Category Archives: The Defenders

Friday Review! Avengers*Defenders Tarot #3 (2020)

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Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Pencil/Inks Paul Renaud
Artist: Colors Stephane Paitream
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$4.99

$3.85 – $12.99

Variants: 2
  • Alan Davis Variant
  • Diablo Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

When we last left this adventure I had reservations as the cover preview showed pretty cartoony characters busting out of the cover  The same image as the cover shown above.  I was trying to remain hopeful but unfortunately my worst fears were realized.

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We open this issue with Reed Richards being all annoyed that he can’t figure out what Ichor is and where it came from.  Meanwhile Dr. Strange is still floating around the dimension he was sucked into last issue.  He comes across Galactus looking for his herald.  Surfer, along with Scarlet Witch and Vision, arrive at Bleeker St where Wanda is able to conjure up an explosion that goes wrong!  Mephisto appears and takes the heroes captive!

Thor and Valkyrie arrive in Asgard but Heimdall is having none of that crap realizing that Thor just ain’t right.  Iron Man and Hulk have opened up a portal that lets in the generic Wacky Racers.  Daredevil, apparently feeling left out, arrives with an unconscious Spider-Man to where the FF currently are.  Just in time too as the portal that Iron Man opened has made all the worlds collide, bringing the Avengers and Defenders back together!

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This is when we meet the generic Wacky Racers up close – Mighty Martian, Devil Dawg, Vampire Vixen and more I don’t care to remember.  The heroes and toons begin battling it out until Valkyrie notices Diablo hiding in the corner.  She confronts the man and slices the Ichor cards he’s holding.  The magic cards combine once again but all mixed up!  Making brand new heroes where Strange is a hippy burn-out, Cap has gamma rage issues, Hulk… is an angry robot of sorts?  I don’t know – didn’t we just have this whole Hero mix up crap in that Infinity Wars event that went horribly nowhere?  Either way this issue ends with these new heroes unable to shake the generic Wacky Racers and a new battle on the horizon.

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This mini-series REALLY went off the rails.  Thank goodness it’s only one more issue because if it was more I don’t think I could, in good conscience, keep supporting crap like this…

Villains:
  • Diablo
  • Mighty Martian
  • Devil Dawg
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review: Avengers * Defenders: Tarot #2 (2020)

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Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Pencil/Inks Paul Renaud
Artist: Colors Paul Mounts
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$4.99

$3.85 – $12.99

Variants: 2
  • Alan Davis Variant
  • Diablo Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This mini-series last left off on a huge cliffhanger where Diablo has mind control over the Avengers.  He has each of the powerful heroes taking on a different Defender who came seeking a magical element called ichor.  Of course, and as usual, Diablo has seriously underminded the will of the most powerful heroes.  Thor, for example, has resisited the command to take Valkyrie which sends flamboyantly dressed Diablo into an absolute tizzy!  He quickly draws a few more cards to control the rest of the heroes that weren’t already in his control.

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Now having complete control over pretty much every hero in the Avengers Mansion, the cocky Diablo sends the Surfer for a coffee run.  This catches the attention and alerts the nearby heroes like Spidey and Daredevil and even the FF.  Meanwhile, since Diablo has tried to calm all of his mind controlled heroes down he doesn’t realize this helps the Hulk revert back to Bruce Banner – who Diablo doesn’t control!  Banner comes across Vision who needs a bit of help to become functional again.

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When Surfer does return Diablo is too paranoid to drink his coffee and demands that Hulk smash the Surfer in the face.  This is the moment when Diablo realizes his oversight.  Too late though as Kang arrives to crash the party!  With all of the Avengers and Defenders programmed to attack Kang pleads with them to stop so that they can kill Diablo!  The group of heroes are successful in fighting back Kang only to have Yellowjacket show up to throw a wrench in the plans.  Diablo also notices that the watcher has been observing him.  All of this may be too much and that was before Ant-Man showed up as well!  Too bad the jester dressed fool figures out that the new heroes are actually Vision and Banner in disguise.

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In a last ditch attempt to regain control of the situation Diablo summons the Hulk but is too scared of the monster to actually use him!  Then he tries for a hasty get-away only to have the Ichor snatched back as he slipped into another realm.  Strange tries to stop him but when a demon tries to use the portal as an entrance to Earth Strange closes it – with him inside!  The other heroes remark how all the damage and battle scars have been erased and wonder if the events happened at all.  All they know is one thing for sure – the only person who can make heads of tails out of this mess is now in another dimension… and we see he also has the Surfer’s board!

This has been a really fun story thus far with great action and I’m not really sure I see where it’s heading!  I would suggest this to everyone who enjoys some good old fashion storytelling.  As long as nothing happens that is too far off the reservation then I think this story will be a real winner!  Just as long as they don’t do anything too goofy or sill….

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*le sigh* oh boy… let’s hope for the best…

Villains:
  • Diablo
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review! Avengers * Defenders Tarot #1 (2020)

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Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Pencil/Inks Paul Renaud
Artist: Colors Paul Mounts
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$4.99

$3.85 – $12.99

Variants: 2
  • Alan Davis Variant
  • Diablo Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Who doesn’t love a good Defenders story?  Especially from Alan Davis who gave us the excellent, underrated and short-lived Savage Hulk series.  This time around he hands the art over to Paul Renaud who gives us some really exciting scenes and makes this gorgeous comic that much more enjoyable.

Back in the 40’s, with Namor, Cap and the original Human Torch forming the Invaders, lending a hand in fighting back the Nazis in WWII the trio of superheroes are faced with some mystical magic.  A man named Okkults uses his magics to  bring the stone statues to life and fight our heroes.  In this moment when the statues overwhelm the trio suddenly Captain America Hulks out. Seriously – he Hulk’s out, green skin and anger issues and all!

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After taking out the horde of stone people Steve reverts back to human form with no memory of what happened.  We join the Defenders some time later with Namor spacing out thinking back to that moment in time all while they are about to take out another bad guy who has amassed an army of people possessed by evil magics.  Namor recognizes the runes that have formed on the people in said army as the same runes on the statues from years before.

The current situation isn’t as dire as it seemed as Strange was actually feigning weakness in order to trick Cyrus Black in gathering his troops so that Strange can take the evil magic, Ichor, back and cure the followers.  All goes well except that Strange can’t banish the magic from the Earth since there is another source of the same magic elsewhere on the planet.  Where exactly?  That would be the Avengers Mansion!

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The Marvel Non-Team transport to the mansion but arrive at an obviously bad time as they witness Vision kicking Iron Man’s ass.  Cap let’s the quintet know that Vision has had a malfunction of sorts and they have to bring him down.  The only one with the ability to take on Vision is Scarlet Witch who does so and knocks the android out.

At this point the Avengers split the Defenders up having the Hulk and Valkyrie help fix the damage done to the mansion, the Surfer help take the Vision down to the medic bay and Strange and Wanda heading down to the containment area to locate the rest of the Ichor magic.

Namor takes Cap aside to ask about the memories he had in the beginning of the issue but Cap doesn’t have a clue what Namor is talking about.  He gives access of the files to aquatic king to research as much as he’d like.  Stark has Norrin Rad helping him try to figure out what happened to the Vision while Thor is conning the Hulk into doing the heavy lifting – but all is a ruse!  As Strange enters the containment area he’s confronted by Diablo who has collected the Ichor and are in control of the entire Avengers team!  The only member who he wasn’t able to control was the Vision which is why they were all trying to kick his ass!  Diablo then uses the rest of the Avengers to take out the certain members of the Non-Team and uses the Ichor to take control of Strange as well!

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The end of issue #1 is quite exciting with quite the cliffhanger ending!  I think we’re in for quite the ride!  I question whether or not it would have been just as good to know what was happening at the Mansion before the Defenders show up, knowing the entire team was heading into a trap, and rooting for the team to figure it out before crap hit the fan!  Overall, this is an excellent start to a new Defenders adventure!

 

Villains:
  • Diablo
  • Avengers (sort of)
Grade: Bag and Board It

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The Defenders: A Year of Hulk Nicknames – Week 1

With a simple mind like the Hulk has it’s easy to understand why he would just call people what he thinks they look like – this year let’s highlight some of the best Hulk nicknames!

Hulk’s names for the different heroes is as follows:

  • Magician is Strange
  • Sword Girl is Valkyrie
  • Bird Nose (my favorite) is Nighthawk
  • Star Girl is Red Guardian.

I like the Hulk’s fake names better

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Old School Ads 23

hulk ad wow

This reminds me of the ads they’ve been running in the current Marvel Comics.

Defenders: The Best Defense (2019)

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Pencils / Ink Joe Bennet / Belardino Brabo
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

Variants: 4

$4.99

$3.89 – $289.99

  • Arthur Adams Cover
  • Sal Buscema Cover
  • Valerio Schiti Cover
  • Skottie Young Cover
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Defenders, Marvel’s greatest Non-Team!  It has been way too long since we’ve seen the original lineup take on a force threatening the world.  Truth is, The Defenders biggest problem is that they truly have the most powerful team in the entire MU.  Can you name a team with more powerful members? I bet you can’t.  Go ahead and try!  You have Marvel’s mightiest powerhouses banding together – not because they want to, mind you, but because if they don’t then worlds will end!  That’s right, this team, comprised of Hulk, Namor, Strange and Surfer, had a problem being a monthly title because how do you continue coming up with villains – or threats – big enough to give these powerhouses a worthy foe?  They did the only thing they could, really – they changed the team.  Over and over and over they added members and lost members on the regular just so that the writers could write believable stories where the members were being challenged!

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One thing that I’ve always looked forward to was that Marvel has continues to bring back the original members every now and again to tackle a new threat.  This time a parasitic type ghost named Nebulon has infected the Conductor of the Train.  The Train is hurtling through space picking up planets, using them as fuel.  Nebulon has taken control of the train and re-routed it to the Sol System.  Lucky for us the Surfer has met this enemy before and engages in some chit chat.  He hears Nebulon’s plans to snuff out the Earth and, unfortunately for the Surfer, has powers far greater than he remembers.

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Meanwhile, the Hulk and Strange are getting re-acquainted.  Strange needs the Hulk for his part of the plan, only Hulk doesn’t exactly understand the complexity of the situation they are in.  Strange breaks it down as simply as possible – Earth will die.  Maybe Hulk will survive but it won’t be any fun – so just help save the world.

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We now see two leopard brothers acting very Trading Places as they bet on the outcome of Nebulon after they gifted him with this upgrade in power.  Nebulon, on the other hand, is having nothing but success speeding up the train and torture Norrin Radd.  All of this is going swimmingly until Silver Sub Mariner shows up to surf his way through Nebulon’s hold on the Conductor.  If you want to know just how Namor became the new Surfer you have to buy a precursor issue that features just him and, truth be told, is quite freakin’ boring.

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The Hulk shows up to see the feline Duke brothers and even beheads one with his face hole.  It’s pretty disturbing – but let’s remember, its a pretty dark Hulk we’re dealing with here.  When the souls of the brothers move to Nebulon, dosing him with additional power, he flings Namor into the void of space.  Now Surfer has a choice to make – save the world and beat Nebulon or save a former teammate, grumpy sea king.  How is this even a choice?

Actually, Norrin doesn’t even need to weigh the pros and cons because the Hulk shows up and takes charge once again!  He hurtles the Surfer at Namor while appropriating his board to bitch slap Nebulon.

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How, you ask, how is Surfer supposed to save Namor without his board?  Well, if you guessed becoming the board himself then you’d be right and I’d be witnessing one of the most ridiculous moments in 2018 comic history!  With Hulk’s continued onslaught on Nebulon it gives Strange the chance to distract the Conductor – freeing him from Nebulon’s control – just for a second.  It’s enough to save a planet of Atlantean’s from becoming fuel and even more so, enough to knock the train off course a fraction of a degree and right into the hands of Mephisto.

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Our story concludes with Namor feeling good about saving the world of his kind.  Surfer back with Galactus, feeling used and misunderstood, Hulk back on Earth and Strange, now a prisoner of Mephisto. smiling devilishly because things went just how he expected.

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I love a good Defenders story – and this one is pretty damn great!  Don’t forget to check out the 1-shots that were all pre-cursors to this.  Especially the Immortal Hulk one which is just SO good!

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Villains:
    • Nebulon
    • Borss
    • Mog’Rys
    • Mephisto
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Immortal Hulk #1: Best Defense – The Variants

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This past week the Hulk’s portion of the new Defenders story was released. If you haven’t read it you totally should!  The story is amazing!  Anyways, there were 5 variants released including a brilliant Jack Kirby 1:200 cover.  See below:

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As you can see in addition to the regular cover we were also given an obligatory Skottie Young cover!  The list below is as follows:

  • Regular Cover by Ron Garney
  • Skottie Young Cover
  • 1:25 Cover by  Joe Bennet
  • 1:50 Cover by Adi Granov
  • 1:200 Cover by Jack Kirby

If you have yet to read this issue then take a moment right now to crack open this book!  It’s just awesome!   They use snippets from past stories and it was seriously flat out exceptional!

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Don’t forget to pick up Namor: Best Defense to continue the story

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