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Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Defenders Key Issues Part 3

Part 3 to this Defenders key issues list, and we have some interesting sleepers or over-looked keys pertaining to the Netflix Defenders TV series. Or, at least, ones that should be connected to the upcoming Netflix TV series.

You'll see what I mean. Then again, there are some keys here that will most likely never be connected to the Netflix Defenders TV series since the live action version is basically made up of street-level heroes. Anyways, click this Part 2 link if you missed it, but if not, enjoy Part 3.

Silver Surfer leaves team
Namor leaves team
1st appearance of Temax
1s appearance of Chandu

Defenders #11 sees the first appearance of the Arabian mystic Chandu. Temax and his Earth gnomes were conjured by Chandu. They are vulnerable to water, in which causes them to dissolve.
At the end of this adventure in issue #11, Silver Surfer and Namor leave the team. Didn't take too long for the Silver Surfer to part ways, but he will often show up in their further adventures. The team is left with the Hulk, Dr. Strange and Valkyrie. This was published December, 1973.

1st appearance of the Dragonfang

An enchanted blade, it is said that a wizard named Kahji-Da carved this nearly-indestructible sword from the tusk of an extradimensional dragon. Before this sword was handed down to Doctor Strange, it was received by the Ancient One.

Doctor Strange would give the sword to Valkyrie after she returned the Ebony Blade to Black Knight. Even Lady Sif wielded the Dragonfang during Ragnarök after Valkyrie fell in battle.

The first appearance of the Dragonfang in Defenders #12 was published February, 1974.

Namor leaves team
Nighthawk joins team

Silver Surfer and Namor and Hawkeye left the team in issue #11 of the Defenders, but in issue #13, Namor would be summoned by Doctor Strange for extra muscle to fight off the Squadron Sinister from threatening the safety of the world.

Gathered by Nebulon, the Squadron Sinister create a laser device to melt the polar ice-caps and thus flood the world. Of course, the Defenders foil their plans, but not before a certain Nighthawk decides to reform his evil ways by leaving the Squadron Sinister and joining the side of good as a member of the Defenders.

Namor finally leaves the team and is replaced by Nighthawk in this issue, and the character would be a long-standing member of the Defenders. Defenders #14 was published July, 1974.

1st Giant-Size Defenders issue 

As a key issue, this is basically just the 1st Giant-Size Defenders issue. The issue does reprint certain stories of the characters in such comics as The Incredible Hulk #4, Sub-Mariner Comics #41, and Strange Tales #145.

Apparently Valkyrie wants to learn more about her new teammates so Clea casts a spell in order to glimpse into their past heroics. However, the spell sends Dr. Strange, Hulk, and Namor into a limbo dimension of sorts where they actual relive their past encounters.

Giant-Size Defenders #1 was published July, 1974.

1st cameo of Wrecking Crew?
1st meeting Luke Cage & Defenders

Okay in terms of the first appearance of the Wrecking Crew, I'm not entirely sure. Most sources say that this their first appearance, but they appear at the end of the story and only in a cameo.

So, I'm noting it as a cameo. Also there are three members of the Wrecking Crew that either make their first cameo appearance or first appearance in this issue. They are Piledriver, Thunderball, and Bulldozer.

The leader of the Wrecking Crew is none other than the Wrecker from Thor's rogue gallery. I'll get to more about them in the next listing. However, the more important key notation is that this issue holds the first meeting between the Defenders and Luke Cage.

Luke Cage would later be called upon to help aid the Defenders from time to time as an associate member of the non-team before he officially joins. As we all know, Luke Cage will be in the Netflix incarnation of the Defenders. 

This comic may be one to get short-term as it is still under the radar for the most part. Defenders #17 was published November, 1974.

1st Luke Cage & Defenders team up
1st full appearance Wrecking Crew

In this issue, we have the first Luke Cage and Defenders team up against the Wrecking Crew. As stated in the listing prior, the Wrecking Crew appeared briefly near the end of issue #17.

So who are the Wrecking Crew? Well, the story is the Wrecker, Dirk Garthwaite, meets a Dr. Elliot Franklin in prison. Elliot Franklin asks the assistance of Garthwaite in retrieving a gamma bomb that Franklin designed and created.

Escaping with two other inmates - Henry Camp and Brian Calusky - Garthwaite and Franklin are able to find the Wrecker's enchanted crowbar. While all four hold onto the crowbar as lightening strikes it, the enchanted power from the crowbar is distributed to the other men.

In the Wrecker's origin, he mistakenly received an enchantment that was meant for Loki. This enchantment made his crowbar nearly indestructible and granted him superhuman strength and near indestructibility as well.

The same would happen to Elliot, Brian, and Henry. Elliot became Thunderball and used a wrecking ball as an offensive weapon. Brian became Bulldozer and wore a helmet, neck and shoulder apparatus to further protect him when ramming an opponent or object.

Brian Calusky became Piledriver and was the stronger and more powerful of Elliot and Henry. He had over-sized hands that inflicted severe damage.

This super villain team does appear sporadically in Marvel Comics but are still pretty minor. Definitely under the radar for the first Luke Cage and Defenders team up. Not sure if this one will heat up or not. So far it's a not really. December, 1974 was when this comic was published.

1st Daredevil & Defenders team up
1st meeting Daredevil & Defenders
1st appearance Korvac

I'm not sure if Daredevil ever officially joins the Defenders. Well, if officially joining a non-team is possible. Okay, just being a smart ass.

He does aid the Defenders from time to time as an associate member though. Well, not for nothing, but Giant-Size Defenders #3 does see the first time Daredevil meets the Defenders as a team and is their first team up.

Daredevil will be a member of the Defenders in the Netflix live-action incarnation as you all probably already know.

This issue also sees the first appearance of Michael Korvac, a character who suppose to be a one-off, throw away. Instead, he became a known villain for the cosmic side of things and appeared as a foe for Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy. July, 1975 is the publishing date for this comic.

Most these are under the radar and not all that known in the current market. Maybe the market will catch on and some of these will heat up temporarily. Maybe not.

Giant-Size Defenders #3 might see some heat as there is some slight speculation about Korvac being in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie and not many know that issue has the first Daredevil and Defenders team up.

I'm hesitant to call Giant-Size Defenders #3 the first appearance of Daredevil as a Defender, because he really doesn't join in that issue nor become a recurring member. The issues with Luke Cage might be good ones as well. He doesn't officially join either in those issues but he does later in the series.

We'll cover more of that when we get deeper into this Defenders key issues series. Part 4 a click away with more Defenders key comics so click the link below to continue. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed so far.


  1. Hi Mayhem,

    sorry, again not Defenders-related, but another great investing tip came on my mind: Uncanny X-Men 129 in high grade.
    Double whamy with 1 appearance of White Queen & Kitty Pride plus Chris Claremont and Hellfire Club goodness. Joss Whedon named his run highly influential and it has been for comics in general. Just a good alternative to the first appearance of Elektra. Another good one in my opinion? Uncanny X-Men 267. Well, we all know number 266 - beautiful cover and Gambit first-appearance goodness, but have you looked inside? No satisfying artwork here, no sir. But take number 267 and you get Jim Lee - Whilce Portacio vision of Gambit. Nice!


    1. You know for the longest time I thought I had that issue Ace. I swore I had that issue. It's in my inventory but I can't find the bugger. Looks like I'll be on the hunt for that issue and I'm all colors pissed off.

      I agree...that is a good comic investment issue for X-Men comics, and really just as a fan, I want X-Men #129 just to have it. To be honest, I never really cared for the cover of #266 nor the artwork. Major turn off when I first read the comic as a youngin'.

      Then, I didn't even know it was Gambit's first appearance nor cared. I did start liking the character a bit afterward but not in a big bad way. Issue #267 is Gambit's 2nd appearance and that issue has much better artwork.

  2. hey mayhem great show in charlotte you will love it next year. got a JIM 83 2.0 hulk 2 and 5 for 2k. JW

    1. I know you have a hulk 2 also TCM and was just thinking how interesting the value diff is between 2nd app hulk and ASM are considering price of there first app where as I bet 50/50 would choose a AF 15 or Hulk 1 JW

    2. Heya JW...glad the show was great for ya! Jeez, I keep forgetting to sock away money for next year in Charlotte. Gotta start doing that more proactively.

      I have a dirt copy of Hulk #2...probably a 1.8 GD- the most that I got a while, while back. Well, a first appearance is always going to be more desirable than a 2nd appearance for sure, but a Hulk #2 and ASM #1 2nd appearances of both headlining characters are also sought out. ASM #1 has been sought out for a long time.

      Hulk #2 is considerably cheaper than ASM #1 though and definitely a lot more solid than some other comics. Despite my dirt copy, I'm gonna keep it for the long haul. I do have it in mind to get a better grade copy eventually though.

      Dude, congrats on the snags!!!