Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Headmen Saga Defenders 31 by Steve Gerber and co.


Sponsored by Integr8d Soul Productions, featuring DNA: The Mountain, drawn with crisp, clear story telling by Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane, with scenes and ideas you won't find anywhere else in entertainment!! The comic for those who don't read comics! Black and White, $3 plus shipping each.
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DEFENDERS #31


When you see any reference to Gerber’s Defenders, the words “Headmen Saga” almost always follow. The writer will: pick three hapless inhabitants of the same horror comic reprint that came out, summer of ’74. A cruel scientist named Arthur Nagan has his own head transplanted to a powerful gorilla body by his vengeful simian subjects; Jerry Morgan, the man attempting his own Pym Particles, shrinking his bones, but not his flesh; and finally, Chondu, a carnival mystic, recalled within these stories by Jack Norriss and his wife Barbara. “Remember? You said “chondu” was a good name for the fragrance of his performance?” Jack says, to the woman now inhabiting his wife’s body.

Mix one mind-control gambit with the ultimate super-villain trap (removing your brain!), then cross this plotline with a returned alien villain, who sells a brand-new self-improvement method. Remove one former villain-turned-hero’s brain, add one rescued fawn, one machine-headed vixen, stir with a full portion of Defenders (preferably fresh). (#30, in fact, was a fill-in by Bill Mantlo.)
The artist will: turn the above into a sequence of visuals, all in color for 25 cents.
It’s Gerber, Buscema madness again! With this arc, Klaus Janson joins in on the inks.
The important thing about #31: Nagin fires a narco-dart at Nighthawk. The couple that fled at the presence of a costumed person had a point: trouble inevitably follows! Nighthawk recognizes his assailant from the “Black Rain” robberies (in #21), but is helpless upon an operating table before long.
Villain Chondu’s brain is removed from his head, and transplanted into Kyle Richmond’s body, making him the consciousness within Nighthawk. He clumsily adapts to flying, and soon, by keeping to a familiar Nighthawk flight pattern, he crosses paths with the Hulk, who leads him back to the Sanctum Sanctorum. (Remember: the Defenders are a well-kept secret at this point.)

Upon arrival, Chondu/ Nighthawk shows an undue interest in a particular occult artifact. Dr. Strange notes that Kyle has never shown interest in the occult previously, and Chondu fabricates a story about seeing it in National Geographic. His fascination and unbridled enthusiasm for having been led right into the Defenders’ midst causes Chondu to launch a surprise attack, perhaps a bit ahead of schedule, but with surprise and his rudimentary mystic ability, he nearly defeats the Hulk, Valkyrie and Dr. Strange.

Finally, Strange battles Chondu/hawk, shattering spells illusory spells with experience, but unable to bring himself to full might against a man he calls friend.

After nearly dying, Strange gets it together and binds Nighthawk properly, though he fears he’s nearly killed him. At the terrible unmasking, the impostor yields no clues; it is the face of Kyle Richmond beneath!

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