Issue(s): Defenders #13, Defenders #14
Nighthawk then reveals that the Squadron Sinister has gotten back together under the leadership of a golden skinned, white haired guy named Nebulon the Celestial Man...
...and Hyperion has "sold" the world to him in return for restoring the team. Nighthawk wants no part of that, and so he's looking for help from the Defenders.
Nighthawk is then teleported back to Nebulon. Sub-Mariner wasn't with the other Defenders, and when Dr. Strange contacts him, he's dealing with the Amphibians and is in no mood to help with super-hero stuff, so Dr. Strange forcibly teleports him to his house where the Valkyrie is able to convince him that this is important. But he's rightfully not going to waste time discussing his new costume.
The Defenders arrive at the North Pole where Nebulon and the Squadron are.
The Defenders are able to defeat the Squadron, but Nebulon subsequently captures them.
Hyperion is able to convince Nebulon to give the Defenders a slow death instead of just killing them quickly...
...and that gives the Defenders the opportunity to escape.
Nebulon is trying to melt the world's ice caps to make Earth more hospitable to his species, which is actually some sort of multi-tentacled fish monster.
The good guys win when Nighthawk turns the ice melting device on the bad guys. He dies in the process, but the Defenders restore him with their life energy.
Then Namor "quits" the "non-" team, suggesting that they allow Nighthawk to replace him.
We'll learn in Avengers annual #8 that the Doctor Spectrum appearing here is a new one, Billy Roberts, who acquired the Power Prism after Dr. Obatu lost it in Iron Man #66. In this story Spectrum says that Nebulon restored his power prism to him "minus its most irritating personality".
I originally gave this one very low marks because it's the return of the Squadron Sinister, who in my opinion never needed to appear again. I'm not a big fan of Nighthawk as a Defender, either. But putting that aside, it's fine. Decent Sal Buscema art. A lot of the inter-team conflict feels forced (if Namor was in such a bad mood, you'd think he'd be ok with melting all the world's ice caps, and more seriously the way he's brought into the story is pretty heavy-handed), and the villains' decision to slow-death the good guys is frustratingly cliche. But there's some fun moments too.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Hulk appears here between Hulk #172-173. Sub-Mariner between Sub-Mariner #71-72. Dr. Strange between Marvel Premiere #11-12.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
Len Wein revealed in Foom #19 that he wanted to write an issue where Nighthawk calls a meeting and nobody shows up, but he never got to.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 18, 2011 12:21 PM
Also according to FOOM#19, it was Steve Englehart's idea to bring Nighthawk into the title.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 7, 2013 9:33 PM
Defenders 13 is the first appearance of Nebulon.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | April 20, 2014 3:23 AM
Thanks, A.Lloyd. Updated the Historical Significance Rating.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 20, 2014 9:13 AM
My first Defenders comic, bought from the little corner drug store 5 blocks away from where my Dad lived. Walked there every weekend and picked up the latest Marvel comics. This one is special to me being one of the first. The Squadron Supreme were a great Super villain group. Sal's fantastic art got me hooked to his style from day 1, the story and the dialogue (despite it being a little cheesy at times) were top notch. A all the way.
Posted by: Mike | June 23, 2014 11:07 AM
These are great issues!!
Posted by: Spiderguy72 | January 2, 2016 2:11 AM
Oddly enough, for a Super-Group meant to Mimic certain DC characters as a prospective satire, The Squadron Sinister/Supreme have become Cult legends and should be polished up and re-introduced as the warped, psychotic Super-Villains with delusional thoughts of Grandeur, they are!! As for NightHawk, for God's sake, please give him a Black sinister costume, dark sociopathic attitude like Rorshack of watchmen fame and turn him loose on the Bad guys as Marvels answer to the BatMan as he was meant to be!
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | June 6, 2016 12:10 AM
Not sure if it's just me imagining it, but I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 yesterday and in the opening credits they fight a tentacle monster which I immediately assumed was meant to be Nebulon or another one of his species.
I thought this was an easter egg for older fans & that they might not have identified him to avoid Nebula/Nebulon similarity confusing the audience, though after some googling I can't see any confirmation that it was intended to be Nebulon.
Slightly different in colour and no fin, so I might be wrong and it's just a coincidence of alien monster design. Or perhaps the director just thought he should include a tentacle monster to cater for comic book fans annoyed by the Watchmen film's lack of same.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | September 25, 2017 11:54 AM
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