Monday, April 3, 2017

Marvel-ous Mondays: "Alpha, the Ultimate Mutant!" by Wein, S. Buscema, and Esposito

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Here's part two of Len Wein and Sal Buscema's Defenders (with the help of Professor X) vs. Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants mini-epic from Defenders #16 (July 1974)! After meeting a gigantic Inhuman called Omega months earlier in the FF, I suppose it was only natural that someone at Marvel would respond with a mutant called Alpha (though, Omega might've made more sense as a moniker for this villain, too, but what'cha gon' do?). Young Groove loved how Alpha started out looking like Bugs Bunny's nemesis The Crusher--thaaa Crush-AH!  (sans the beard)--
--and continued to morph into a truly alien-looking-yet-humanoid creature by the end. It's also worth noting that, while not as cool and moody as Klaus Janson on the previous ish, Mike Esposito's inks are pretty solid over Sal's pencils here. In some places it almost looks like Sal inked himself. Big difference, imo, in Esposito inking Sal compared to him finishing/inking over Sal's layouts. And of course Wein's story has that crazy-but-cool 70s vibe (almost like a re-imagining of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's intro of Him in FF issues 66-67) with a killer ending (that Chris Claremont would put to magnificent use in the X-Men's revamped mag a couple years later). Have fun with this one, baby!

Cover art by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia (with John Romita)


  1. "Professor X and his accursed friends! They're right outside! I can SENSE it!"

    "Uhh, Mastermind... you project illusions. You're not a telepath."

    "All right! I looked out the window, okay? I've had nothing to do in this story!"

    - seriously, thanks for posting this. It was my first issue of DEFENDERS, wayyyyy back when.

  2. Defenders was da bomb in it's day. I loved the comeuppance Magneto and his mutants got in the end (reversed in X-Men # 104).



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