Hello and welcome to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! It’s no secret that I’m a huge Dr. Strange fan, and quite frankly, isn’t everybody? I know, rhetorical, but anyway, that obviously means we are all fans of The Defenders ongoing series from 1972! In this fantastic title, you could see Dr. Strange, The Hulk, Namor, The Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and more, all in one issue!
Now, when you have a group like that, you must have villains of not only either incalculable or unique power, but you had to have ones that also were as quirky! One of the earliest villains that fit this description was Nebulon! This alien was just what the doctor ordered (pun intended) to put this team on its heels! So get ready for some magic brought to you by Len Wein and Sal Buscema in 1974 (The Defenders #13)!
Nebulon actually comes from a planet inhabited by aquatic creatures that look more like monsters than humans. They can apparently shape-shift, though, and sent out a few of their ranks to find a planet that they could steal resources from or just flat out take over. This is what led Nebulon to Earth. As he approached Earth, he found Hyperion out in space, then coerced him into recruiting other members of the Squadron Sinister to help build a laser canon to melt the polar ice caps, and flood the planet. This would leave all the minerals and other riches of Earth for the taking. After some soul searching, Nighthawk contacted the Defenders, and they fought Nebulon and his cronies. Eventually, the weapon was turned on Nebulon, and seemingly destroyed him.
Nebulon was actually not destroyed, though, and teleported to another dimension. He later returned to Earth, in disguise, and tried to use more subversive means to gain control over people’s minds. The Defenders eventually got wind of this and went undercover to investigate. Initially, Nebulon banished them to another dimension, but after finding their way back, they fought against Nebulon and his minions. In the end, they talked Nebulon down instead of trying to use force.
Nebulon would surface once more, and did so by impersonating Lady Dorma (who had died) of Atlantis. She (Nebulon) ignited a war between Atlantis and the surface world, but was eventually found out thanks to the Avengers. Nebulon then built some kind of ray that would sap the powers of the Avengers and give him more strength. In the end, his wife shows up, and ruins everything. She then realized she had done wrong by their people’s laws, and attempted suicide. Nebulon tried to save her, but ended up perishing in the path of the ray, as well. We all know no one ever stays dead forever (except Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy), so maybe, just maybe, we’ll see Nebulon again one day!
As usual, check out my recommended reading list, and some great covers as well! Enjoy!
Essential Defenders vol. 1, 2, & 3 (Tpb)
The Avengers Annual #11 (1982)
Defenders #8 (2001)