THE DEFENDERS #1 (2001): 1st Pappa Hagg

Returning home from her book tour, Patsy Walker buys a meal for a homeless man who turns out to be Yandroth in disguise. He captures her and then unleashes D-list villains across the U.S., like The Toad Men…

Dark Crawler…

Quasimodo, some Negative Zone creatures, and others we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Patsy escapes and goes to Kyle Richmond for help. Kyle happens to have a mystic on staff who brings together the original four Defenders to take on Yandroth.

The dude’s name is Pappa Hagg.

Yandroth dies in the battle, but his dying breath is a curse…He notes that the four Defenders seem to hate each other, so he curses them to be together forever.

And that, my friends, is a genius way to pay tribute to a cult favorite series. The Defenders always referred to themselves as “not a team,” and Yandroth–arguably The Defenders’ main foe–curses them to be teammates for all time.

Kurt Busiek in his heyday was one of the best Marvel writers ever. He walked that line between Mark Gruenwald-like fawning, slavish attention to the most trivial aspects of Marvel continuity and newer writers like Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison who sought to turn the superhero genre on its head.

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