Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Treadmill Days of Christmas, day 7

Day 7: The Defenders. This time for sure.

Well. there are no good Defenders covers. See you tomorrow: Thanks for coming.

Everything that is wrong with Avengers covers is wrong with Defenders covers, squared. Especially "horrified floating heads" disease. It's a wonder the book sold at all. On the other hand, they had a remarkably stable roster for a team that "isn't a team".

Here's the image that introduced the concept, Neal Adams' cover for Marvel Feature #1, December 1971. Our heroes are charging directly at the reader, with something unspecified but obviously destructive going on behind them.

It was a pretty big jolt when I opened the book and saw the art on this lead feature by Ross Andru and Bill Everett -- but it grew on me.

Jump forward to Defenders #11, January 2002 (I didn't know until looking through covers for this that there even was a 2001 restart of the Defenders). This image features an iconic, if uncharacteristically restful, pose of the "classic" team by Erik Larsen. Valkrie's anatomy is a little odd (what, did Rob Liefield ghost-draw this?), but I have to congratulate Larsen for including all seven lead characters without feeling crowded.

And has the Hulk's attention been momentarily diverted by a butterfly? Nice touch.

Previously: Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

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