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Monday, June 22, 2015

Defenders Key Comics Part 6

Welcome to Part 6 to this Defenders key comics list, and we surely got a whole slew of minor ones here. If you missed Part 5, that link will bring you back. If you're good to go or if this key series has still kept your interest, here's more extremely minor Defenders key issues.

Hellcat joins team?
Luke Cage leaves team
Red Guardian leaves team
1st full appearance of Max Fury

It's in this issue where Hellcat decides she'll stick around a while longer after Doctor Strange departs from the group. I think it's a more fitting issue where Hellcat actually joins the Defenders, but of course, that can be debated.

Also, Luke Cage bids farewell to his short tenure as a Defenders as well, and Tania Belinski has to go back to Russia.

This issue shows the first appearance of Max Fury, who is believed to be Nick Fury. It's later revealed that Nick Fury is an LMD or Life-Model Decoy created by Scorpio, Nick Fury's brother. This Life-Model Decoy will assume the alias of Max Fury later on. 

Defenders #46 was published April, 1977.

Nick Fury revealed as LMD
Origin of Max Fury (Nick Fury LMD)

This issue sees Nick Fury revealed as a Life-Model Decoy. Poor thing actually thought he was really Nick Fury. 

Defenders #49 also reveals the origin of Max Fury and how he was re-programed by Scorpio in a plot to make an LMD version of the Zodiac and wreak havoc. As stated before, this LMD of Nick Fury would later become his own being and start thinking for himself, taking the alias of Max Fury.

Defenders #49 was published July, 1977.

1st full appearance of the Zodiac
Death of Scorpio

Under the codename Scorpio, Nick Fury's brother Jacob Fury created a 2nd version of the villainous group known as the Zodiac. This 2nd incarnation was entirely made up of LMDs or Life-Model Decoys.

The first full appearance of this group followed the original and had members with the names of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The original Zodiac cartel was formed by Cornelius van Lunt and first appeared in Avengers #72.

Scorpio kills himself in this issue, but to further the LMD jargon, it is revealed much later that the Jake Fury who took up the Scorpio mantle was in fact an LMD also. So, the real Jake Fury did not kill himself and is very much alive in the Marvel Universe. August, 1977 is the publishing date for Defenders #50.

1st appearance of Defenders for a Day

What's comic books without a bit of silliness? So apparently an associate of the team named Dollar Bill makes a documentary about the Defenders. At the end, Dollar Bill informs the viewing public about the Defender's non-team status and invites any hero to join the group.

Of course, this is without the consent of Nighthawk, who has taken over leadership of the non-team and doesn't just want any hero to join the team if that makes any sense. Consequently, a whole slew of superheroes arrive to join.

Some of these include Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Havok from the X-Men, Polaris, Nova, Son of Satan, Iron Fist, Black Goliath, and many more. The silliness of this story arc sees the Defenders for a Day disband two issues later in issues #64.

Iron Fist is a Defender for a Day, however, and it's this issue where he joins up or helps the core Defenders beat on some baddies. August, 1978 is when Defenders #62 was published.

Valkyrie back story event
1st appearance of Ollerus

Okay let's see if I can explain this doozy, and I truly debated whether to include this issue on here. Defenders #66 kicks off the story arc Val in Valhalla. So Brunnhilde's mental essence is trapped in the body of Barbara Norriss, but Valkyrie's real body is in suspended animation and, apparently, in Valhalla.

In this issue, Hela faces the challenge of Ollerus for control over her dominion and the title of God of Death. Ollerus revives the real body of Brunnhilde with the soul of Barbara Norris and captures Valkyrie.

In the rest of the story arc that runs through #68, the real Valkyrie's body that hosts the conscious of Barbara Norris is used to gather the Defenders to fight for Ollerus. Eventually Valkyrie breaks out of the prison Ollerus keeps her confined in, reveals Barbara Norris is posing as her, and the Defenders switch sides and help their real comrade to defeat Ollerus in issue #68.

Hela sends Ollerus and Barbara Norris to Niffleheim. Brunnhilde in the body of Barbara Norris returns to Earth with the Defenders. Defenders #66 was published December, 1978.

Origin of Lunatik

Lunatik first appeared in Creatures on the Loose #35 and is Arisen Tyrek. He was created by David Kraft and George Perez. 

Tyrek is the god-king of the Other Realm from another dimension of course. His first appearance saw the character as Harrison Turk and posed as a professor at Empire State University.

In this issue, we learn of his origin and how he was ousted as ruler of the Other Realm. Making his escape to the Earth realm, his body and personality was split into fragments. Crazy character all around.

There is another character that has the name of Lunatik who is a cosmic mercenary and kills one of Tyrek's fragments. Defenders #71 was published November, 1977.

Moondragon joins team?

Moondragon is called upon for help in this issue, but she only helps them out until the next issue and then leaves the group. Actually, at the end of issue #77, she tells the Defenders never to contact her for help again.

She does actually join near the end of the Defenders volume one comic series though, but I guess this is the character's first dealing with the Defenders. Not sure if this makes it a key issue worth hunting for or not.

Defenders #76 was published October, 1979.

Origin of Omega
Moondragon leaves team
Wasp joins team 
Death of James Michael Starling

James Michael Starling is the central character for Omega the Unknown and first appeared in his self-titled comic Omega the Unknown #1. Steve Gerber of course is a co-creater of this character, along with Mary Skrenes and Jim Mooney. 

The character of Omega is Model X3Z was created by an alien race of beings called the Protars from the planet Protaris. This race of metallic aliens were on the verge of extinction and wanted to create a more humanoid race of beings to survive them on Protaris.

These models or prototypes were sent on humanoid populated planets to gather information on how to do so. Model X3Z was sent to the planet Srenesk while James Michael Starling was sent to Earth. Both are psionically linked so they could relay information about the other to each other.

The Protars would eventually decide that Omega and Starling should be destroyed, but Starling ends up wiping them out. In this issue, Moondragon uncovers the origin of both Starling and Omega. The power that Starling holds, like Omega, was too much and focuses his power inwards ultimately killing himself so Starling wouldn't harm his friends.

Moondragon is not happy that an entire race of beings is now extinct and chastises the Defenders for their rash behavior. This is the issue where Moondragon tells the team to never contact her again and leaves.

So, honestly, I don't know if the previous issue #76 could or should be considered Moondragon joining the Defenders. Seems more like a cross-over to me. November, 1979 is the publishing date for Defenders #77.

Original members return
Yellowjacket joins team
1st appearance of Fem-Force

Henry Pym as Yellowjacket follows Wasp into the ranks of the Defenders in this issue. Also, the original Defenders return, but it's just really Namor joining the group again.

The cover hypes this comic as The Return of The Original Defenders. As for the 1st appearance of the Fem-Force, they are highly minor characters and minions of Mandrill. Defenders #78 was published December, 1979.

We've been in the land of minor key issues for quite some time now, so I'm thinking one more part to this Defenders key comics or key issues series and I'm gonna have to call it. 

Click the PART 7 link below to continue to the final part of this Defenders key issues series. See you soon.


  1. Defenders = Losers. Is anyone really a fan of this team? The only thing worse might be that group called The Champions.

    Mr. Clark

  2. Mr. Clark = LOSER