Tag Archives: Avengers/ Defenders War

MANTIS 8: TO THE DEATH

These days when it comes to pop culture it’s Marvel Comics’ world and the rest of us are just potential LMDs. You readers wanted more Marvel and I’m delivering. FOR PART 1 OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF MARVEL’S SUPERHEROINE MANTIS CLICK HERE   

Mantis 8 cover To the DeathTHE AVENGERS Volume 1, Number 118 (December 1973)  To The Death

AVENGERS ROSTER: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, The Scarlet Witch, The Black Panther, The Vision, The Swordsman and MANTIS

DEFENDERS ROSTER: Doctor Strange, Sub-Mariner, The Hulk, The Silver Surfer, Valkyrie and Hawkeye

Last time around the globe-spanning war between the Avengers and the Defenders came to an end in Los Angeles when both teams at last compared notes and realized they were being manipulated into fighting each other.

The 14 assembled heroes had recovered all six fragments of the Evil Eye of Avalon, which relic was hastily stolen by Dormammu. That flame-headed man-god who ruled over the Dark Dimension was a foe of Dr Strange and the Defenders.

Mantis torsoFor years Dormammu had been bound by his Galactus-like vow not to invade Earth’s dimension ever again but the reassembled Evil Eye of Avalon gives him the power to bypass that vow by simply MERGING our dimension with his.  

As Dormammu taunted the Avengers and Defenders, our entire universe was becoming one with Dormammu’s vile domain. The landscape and buildings were all turning surreal and distorted, the sun’s light was fading and some people were transforming into the kind of monstrous beings who inhabit the Dark Dimension.  

TO THE DEATH

Synopsis: This story resumes right where we left off, with the Avengers and Defenders defiantly telling Dormammu that they’ll do whatever they have to do to save the universe from him. In typical pulp fiction fashion there’s an arbitrary but dramatic deadline to race against: Dormammu tells the heroes that in one Earth-hour the merging of dimensions will be complete and irreversible.

Dormammu merging dimensionsWhile the other superheroes fight off the demonic creatures beginning to surround them, Dr Strange casts a spell to prevent the Avengers and Defenders from turning into Dark Dimension creatures for the necessary hour. He tells his comrades that he can’t protect everyone on Earth the same way or he’ll be too weak to help them fight Dormammu.

The Doctor wants the Avengers to join him and the Defenders in a direct attack on Dormammu but – rather foolishly, given what’s at stake – the Avengers argue that they can’t abandon the innocent people of Los Angeles to their fate. Strange counters that the entire damn UNIVERSE will suffer if they don’t act quickly.

Avengers 118 to the deathAs the argument continues amid battles with Dark Dimension demonoids, Nick Fury, Countess Valentina Allegro de Fontaine and Dum Dum Dugan arrive with dozens of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury’s outfit was as much a paramilitary organization as an intelligence unit and, with guns blazing they tackle the monstrous beings now reproducing geometrically out of the local population.

Satisfied that S.H.I.E.L.D. will be fighting to help the locals the Avengers agree to accompany the Defenders. Dr Strange casts a spell that takes the 14 superheroes out of Los Angeles and into the heart of Dormammu’s realm. Meanwhile the Countess and some of Nick Fury’s other agents turn into demonoids themselves.

MORE bickering breaks out among the heroes as Thor calls out to all of those Avengers and Defenders who can fly to join him in racing to the far-off spot where they can see Dormammu and his ally/ pawn Loki standing.   Continue reading

Advertisements

23 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

MANTIS 7: BREAKTHROUGH!

THIS WORLD IS CRAZED FOR SUPERHEROES! FOR PART 1 OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF MARVEL’S SUPERHEROINE MANTIS CLICK HERE  

Mantis BreakthroughTHE DEFENDERS Volume 1, Number 10 (November 1973)  Breakthrough!

Last time around as the war between the Avengers and the Defenders continued, Captain America and the Sub-Mariner battled each other in Osaka, Japan, for their fragment of the Evil Eye of Avalon. Comparing notes the pair began to realize that the two super-teams were being manipulated into fighting each other.  

BREAKTHROUGH!

Synopsis: BATTLE SIX: THOR VERSUS THE HULK – Because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe audiences today automatically associate the Hulk with the Avengers. Back in 1973 that was not the case. Even though the Hulk WAS one of the original Avengers he quit the team at the end of the SECOND ISSUE, in 1963. 

The green guy made a few guest appearances in the Avengers, like in their 100th issue Anniversary Special but in the early 1970s the Hulk was known as a core member of the Defenders. That held true until at least the late 1980s or longer.

Mantis Breakthrough poseGetting back to the story, the final fragment of the Evil Eye is in Los Angeles, where the Hulk has dug it up with help from the spell cast by Dr Strange. Greenskin is causing the expected city-wide panic but before he can leave with the Eye fragment Thor arrives.

The thunder god, still under the mistaken idea that the Defenders want to reassemble the Evil Eye for malevolent purposes, tries to beg the Hulk to give him the fragment. Foolishly he appeals to him as a former Avenger, which just makes the Hulk mad and the fight is on.

The battling super-foes inflict kaiju-sized damage on Los Angeles but as the hours go by the more it becomes apparent that Thor and the Hulk are so evenly matched the struggle could go on indefinitely. The only thing that breaks up the contest is the sudden arrival of the combined forces of the rest of the Defenders and the Avengers. Continue reading

30 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

MANTIS 6: HOLOCAUST

MARVEL COMICS OWNS POP CULTURE RIGHT NOW IT SEEMS. YOU READERS SAID YOU WANT MORE AND MORE! FOR PART 1 OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF MARVEL’S SUPERHEROINE MANTIS CLICK HERE  

Mantis Holocaust coverTHE AVENGERS Volume 1, Number 117 (November 1973)  Holocaust

The worldwide conflict between the Avengers and the Defenders continues this time around. It seems this multi-part crossover story was done at a time before such crossover “special events” were going on all the time, so readers from back then must have been blown away by all this.

HOLOCAUST

Synopsis: This issue opens up in the Dark Dimension ruled by Dormammu, the flame-headed villain who – with help from the blinded Loki – manipulated the Defenders into trying to reassemble the scattered fragments of the Evil Eye of Avalon.

Dormammu is raging and ranting in his confusion over why the Avengers are opposing the Defenders in their efforts. The Lord of the Dark Dimension doesn’t know that Loki secretly manipulated the Avengers into becoming involved because he grew suspicious about whether Dormammu would really cure his blindness and share the power of the Evil Eye.

Loki feigns ignorance as he and Dormammu resume monitoring events from the Dark Dimension.   

BATTLE FOUR: THE VALKYRIE VERSUS THE SWORDSMAN – The Avenger called the Swordsman has reached the Bolivian jungle in his Quin-Jet to search for his fragment of the Evil Eye of Avalon. The reader gets some character bits as Swordsy contemplates his checkered career on both sides of the law.

Mantis story holcaustHis respect for his lady-love Mantis and his gratitude toward her for getting him to go straight and rejoin the Avengers are prominently displayed as is his determination not to let down his fellow Avengers. In the sky over a castle apparently built by a Nazi war criminal who escaped to Bolivia the Quin-Jet is attacked by the Defender called the Valkyrie astride the Black Knight’s winged horse Aragorn.    

The Valkyrie uses her massive super-strength and the indestructible sword she appropriated from the incapacitated Black Knight to bring down the Quin-Jet. The Swordsman lands the crippled aircraft just outside the castle and pursues the Valkyrie inside, assuming that must be where the Bolivian fragment of the Eye is being held.  Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Superheroes