The Defenders Fansite

Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Legacy

The recent loss of former teammate Black Widow brought Iceman, Angel, Ghost Rider, Hercules, and Darkstar back to Los Angeles to grieve—and also to reminisce about their days as Champions (Iceman #6).

The group learned that their former headquarters was now a fitness center, and Iceman felt all the more smited when someone mistook him for the Silver Surfer.

In his plain-clothes identity as Bobby Drake, the now-out hero kissed a man for the first time while on an impromptu date. The evening ended abruptly, however, with the arrival of Sentinels (which the team fought in Champions #17, the last issue of their original series).

Sina Grace wrote Iceman #6 (December 2017). A back-up story by Robbie Thompson recounted the hero's origin and personal history, including a flashback to the fight scene from the cover of New Defenders #126.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Losing Power

During a time when Thing lost his superhuman powers and returned to the human form of Ben Grimm, the Fantastic Four hired Power Man to step in as the team's resident heavy-hitter. But how did Power Man's strength compare to that of the Thing?

When Power Man fell under the evil influence of the Puppet Master in Fantastic Four #170 (May 1976), Mr. Fantastic designed an exo-suit to give Ben Grimm the rocky appearance he had as the Thing and increase his strength many times. While wearing the suit, Ben Grimm seemed evenly matched against Power Man.

By Fantastic Four #171 (June 1976), Ben Grimm's strength inside the exo-suit increased even more—now surpassing Power Man and matching 90% of Thing's previous strength. Ben resumed his place among the Fantastic Four and soon transformed back into his rocky form.

From as early as Fantastic Four #12 to as recently as #166, Thing was among a handful of super-strong characters with a long history of holding their own against the Hulk. Power Man, on the other hand, didn't claim to compete with the green goliath. In-story context consistently gave the impression that Hulk was a notch stronger than Thing, and that Thing was stronger than Power Man. As Hulk's estimated strength continued to increase over the years, Thing's relative strength increased as well. Power Man's strength level, meanwhile, didn't escalate.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983) originally noted that Hulk could comfortably lift (press) 90 tons and had been able to lift well over 100 tons while angry, whereas Thing could lift (press) 85 tons in peak condition. Rather than stating how much Power Man could lift, the original handbook instead noted that Power Man could punch through several feet of most modern, conventional building materials such as brick, concrete, and masonry; and with repeated blows, can rupture 4-inch steel plate.

Even though Power Man once filled in for the Thing, comic books and related references have tended to downplay Power Man's superhuman strength while emphasizing his invulnerability instead.

These images from Fantastic Four #170 show Ben Grimm learning about the exo-suit and then wearing the exo-suit while fighting Power Man.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Gun-Shy

Although the current incarnation of the Defenders has few ties to previous versions of the non-team, former member Daimon Hellstrom made a surprise guest appearance in Defenders #5 (November 2017). The issue established that Hellstrom dated Jessica Jones before she became involved with Luke Cage. Based on Hellstrom's hissing reaction to the couple, he's still sore about the breakup with Jones.

One a separate note, the cover nameplate stands out as one of the most creative in Defenders history—with a bullet shooting through the word Defenders, drawing contrast to Luke Cage's bulletproof skin.

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