Over on  Newsarama, Matt Fraction said, "Sometimes I think Defenders was doomed the minute the word Defenders was put on the cover."  I'm curious what other people think.  Is the Defenders a title doomed to fail or is it just that Matt Fraction's Defenders were doomed to fail?

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Robin Olsen said:

Kirby: great concepts, okay scripts, horrendous dialogue.

Kirby: great concepts, great scripts, great dialogue.

Or, as you say later:

 we all have opinions, and we're all entitled to them. Okey - dokey?
 


Robin, no one is disputing your right to have your own opinion. But, let's engage in a little analysis here. Is it that for years you've heard that Kirby's dialogue is horrendous, and perhaps haven't read enough of his dialogue to pick up on its good qualities, that you think it's bad? Certain things get passed on as fandom lore that may or may not be true. Did Kirby write some bad dialogue? Yes. On occasion. As did Stan Lee, and any other writer who ever produced any significant amount of work for Marvel, DC, or any other company. I mean, for all that Stan (yes, him again) has the reputation for being such a great dialogue writer, I find much of his dialogue to be trite, banal, repetitive, overblown, and obvious. But, certainly not all of his work is that way, some is. It's the same with Kirby. No doubt Jack wrote dialogue in his own idiosyncratic way, for the most part I like it, like it a lot. So I guess tastes really do differ. Enjoy your day, but give Kirby another chance and see if you don't come to like his dialogue just a little bit, idiosyncracies and all.

Allen Smith
Tim Boo Ba said:



Robin Olsen said:

Kirby: great concepts, okay scripts, horrendous dialogue.

Kirby: great concepts, great scripts, great dialogue.

Or, as you say later:

 we all have opinions, and we're all entitled to them. Okey - dokey?
 

Guys, I'm not a moderator, and I doubt I have a good track record at pouring oil on troubled waters, but here are a few things to remember about having a cordial discussion:

-Angry posts raise the temperature. I'm afraid it works that way even when you've been provoked, and when you're responding to rudeness to a third party. I can't speak for anyone else, but if you show forbearance I'll admire you for it.

-We should expect that not everyone will agree with what we have to say. It's just the way the world works. One should get over the idea that mistaken ideas are heresies that need to be driven out, and be prepared to agree to disagree. Having wrong opinions about comics is not a moral failing.

-It is better to make your case using reasoned argument and evidence than by resorting to emotion. If you do the former those who disagree with you at the time might be won over by your arguments later. And yes, this does really happen.

-When you've made your case you've made your case. You don't have to resume the fight every time whoever it is again states the opinion you disagree with. He or she may be wrong, but feel strongly on the point. Let him or her have his or her say.

-The Captain can't have a lively board resulting from the presence here of a broad spectrum of points of view if everyone agrees with everyone else about everything.

Wow get tied up for a couple of days and suddenly there are 50 more posts... sadly, very few about the Defenders.

George you attributed this post to me, 

Border Mutt said: "Maybe if Dr. Strange had been replaced by the likes of Iron Man or even a reformed super-villain like the Sandman, reader interest would have stayed high."

when you're actually talking about something I quoted from Randy Jackson.  Regardless, I find your comment, 

The disdain that so many fanboys have for Dr. Strange is really disconcerting. 

rather offensive.  

I recognize that both you and Henry have strong feelings about Lee/Kirby, you both get passionate about the subject, and sometimes you each cross the line.  However, being snide and rude to a fellow poster like this, (who I might add was not even debating you), does not put you in a good light.  Would you be that dismissive of someone in person?  I personally do not come to this board to be insulted and I doubt anyone else does.  I'm going to assume the insult was unintentional but please be a little more mindful of your language.

Now maybe... back to the Defenders?

Guys, I'm as guilty as anyone else for taking conversations off on a tangent, especially here in Silver Age land...

The thing is, I just don't have anything to contribute to a discussion of the Defenders, as I left comic-buying just as their series was starting, I missed the Avengers-Defenders War completely, and never did get into buying their series. So, except for highlighting the "realistic" covers drawn by a free-lance artist who happens to live in my town, I have nothing else to contribute.

Yeah, I agree. I found much of the original run of The Defenders entertaining enough, with it's B-list team of Nighthawk, Hellcat, Valkryie, Dr. Strange and one A-lister, The Hulk. It's not (just)  the characters, it's the writer and what's done with the characters.

The sad thing is JM Demattis who gave us the six fingered hand also started us down the road to X-Factor Lite.  In many ways this seems like the JL Detroit fiasco; a writer out of ideas who instead of being moved on was allowed to change the basic setup of the book.

Guys, I'm as guilty as anyone else for taking conversations off on a tangent, especially here in Silver Age land...

The thing is, I just don't have anything to contribute to a discussion of the Defenders, as I left comic-buying just as their series was starting, I missed the Avengers-Defenders War completely, and never did get into buying their series. So, except for highlighting the "realistic" covers drawn by a free-lance artist who happens to live in my town, I have nothing else to contribute.

Kirk, as far as I'm concerned tangents are fine but if you start talking about the same thing for 10 pages, then you might want to give it its own thread. ;)

Just out of curiosity, if everyone were to pick their favourite Defender's writer, how many would go with Gerber?

Personally, I would go with JM Demattis, but considering the 12 year old rule comes into play, I'm probably a little biased.  However, my second favourite run was by Busiek on a later series. 

What are everyone else's favourite two runs?

Englehart and DeMatteis, but I've only read a smidgen of Gerber's run.

What about fave artist?  Sal Buscema, Don Perlin, or someone else (I feel like I'm forgetting someone obvious)?

Sal Buscema will always be _the_ Defenders artist to me.  Incidentally, I really did not like having Larsen and then Kevin Maguire in some of the later revivals.  Those were definite turn-offs.

As for writers, I loved Englehart (as usual; his Captain America had no rival at least until Brubaker) and Gerber certainly was fine on it as well, but many people overlook David Kraft, who was as unusual and creative as Gerber.

Sadly, later writers (and pencilers) were often really not up to the task.  I'm not usually fond of J.M. DeMatteis, but his work on Defenders was ok for a long while - certainly better than his simultaneous run on Captain America or that of some of the writers that came right before him in Defenders.

One of my first issues of The Defenders:

#15 (My'74) by Len Wein (after his run on Justice League of America), Sal Buscema and Klaus Janson (a rather offbeat but effective pairing, I thought) and edited by Roy Thomas.

The amazing thing about the early Defenders lineup was how powerful they were and how they could be viewed as dangerous to humanity. Which several of them were from time to time.

Doctor Strange was the leader and the father figure. He was the centerpiece. His Sanctum Sanctorum provided both a safe haven for these outcasts and a starting point for their adventures. His maturity, calmness and brilliance kept the group together Though he was the Sorcerer Supreme, sometimes he needed muscle and he got that in spades!

The Hulk was Strange's WMD and ace in the hole. Hunted and alone, the non-team gave him friends and allies, super-powered beings who would fight with him and more importantly for him! Doctor Strange became his surrogate father in an odd way and they had a bizarrely touching relationship.

The Sub-Mariner said that he wanted no part of the Defenders but defend he did until Strange's lack of manners drove him away for a very long time. Still, for a loner, he sure joined a LOT of groups.

The Valkryie actually solidified the Defenders when she joined a team that did not "officially" exist. Her own troubled and mysterious past made her much more than a warrior-woman. She was perhaps the Marvel super-heroine that had the most untapped potential.

Then there was the "newest" Defender, Nighthawk. A former super-villain looking for redemption and a new purpose in life. He got a better costume and a jetpack to distance himself from his "Evil Bat-Homage" phase and instantly became a fixture of the title. His checkered past also elevated him being just another C-lister.

My friends, I must make a confession: when I first read this book and Avengers #141, I never realized that the Squadron Supreme/Sinister was parallels of the Justice League! Not one bit! My young mind just didn't connect the dots.

This was also the debut of the Defenders' mid-70s arch-foe, Nebulon the Celestial Man.

The Defenders #1-100 was a very enjoyable run. 

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