Sunday, December 24, 2017

"The End" Week: Secret Defenders #25!


I've been running this "The End" feature since 2009, and I've looked at a lot of last issues. So much so, that I have to go out of my way to find them now. Which often leads to some pretty dire comics. This one was so bad I was going to skip it, but then something came up in the news that reminded me of it again. From 1995, Secret Defenders #25, "Final Defense, part 4: Dead on Arrival" Written by Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich, breakdowns by Bill Wylie, inks by Tony DeZuniga.

Secret Defenders had begun as a rotating lineup team book: Dr. Strange would gather up a fistful of heroes, to face whatever that month's problem was. #12-13 (and #14 the only issues of the book I recall reading, were an inversion of that formula, with Thanos putting together a team. By #16 Dr. Druid was setting up the teams, but while Cage and Deadpool are on the cover, a more core group was forming: Shadowoman (later Sepulcre) and Cadaver. But they may have been duped by Druid, who would be absorbed by the demonic Slorioth. (In an inversion of the traditional Beard of Evil, evil Druid didn't have Druid's facial hair!)

Recruited from the past, old school Defenders Namor, Hulk, and the Silver Surfer battle the colossal Slorioth; alongside Drax, Deathlok, and Dagger. (Why the latter three, I couldn't say.) Young wizard Joshua Pryce ("Avatar of the Cognoscenti") with his sidekick head-in-a-jar Al, battles the evil Druid, who's larger plan seems to be make things hopeless and crappy on earth, in order to expand Slorioth's sphere of influence against other mystic forces like the Vishanti. (Judging by recent events, Slorioth could be due a comeback...)

Pryce frees Cadaver and Sepulcre from Druid's influence, but the Silver Surfer from the past is about to be killed, which would wreck the timeline. Still, Pryce stalls long enough for the Vishanti to get involved...for binding arbitration? That involves the Living Tribunal, so it's slightly more dramatic than that sounded. Slorioth is booted from this dimension, and while Cadaver is restored (if still dead) and Sepulcre becomes Shadowoman again; Druid is still on the loose, "free once more to pursue his own agendas!" Which would be in Druid #1, so that didn't go so well for him.

I was going to skip blogging this issue, but it came back to mind since Brevoort was in the news recently; since Jim Starlin was "moving on" from Marvel Comics over a dispute with him on the editorial side. Per Starlin, Brevoort approved a plot for the Thanos on-going series, that was pretty close to a plot for the graphic novel Starlin was already working on with Alan Davis! Rather than have his book undercut, Starlin opted to walk away from Marvel. Without hearing both sides...it still sounds bad. Not unlike this comic.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah I read that too. If true, fucking shame on that kiss-ass Brevoort! Starlin can go off and do his own thing now.

I'll e-mail you the true identity of that beast monster, and yes, it's probably exactly who you think it is;)