Comics
Published November 22, 2019

Marvel's 5 Greatest Avengers/Defenders Moments

Plus, get a glimpse inside January 1's 'Tarot' #1!

On January 1, a strange and impossible lost memory from his days in World War II draws Namor the Sub-Mariner to his one-time compatriot Captain America—but the two heroes and their respective allies find themselves pulled into a labyrinth of pain, destruction, and madness courtesy of the Infernal Ichor of Ish’lzog when the Avengers and Defenders unite in TAROT #1!

TAROT #1 cover by Paul Renaud
TAROT #1 cover by Paul Renaud

The Avengers may have initially come together because of Loki's machinations and a transmission from Rick Jones, but they have remained stalwart defenders of life at home and across the cosmos ever since. However, they are not the only game in town; back in the 1970s, when Doctor Strange needed help, he turned to Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Namor. Before long, they decided to work together when it seemed necessary—but without all of the team meetings and whatnot that the Avengers made their official business, hence their nickname becoming Marvel’s premiere Non-Team!

Thanks to very different ideologies and more than a few strained relationships between members, the Defenders and Avengers have mixed it more than a few times. Now, with TAROT #1 by Alan Davis and Paul Renaud hitting your local comic shop in January, we're looking at some of the more interesting team-ups (and dust-ups) between the groups!

The Titans Three

Before the Defenders even officially took that name, one of their adventures brought them into direct conflict with the Avengers. In SUB-MARINER (1968) #34-#35, Namor asked Hulk and Silver Surfer to help him save the world. But since their mission looked like a rampage to the outside world, the Avengers were called in. Thus, Thor, Iron Man, and Goliath showed up before the six of them got into it because the Jade Giant attacked before Namor could explain the situation. Eventually, though, they got it all sorted out and the world was saved, but not before laying the groundwork for a longstanding grudge between the teams.

Sub-Mariner (1968) #34

Sub-Mariner (1968) #34

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The Avengers-Defenders War

In 1973, the two teams had their official first meeting in the Avengers-Defenders War, which ran in AVENGERS (1963) #116-118 and DEFENDERS (1972) #8-11.

The Defenders split their squad up to find sections of the Evil Eye—while Dormammu and Loki tricked the Avengers into fighting the others and reassembling the Eye, leading to one-on-one fights around the globe. Ultimately, all the heroes got on the same page and stopped the villains and their demonic minions, saving reality in the process.

Avengers (1963) #116

Avengers (1963) #116

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Hellcat Drops In

Hellcat inadvertently added to the rocky relationship between the teams in DEFENDERS (1972) #47. The former Avenger and current (at the time) Defender returned to the mansion and spotted a stranger in one of the labs. She jumped to attack, but the figure turned out to be Wonder Man!

The hero also known as Simon Williams attempted to explain himself to Patsy, but the heat of battle had already taken control. Their fight got so out of control that an entire wall of the mansion's came crashing down. Wonder Man saved Hellcat from being crushed, but falling debris rendered her unconscious. When Patsy's teammate Valkyrie and her new friend Moon Knight saw her downed, they attacked the new hero, too. But before they destroyed the rest of the famous landmark, Hellcat woke up and begged her protectors to stop.

Defenders (1972) #47

Defenders (1972) #47

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Fighting Over Nebulon

1982's AVENGERS ANNUAL #11 found Defenders enemy Nebulon appealing to the Avengers for a fresh start! When Supernalia, Nebulon's estranged wife, told the Defenders of this event, they went to Avengers Mansion to offer their objections. This led to a full-on brawl, with Silver Surfer, Beast, Gargoyle, and Valkyrie fighting Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, and Thor! After some epic one-one-one battles, both teams realized they'd been manipulated and shook it off, but wound up witnessing one or the stranger marital spats ever committed to mighty Marvel memory!

Avengers Annual (1967) #11

Avengers Annual (1967) #11

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Dormammu's Demonic Dopplegängers

Brought back in the 2005 DEFENDERS series, the original team of Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Hulk, and Namor found themselves brought back together and, eventually, facing off against demonic versions of Earth's heroes created by Dormammu. Black-clad versions of Captain America, Iron Man, Beast, Thor, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Daredevil—imbued with just a bit of Dormammu's Infinite Power—initially gave the Defenders a hard time, but Namor managed to bring many of them around to their side in order to stop the giant demon's plans and return reality to normal.

Defenders (2005) #1

Defenders (2005) #1

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The Avengers and Defenders will meet again at your local comic shop in TAROT #1—pre-order your copy now! But first, flip through the gallery below for a sneak peek inside the ish!

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TAROT #1 art by Paul Renaud with colors by Paul Mounts

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