event of the early 70's, the Avengers
vs. the Defenders
was published by Marvel Comics
the two teams books in the summer of 1973.
Warning: The following write-up contains spoilers galore!
The on-going discussion of which hero would beat which hero
if they were pitted against each other is a main stay of
comics fans around the world. So the idea of pitting
two of Marvel's greatest superhero teams against each other
was the brain child of Steve Engleheart during the
The two teams were pitted against each other over a quest
for a mystical item called the Evil Eye, a device used
by the Human Torch in an attempt to break through the
barrier around the Inhumans capital, but later had been broken
into six pieces. The device was
thought to be the key to return the Black Knight to
normal after he was changed to stone by the evil Enchantress.
The Defenders sought the pieces for this reason, while
the Avengers were duped by Loki into believing that
the Defenders meant to use it for evil purposes. The
two teams split up to find it making for a battle royal
between the two teams.
The matches between the heros broke down like this:
- The Silver Surfer vs. the Vision and the Scarlet Witch
This fight seems like a no-brainer as that the Silver Surfer has
access to the Power Cosmic and could fly circles around
the other two, but it was tougher than that. The Scarlet
Witch really doesn't even take part in the fight as she
is injured when the quinjet the two Avengers are using
is damaged by an erupting volcano (don't ask). The Vision
believes that the Surfer is responsible for the eruption
and is pretty close to cleaning his clock, when he has to
go off and save Wanda from approaching lava. The Silver
Surfer snatches the first part of the Eye and takes off.
- Iron Man vs. Hawkeye
Back in the days when Hawkeye was a villain, his primary
foe was Iron Man so it was cool for the old schoolers
to see these two matched up again. The fight took place
in a town in Mexico and the fight was relatively one-sided
but not the way you would think. Hawkeye ambushes
Iron Man and though he gets in a few shots, Iron Man
is eventually overcome by his sense of responsibility.
Hawkeye uses one of his arrows to get Iron Man to
shoot his repulsor rays into a nearby building, which
begins to crumble. Iron Man goes to rescue the inhabitants
and Hawkeye grabs the piece of the Eye and takes off.
- Doctor Strange vs. Black Panther and Mantis
Probably, my second favorite battle in the series but
mainly because no one gets off as easy as they think they
will. Doctor Strange tries to use magic to hide, but
Mantis uses her heightened awareness to detect him. Both
Black Panther and Mantis think they will be able to
use their hand to hand combat skills to make short work
of Strange, only to find out he is a pretty mean fighter
himself. In the end, Doctor Strange wins.
- Valkyrie vs. the Swordsman
Sword against sword, these two battled in South America in some
castle. The two are finally ambushed by the castle's
owner, who is killed by the Swordsman. Valkyrie
grabs the piece of the Eye and escapes.
- The Submariner vs. Captain America
These two old allies meet in Japan and battle over the
fifth piece of the Eye. While they are fighting, Sunfire
appears, grabs the Eye blasts the two heroes and flies
off. Namor pursues as fast as his winged feet with
carry him, with Captain America hanging on to him.
During the pursuit, the two finally begin to talk and
realize that it is possible they are being manipulated.
They recover the Eye from Sunfire and decide to try
and sort things out.
- The Incredible Hulk vs. Thor
In the battle royale, the two heroes that probably were
the center of the most debate duke it out in New York!
The fight ends with the two locked in a wrestling match
for over a hour, before their teammates show up and
break things up.
After talking things through, the
two teams realize that they have been manipulated by
Loki. Just then, the pieces of the Evil Eye (which these
idiots have left lying around are snatched up by a
mystical messenger and it is revealed that not only
, but the dread Dormammu
is also behind the plot.
uses the now complete Evil Eye to turn the
inhabitants of Earth into monsters.
The Avengers and Defenders go to the Dark Dimension
home of Dormammu and attempt to stop him. The Defenders
get their collective asses kicked early on as the end
of the crossover appears in an Avengers comic and besides,
the Defenders won nearly all of the earlier battles.
The Avengers are seemingly about to be defeated when
Loki attempts to grab the Evil Eye from Dormammu
allowing the Scarlet Witch time to shoot a hex that
causes the Evil Eye to go off, sucking up Dormammu in
the process and leaving Loki mad as a hatter. The
two groups then go their seperate ways.
The Avengers vs. the Defenders is the first in a long line
of hero vs. hero comics. The Contest of Champions and
the Marvel vs. DC comics are more recent versions of
this type of comic which this first series paved the way