Jul 23, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 879: The Defenders #77, November 1979

https://www.comics.org/issue/928569/

This is the way the world ends...in the story, with a bang. But for Omega the Unknown, it's more a whimper, I'm afraid.

Now, don't get me wrong. The way that Steven Grant finishes off this tale is a wonderfully epic superhero tale. It's just that, in a lot of ways, Omega wasn't a superhero story. When I went to pick this up at Purple Gorilla Comics, Michael, the proprietor and THE guy to go to to find the comics you're looking for, told me it wasn't the ending I was hoping for. We chatted about the weird vibe of the Gerber series, and I fell back on my oft-repeated thought that Gerber would have fit late-80s DC so very, very well. He was simply writing 15 years ahead of his time.

SPOILERS AHEAD

While we'll never really know what Mr. Gerber, Ms. Skrenes, and Mr. Mooney had up their sleeves, the revelation that this entire time Omega and James-Michael have been the danger was actually a very cool way to finish up their tale. Thinking about it a bit, it's really the sort of thing that one could have wrapped a pretty epic Summer event around - run the Omega series for a bit, build things up, and then have the finale be a Summer event revealing that James-Michael has the power to destroy the world. Imagine the epic moral struggles of people like Captain America and Mr. Fantastic. Maybe I'll pitch it to Marvel.

So the Grant/Trimpe ending was a pretty great superhero story, with a nice twist, and some interesting moments. What's really great about these issues is that the Defenders are all women. Moondragon, Hellcat, Valkyrie, and guest-Avenger The Wasp. It was cool to see this configuration of the team, and gets me thinking about the Fearless Defenders series, which I really want to track down.

I know I've missed a couple of magazines and graphic novels, but I'm trying to catch up. Eventually I'll read the rebooted Omega by Farel Dalrymple and Jonathan Lethem, and have another think about the enigmatic man in blue.

To be continued.

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