The original artwork to the first cover of Marvel's The Defenders, by Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney, from 1972 is up for auction. It currently has bids of $75,000, and the hammer will come down at Heritage Auctions on Thursday as part of their Platinum Collection.
The origin of the Defenders lies in two crossover story arcs by Roy Thomas prior to the official founding of the team. The first, in Doctor Strange #183 in 1969, and Sub-Mariner #22 and The Incredible Hulk #126 both in 1970 occurred due to the Doctor Strange series being canceled in the middle of a story arc, leaving Thomas no choice but to resolve the storyline in other series that he wrote. A second crossover story then appeared in the Silver Surfer series, and The Defenders were born. The Defenders first appeared as a feature in Marvel Feature #1 in 1971. Marvel soon began publishing The Defenders with Steve Englehart writing and Sal Buscema penciling, while Thomas moved into the editor's seat. This is the cover from the first issue of that ongoing series. And with Doctor Strange and Hulk in the movies and Silver Surfer and Namor rumoured for the MCU soon, might a new version of the Defenders for the big screen be in the offing?
Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney The Defenders #1 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1972). A true Marvel milestone! Coming together for the first time in Marvel Feature #1, Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Namor proved to be a powerful combination, especially with the fans, garnering the release of their own comic, The Defenders. Much like the Avengers, these three characters were brought together with a common cause — solitary heroes trying to work together — and there-in was the magic of the series. This rare gem features Hulk and Strange attempting to rescue Namor from the ritual of Nectrodamus, with incredible art by Marvel standouts Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney. Ink over graphite on cover stock Bristol board with an image area of 10" x 15". Slight toning, logo, header, and text paste-ups with residue staining from missing paste-ups. Staple holes in the top left corner, pinholes in the margins, missing bottom right corner, multiple tears along the edges, with creasing and oil/residue staining. Whiteout corrections and tape holding paste-ups on the front and mending a slice on the back. In Good condition.