Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Golden Age Heroes - Defender & Rusty

This is another hero from the Timely/Marvel Comics group. Appearing in the first four issues of USA Comics, the Defender and his kid sidekick Rusty battle a rather bizarre group of villains. The Defender is really Don Stevens of the U.S. Marines and Rusty is, well, Rusty, who also seems to be affiliated with the Marines, probably in some kind of mascot role similar to Captain America's Bucky with the army. They certainly seem to have a lot of time on their hands, running off to battle a pirate named Dame Kackle, and a guy in a suit with a fancy gas mask named the Fog as well as some hideous monster. They seem to prevail but not enough to keep them afloat in a sea of patriotic heroes of the period. They were really too much like Captain America and Bucky so I guess Timely decided to "settle" for Cap and the Buck and let the Defender and Rusty retire to the castoff heroes home. All four of their adventures have been reprinted in the Marvel Masterworks USA Comics edition, which is really a pretty good read. I confess I'm not real happy with the two action figures I made of them. The Defender figure is based on the cover of the first issue, which is all I had at the time I did it, and used the body of a Toy Biz Silver Surfer, the arms and legs from a Captain America and the head from a Professor X. For the rest of the stories the outfit changed a bit and I might like to redo it in the later design. As for the Rusty figure, I used a Mattel Secret Wars Captain America and the head from a pocket Superheroes Robin. I had done him once in a different uniform based on some material posted on the web but after I got the Masterworks edition I realized that the drawing was totally wrong so I repainted. I would like to do the figure over, maybe using a smaller Star Wars figure like General Madine as the base figure. Ah well, a project for another day. I have more projects than I have life left to complete them all.

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