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Book Title: Marvel Masterworks: The Defenders, Vol. 1|
The author of the book: Roy Thomas
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.55 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.1
Edition: Marvel Comics
Date of issue: July 30th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780785130444
Read full description of the books:
This is volume of the Marvel Masterworks series collects the first 6 issues of The Defenders comic as well as their origins captured in two issues of Sub-Mariner and three issues of Marvel Feature. The Defenders was a concept originally started because Doctor Strange's comic was cancelled mid story arc and writer Roy Thomas had to finish it in other comics that he was working on at the time. So he had Doctor Strange cross-over into the Sub-Mariner's and the Hulk's comics. This initial story-arc is omitted from this collection ostensibly because it involves 4 issues of Doctor Strange as well as the two follow-up issues from the other and the story itself isn't necessarily the Defenders origins, it was just the first time these three particular characters all shared the same pages together.
A second shared storyarc of potential Defenders members is in a two issue 1971 Sub-Mariner story, which opens this collection. In it Sub-Mariner enlists the aid of The Hulk and The Silver Surfer to stop a weather control experiment happening in the midst of civil war on a small island nation. The Avengers get involved in the second issue and there is a battle between the two teams. These stories are decent enough and paved the way for the first true appearance of the Defenders later that year. The second issue where the Avengers battle the Defenders (not called that just yet) is the real draw here.
The Defenders officially made their debut later that same year in three issues of Marvel Premiere. The Silver Surfer makes a cameo here and was originally supposed to be part of the team, but Stan Lee didn't want him included in any comic he didn't have absolute control of, so he was eventually replaced by Doctor Strange. The first two issues are pretty good, but the third about a furry alien who wants to steal Earth's kids via a TV show was pretty trite.
A year later The Defenders finally got their own comic going with Strange, Hulk, and Namor as the core members of their "non-team" (frequently during these issues it's made very clear they aren't a team) and will have members join and leave throughout it's run. The first six issues collected here are a decent blend of Doctor Strange psychedelic weirdness and that unique campy Marvel action. In issue four we are introduced to Valkyrie who will become the fourth core member of the team. I like the idea of the Defenders, but I'm not a huge fan of the Sub-Mariner and his presence in these comics is kind of grating to me sometimes as he is very negative and very bland as a character.
Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart are the two writers you'll be reading in this collection, their work is excellent here. Steve tried to keep some of the classic trippy Doctor Strange tone that Roy was famous for while putting his own stamp on things. Sal Buscema's art (he did the majority of this collection with the exception of the three Marvel Premiere issues) is classic Marvel goodness, I especially love the use of color in these comics. It's the kind of quality you'd expect from Marvel in the early 70s.
I highly recommend this collection, it's so much fun and really their selection of characters for the team is just top notch (with the exception of Namor, but that's just a personal preference of mine). It's a nice alternative to The Avengers and a wonderful piece of nostalgia. Great reading!
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Read information about the authorRoy Thomas is a comic book writer and editor, and Stan Lee's first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. He is possibly best known for introducing the pulp magazine hero Conan the Barbarian to American comics, with a series that added to the storyline of Robert E. Howard's character and helped launch a sword and sorcery trend in comics. Thomas is also known for his championing of Golden Age comic-book heroes — particularly the 1940s superhero team the Justice Society of America — and for lengthy writing stints on Marvel's X-Men and Avengers, and DC Comics' All-Star Squadron, among other titles.
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