Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Night in Rutland, 1971, Part 2

How iconic are the founding members of the Defenders, Doc Strange, the Non-credible Hulk, and Namor the Sub-Mareener? In only their second appearance in print, they hitchhike up Route 7 to Rutland, Vermont, to the 1971 Rutland Halloween Parade! (Yep: the same one attended by Batman and Robin in Batman #237.)

Panels from Marvel Feature #2 (March 1972), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Ross Andru, inks by Sal Buscema, letters by Sam Rosen

Why they're going is a completely different question: because of the appearance of The Prince of Evil!

One thing I haven't mentioned previously here: as brought up by Marvel Feature, Rutland County is home to...Bald Mountain!

Here's the real, Vermont-y, Bald Mountain:

Oh, wait. I need to add something to the photo here:

That's better.

Anyway, 'tis not Chernabog; it is his Earth-616 heterosexual lifemate, Dormammu! (We will now pause for everyone in the audience to declare 'Yo' mammo!')

Here's Rutland Halloween Parade Master of Ceremonies Tom Fagan, greeting those popular guest stars from Avengers #83, Roy and Jeanie Thomas! Wow, it was really cool of the script-writer for this story to fit them in, huh? It's good to have friends in the comic book industry.

Say, where are our title heroes...the Marvel Featurettes Defenders, during all this? They're blending into the crowd in civilian guise, these civilian guys. They're masquerading as Clea, Charles Xavier, Dick Tracy, and Howard the Duck! And hey, I see Fawcett's DC's Captain Marvel Jr., the world's only superhero who can't say his own name!

If you subscribe to the concept that all stories in all universes take place at the same time (and hey, isn't it our nature to try to link up every fictional character with each other...I'm lookin' at you, Phillip Jose Farmer), then consider this: the Defenders' battle versus Dormammu takes place at the same time Batman faces off against the Grim Reaper and Nazis. That's one busy Halloween Parade. But trust gets even busier in 1972...the year of the first, albeit unofficial, DC/Marvel crossover! Stay tuned, gals and goons!

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