Monday, 11 May 2015

The ( Sort Of ) First Appearance Of The Defenders

Here's part 1 of a two-parter that convinced Stan & Roy there might be legs in putting together a group of Marvel's less easy to get along with characters, an idea that, a little while later, was to give birth to The Defenders.
Here we have champion moper The Silver Surfer being all Zsa Zsa Gabor and wanting to be left alone, The Hulk just happy he's got something to hit, and Subby actually behaving himself and being quite calm and reasonable, for him.
The plot's kind of irrelevant, as the fun is obviously in watching these three grumpmeisters arguing and threatening to beat each other up every third panel, something everybody else enjoyed at the time as well, as the fan mail demanding a regular book like this deluged the Marvel offices.
So in quick order, the Titans Three got themselves their own book, and a combination therapist / social worker in the form of Doc Strange, who they all hated, and all was fine and dandy.
Until Subby, Surfer and Greenskin repeatedly went off in a huff 'cos they never wanted to be in The Defenders anyway. So there and, indeed, Nur Nuckee Nur Nur.


  1. I've never seen this issue before! Lovely opening splash page by our pal Sal! I love those old Sub-mariner issues even though I found the character a bit dull. Thanks for sharing Pete:)

  2. I loved the original 10 or so issues of the Defenders mag, so its good to see this story (which I also don't recall even from the UK reprints) as always Sal Buscema was on top form here. The Sub Mariner comic from around this time was pretty good with some great art by Sal Buscema before they seemed to give up (imho) on the character as a solo comic character. Great stuff again I really enjoyed reading this book here.

  3. This and X-Men #66 were among the first comics I bought, and my first exposure to Sal Buscema's work - those and his Avengers pencilling marked him as a real talent, so it disappointed somewhat when he (presumably from over-demand?) seemed to be just phoning it in after the mid-1970s...lots of little touches - like no panel borders and unusual figure cropping - disappeared, and his work became less interesting as result.

  4. PS I still have this issue, but lost #35 a long, long time ago...any chance you could show it (that surfboard grew and shrank alarmingly depending on how many people were on it!)?

  5. I do remember reading this first in a British Marvel, but couldn't tell you which one at all.
    I agree, as much as I liked Spec Spidey & Team-Up, I could never understand how those issues were so blah, considering it was Sal with Mike Esposito!
    But considering the next part of this story consists of the Titans Three vs. The Avengers, it's a safe bet that'll be up here in the next week or so...
    BTW, I do recall a later tale where the surfboard was able to change shape & size ( it being made, like E-Man, of pure energy ) but of course, that wasn't what Our Pal was doing here!

  6. That panel of Subby on the surf board is A+. Was this in a UK Annual? Sal's art is great here, he could be dire though. The Avengers/Defenders War is one of my strongest Marvel memories but looking at it now the art is pedestrian at best.
    I rememeber Sal most for giving jade jaws an extraordinary amount of stringy saliva at any given opportunity.Sal Saliva.