AVENGERS #115-118: The Avengers-Defenders War

surfing in lava

After having done two rounds of AvX, we get the first and only Avengers-Defenders War, a crossover between both series in which mostly The Defenders kick The Avengers’ collective asses, one by one.

It’s also a clear first step in the logical progression to Contest of Champions, Secret Wars, etc., which are also about two superteams racing to gather and collect items and artifacts.

Tons of fun, and well worth getting in trade paperback.

At right is a panel from #116–in which Vision gets his ass kicked by Silver Surfer. Two baldest badasses, fighting in a volcano. Now, that’s why I read comics.

And then, of course, there’s Captain America–the spiritual symbol of Democracy and the leader (or at least inspiration) for just about every non-mutant superhero in the Marvel 616 (other than mutants)–fighting the leader of the undersea world, Prince Namor.

He hits him in the face and, naturally, the sound effect is “Clam!”

This wasn’t the first huge superhero gathering–The Avengers had done a few smaller such things before (like when Grandmaster assembled the team to fight the alt-JLA)–but this was definitely the biggest so far.

Because it didn’t only touch the Avengers–everyone got into the action, as shown below.  Marvel didn’t do tie-ins or spin offs back then–they left money on the table…

Such an awesome page–Marvel was the first company to do line-wide events. Granted, it’s gotten out of hand (and waaaaay too expensive for me), but back in the day, it was awesome.

I also posted this because Jim Shooter is widely credited with creating the “comic book event” with the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars miniseries (which introduced Spider-Man’s black costume), but this sequence shows that he had plenty of precedent to draw from.

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