Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"You're All Going To Die!"


Name This Marvel Villain??

The so-called "New Defenders" may not have had the most *ahem* dynamic lineup of the team, but you'd think a team of seven super-beings would be able to prevail over the likes of Manslaughter, a cocky and cold-blooded assassin who managed to take them all off-guard with an attack that splintered their ranks and took advantage of their vulnerabilities. Not to be confused with another Manslaughter we've already met, this youthful but homicidal killer is sicced on the Defenders by a crime lord the Defenders humiliated. And before he strikes in earnest, he gives them similar treatment by infiltrating their headquarters and having a bit of fun at their expense--"fun" that lets the Defenders know they have a very serious threat on their hands.

The team's newest member, Cloud (whose power is self-explanatory), receives a warning of her own--while the Valkyrie is also targeted, when she reaches for her sword and finds a similar taunting note from Manslaughter in its place.

When the Defenders are sufficiently on edge, their foe reveals himself briefly to announce that his game is now officially afoot.

Evading capture with an explosive distraction, Manslaughter manages to separate the enraged Defenders into individual search parties when he fatally stabs Cloud--but the casualties don't stop with her. Iceman, Angel, and the Valkyrie are also ruthlessly killed--but when Moondragon is suffering a gruesome attempt on her own life, Manslaughter finds that he's not the only one who can be cunning.

Seventeen issues later, in a lather-rinse-repeat approach, writer Peter Gillis recycles this story when Manslaughter returns and attempts to join the Defenders, putting their lives in jeopardy in practically the same manner as before in order to force them to accept him. This time, he's halted by a mysterious being appropriately called the Interloper, who knows Manslaughter from his past and has come to urge the Defenders to accept him in order to face a greater threat posed by their now-former member, Moondragon, corrupted by the Interloper's ancient enemy, the Dragon. For what it's worth to his victims, Manslaughter buys it along with the rest of the Defenders in the final battle with the Dragon, though their demise signals the end of the book.

1 comment:

Jared said...

So many great Marvel villains created in the 80s. I guess not everyone can be Malekith or Apocalypse.

New Defenders is so bad. Don't understand how in a period where Marvel made every book great they manage to totally mess up Defenders.