Saturday, 7 January 2017
Defenders of the Earth #1 (Marvel UK/1988)
Defenders of the Earth #1 (Marvel UK)
Michael Higgins (w) Alex Saviuk (a)
One of Marvel's more surprising ventures into the world of licensing was Defenders of the Earth starring the King Features characters Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and Lothur. Based on a cartoon of the same name the first "special" issue was published (in colour) in 1988, no other date given.
This was reprint from a short lived four issue series published by Marvel in the US under their "Star" imprint which was aimed at younger readers. It was apparently preceded by an Annual and there was just one other issue.
The team exist to prevent Ming the Merciless from taking over the Earth with his army of ice robots.
This issue focuses on The Phantom and his daughter as they return to Bandar where his brother, Kurt Walker is attempting to take power over the local natives and despite being turned down manages by chance to discover a cave where he gains the powers of N'Dama an evil entity with mystical powers.
The inevitable battle takes place and Kurt is defeated when he sees himself transforming into the demon whose powers he usurped.
Defenders of the Earth was cartoon that lasted 65 episodes during 1986 and 1987. Here's a taster from the first episode.