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Comic Book / Avengers/Defenders War

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Avengers/Defenders War is a 1973 crossover between The Avengers and The Defenders.

The Enchantress turned the Black Knight into a stone statue, and the Defenders (Dr. Strange, Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer, Valkyrie and Hawkeye, who had just left the Avengers) sought to help him. Dr. Strange communicated with the Knight's soul, but Dormammu and Loki (who was blind at the moment) change his message, so that he appeared to send the Defenders to gather the pieces of a Dismantled MacGuffin known as the Evil Eye. Dormammu wants the Evil Eye in order to merge Earth with his own Dark Dimension. Loki, fearing that Dormammu might do the same to Asgard, warns the Avengers (at the time composed of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Mantis and the Swordsman) to stop the Defenders.

After a number of clashes over the pieces of the Eye, Captain America and Namor realize that their groups have been manipulated into fighting each other, but it's too late: Dormammu takes the united pieces of the Evil Eye, and begins merging Earth into his own dimension. But he's betrayed by Loki and defeated by the Scarlet Witch, ending the war.

The Avengers Defenders War contains examples of:

  • Appease the Volcano God: The unconscious Scarlet Witch is nearly a human sacrifice for an erupting volcano, when the crazy natives put her in the way of the lava stream.
  • Argentina Is Nazi-Land: The Valkyrie and the Swordsman fight in a castle of a runaway Nazi.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Sucre, Bolivia is portrayed as being in the middle of a jungle, when the real city is in a highland with relatively light vegetation.
  • Conflict Ball: The story requires that the Defenders and the Avengers don't talk about the reasons for their fight, because otherwise there would be no fights, and that's what readers want. But when Namor and Captain America do just that (with the other fights already fought), reason prevails.
  • Continuity Nod: Namor's reference to his previous "fight" with Captain America, way back in Avengers issue 4. It was actually a single panel, Captain America attacked Namor from the back, and Namor effortlessly tossed him aside without even bothering to check who had attacked him.
  • Covers Always Lie
    • Defenders 9. Contrary to the cover, Hawkeye mentions being a Defender, but no Defenders come to his rescue: he fights Iron Man alone.
    • Defenders 10: "The Incredible Hulk vs. The Mighty Thor — in a battle to the finish!" Not to the finish: the battle ends when Avengers and Defenders mends their differences.
    • Avengers 117: A good description of the fight that takes place inside the comic... but with the roles of Namor and Captain America reversed.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Not a common sight. The Trickster has been tricked, and even forced to suffer the indignity of asking his despised brother Thor for help.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Evil Eye.
  • Enemy Mine: Avengers and Defenders against Loki and Dormammu, and then Loki with them against Dormammu (also, when he asked for help).
  • Exact Words: Dormammu had once attempted to conquer Earth, but he was defeated by Dr. Strange, who forced him to swear an oath that he would never return to Earth's dimension again. Thus he wants the Evil Eye so he can bring Earth into the Dark Dimension... thereby conquering it without breaking his oath.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • Dr. Strange erases the knowledge of the existence of the Defenders from Nick Fury's mind but lets the Avengers keep theirs.
    • During the fight, Dormammu turns Thor and Iron Man into Don Blake and Tony Stark. Afterwards, Dr. Strange erased the memory of their secret identities from everyone else.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Dormammu sends the Defenders (and the Avengers) to find the scattered pieces of the Evil Eye so that he can assemble it and use it himself.
  • MacGuffin Melee: The Vision and the Silver Surfer are both running to claim a piece of the Evil Eye. The Vision is closer... but sees the unconscious Scarlet Witch about to be killed by a lava stream and goes to save her, allowing the Silver Surfer to take the prize.
  • Never My Fault: Loki helps Dormammu, but once he realizes the potential problems with that, he warns the Avengers to stop the Defenders. What did he tell them, exactly? That the Defenders were trying to take over the world — not that he had loosed something which had gotten out of hand (in Dormammu) or that he had made a mistake. Never a mistake. Oh no. (To be fair, he very briefly considers telling them the truth at first, but his ((Pride}} immediately kicks in to stop him.)
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: As Captain America and Namor trespass in Japan to find a piece of the Evil Eye, the Japanese hero Sunfire takes it for the government of Japan. Yes, an Obstructive Bureaucrat who can fire sunbolts... but an Obstructive Bureaucrat nonetheless.
  • Revision: The Evil Eye was a MacGuffin created during Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's run on the Fantastic Four, which exploded like an atomic bomb. This story says that it was not actually destroyed but divided into six parts that fell in different parts of the world.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Prester John somehow knows the time travel thing involving the Diabolic Eye, even when he isn't a time traveler himself.
  • Secretly Dying: The Swordsman, because of the injuries he receives. When Namor and Captain America gather all the Avengers and Defenders, he seems to be fine; but as it's revealed in the Avengers immediately after, he was concealing his wounds, to prove himself worthy of being an Avenger.
  • Something We Forgot: After the discussion between Namor and Captain America, Avengers and Defenders return from their varied locations in the world, to clarify what had happened... and they suddenly realize that they've forgot about Thor and Hulk.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Loki wants to save Asgard and protect Odin because only he has the right to overthrow Odin.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Loki was blind during this adventure. He joins forces with Dormammu hoping to be cured from his blindness, and he is... but he didn't like the way it happened
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Vision vs. Silver Surfer! Dr. Strange vs. Black Panther and Mantis! Swordsman vs. Valkyrie! Hawkeye vs. Iron Man! Captain America vs. Namor! Hulk vs. Thor!
  • Unreliable Narrator: Loki's description of the Defenders. It isn't hard for him to make the team sound like villains given how Namor's attacked the surface world more than once, Valkyrie is easily mistaken for the "Valkyrie" that the Avengers once fought (actually the Enchantress in disguise that time, but Loki tells them it's the same Valkyrie), you have the Hulk as a Defender, etc.