SECRET DEFENDERS #15-17 (1994): 1st Cadaver

In 1994, Deadpool joined The Secret Defenders, a group that included Luke Cage (who just went by “Cage” at the time), Dr. Druid, and Shadowoman.  Yes, with one “w.”  The book was written by future Marvel editor Tom Brevoort and drawn by Gerald DeCaire, and let’s just say there’s a reason you’ve never heard of Mr. DeCaire.  Ugh. 

Doctor Strange is having significant problems of his own in his solo book, so he asks Dr. Druid to protect Earth against a new threat.

Druid already has one working partner, Shadowoman, but he has to recruit others. Bringing in Cage and Deadpool is a little odd when facing a mystical threat, but Druid’s new at this so let’s give him a “by.” Actually, their involvement is a bit more organic–they were hired to protect a museum that housed a mystic item being targeted by the new threat.

The villain ends up being fairly generic, but (sort of) worth noting is that during the issue the mystic threat turns a dead man named Cody Fleischer in to Cadaver.

He’ll appear a bunch more times in this book. In fact, this story creates an “anchor team” for the Secret Defenders. That’s a good thing, because up to now the book hasn’t had a core cast which meant it did zero character work. The sad part is that the core team is Cadaver, Doctor Druid, and Shadowoman.

Also along the way, it’s explain that Shadowoman and Spider-Woman have virtually identical costumes because they were students of the same person–Magnus (who was a recurring character in Spider-Woman’s first solo series). Hm.

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