envisioned a bit of a team book when he first hosted Doctor Strange as a guest star. Submarine # 22 and The Incredible Hulk # 126. You see, as I wrote years ago in an edition of “Wrap It Up”, when Doctor Strange was canceled at the end of 1969, Thomas wanted to sum up the outstanding story of Strange, so Thomas solved the storyline in the pages of two other series he was writing at the time, Submarine and The Incredible Hulk, with the teams coming a few months after Strange’s series was canceled (here, the Hulk accidentally helps free Doctor Strange in The Incredible Hulk # 126 by Thomas and Herb Trimpe).
However, although Strange encountered both Namor and the Hulk during these issues, there weren’t any serious interactions and it was only Strange who continued between the issues, so it wasn’t like whether Namor had appeared in the Hulk issue or vice versa. This is why I make a special note on the subtlety of setting up future stories, as I doubt the idea really came to Thomas as he was initially preparing them. At the same time, however, it seemed clear that Thomas’ initial use of Strange in these two stories later influenced Strange’s use for the official creation of the Defenders in 1971. Marvel functionality # 1. Damn, Marvel functionality # 1 continues fairly straight from Pontoon # 126, after all. I just doubt that was the intention at the time, but more of an influence for a later story after Thomas then came up with what would be known as the Titans Three and knew he would need to. ‘swap one of the Titans.
THREE TITANS CONNECT
In the late 1970s Submarine # 34 (by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney), Namor oversees a United Nations project that is developing a machine that could control weather conditions. He theorizes that this device could lead to the destruction of the planet itself, so he also sets out to monitor the globe for possible allies for him in this mission to stop the device. He sees the Hulk stranded on a small island called San Pablo, ruled by a dictator known as El General. Namor then sees the Silver Surfer and he seeks his help (by catching him first and fighting briefly). Surfer is convinced by Namor that the machine could endanger the entire planet and since Surfer was, at the time, stuck on Earth, that meant that was a problem for him as well.
The two then set off to find the Hulk on San Pablo. The jade giant has taken up residence in the ruins of the island and could finally be free from human interference. However, when El General sees Surfer and Namor flying to his island where the Hulk is located, he takes this as an attack on him, so he launches a total assault on the Hulk’s whereabouts and this soon inspires the Hulk to join Namor. and Surfer to repel the attack …
Inadvertently, their destruction of El General’s army leads the rebels of San Pablo to take the time to rise up and take back their country and in the wake of the revolution, Namor reminds the surfer and Hulk of the impact of their team. -up had here and how they could do even more good once they took care of the weather machine.
THE AVENGERS / TITANS WAR
In the next issue, this new alliance of heroes flies off to another island where the United Nations project is located, and Namor insists that his scientists first inspect the machine to make sure it won’t destroy you. know, the world. The American general assigned to the project rejects them and Namor threatens them (by the Surfer melting the weapons of certain soldiers).
The United Nations then calls in the Avengers, and Captain America sends its three most powerful members, Iron Man, Thor, and Goliath, to see what happens. When they arrive and see Namor, Hulk, and Silver Surfer, they tell them to back off and obviously that doesn’t happen.
In the fight that followed, we actually had the first appearance of the legendary “Sal Buscema Punch”, with Thor hitting the Hulk …
The heroes fight against each other, but this gives enough time for one of Namor’s scientists to come and test the machine and demonstrate to the General that the energies involved could turn out to be VERY dangerous and the General agrees to temporarily back down. . (same with the Avengers) …
Soon the general gets permission from the United Nations to temporarily shut things down for the time being while they reconsider everything. The Hulk, however, just wants to destroy the machine here and now and when Namor and Surfer try to stop him, he attacks them as well and shatters their new team. The surfer agrees that now that the world is safe from the machine, he no longer wants to stay near humans either.
At the time, Stan Lee was asking writers to avoid using Surfer in their comics because he wanted to be the only person writing Surfer stories, but he obviously made an exception here. Thomas, however, wanting to avoid the problem, then took over the “Titans Three” in Marvel functionality # 1, but this time around Doctor Strange replaced Silver Surfer and the three heroes became the Defenders.
Okay friends, you MUST have suggestions for other characters and / or storylines that fit this theme! Preferably the more obvious than these coincidents, but I will also take the coincidents! So drop me a line at [email protected] for the next installments!
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