In 1973, Marvel Comics brought the secret hero group Defenders and the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes known as the Avengers in an epic crossover. Steve Englehart writes while Sal Buscema
and Bob Brown illustrates.
Shortly after being blinded by Thor, his half-brother Loki is blinded and falling down an endless chasm. He is rescued by the lord of the dark dimension Dormammu who offers to restore the Asgardian’s sight if he helps to recover the Evil Eye, a device that can suck Earth into his domain. Using the Black Knight, who was magically turned to stone, Loki contacts Dr. Strange and tells him to get the Evil Eye. Thinking the message came from Black Knight, Dr. Strange recruits Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Hulk, Namor, and Hawkeye to find the pieces of the Evil Eye. Fearing Dormammu may betray him, Loki contacts the Avengers, telling them that the Defenders want the Evil Eye for selfish reasons. This leads the two hero teams into an epic clash with two villains watching on.
Wow, do I miss stories like these. Sure, it has a lot of that cosmic defiance of physics that Marvel writers liked to implement, but it was way more exciting than anything I have read recently. I especially liked the 2002 graphic novel cover by Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino.
I do think the mash-ups could have been better. Hawkeye fighting Iron Man did not make a lot of sense. They had to give the archer a lot of handicaps to help him to stand up to Tony Stark in his suit. That being said, I found how they worked in the motives of both Loki and Dormammu, two of the worst villains in the universe. The way it intertwines and the fights that did work were some of the coolest. Best of all, politics were not involved and the focus on the story makes it a cut above. I miss this Marvel.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews for Bane: Conquest and Black Tide Rising: Volume One. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.