Real Name: Gabriel Carlos Dantes Sepulveda

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Construction worker, super-hero

Identity: Secret

Legal Status: Citizen of Argentina with no criminal record

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Captain Britain, She-Hulk

Enemies: Arabian Knight, Death, Grandmaster, Iron Man, Sabra, Subterraneans, Zeitgeist

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Defender (his codename in English)

Base of Operations: Buenos Aires, Argentina

First Appearance: Contest of Champions#1 (June, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: Defensor wore a suit of armor composed of Vibranium, allowing it to absorb most damage from impacts. It also permitted him superhuman strength (class 2). He also carried a vibranium shield which could be used for defense, or hurled as a weapon.

Height: 6'

Weight: 220 lbs. (without armor)

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Black

History: (Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#3)- Gabriel Sepulveda was a construction worker operating an excavating machine digging the foundation for an apartment building in his hometown of Cordoba, when he unearthed the entrance to a hidden underground passageway. Reporting the find to his foreman, Sepulveda was told to ignore it and proceed. That evening, Sepulveda returned and entered the passageway, where he found a suit of armor composed of Vibranium connected to a strange machine. He donned the armor, and was then attacked by Subterranean creatures. He fought them off, then returned to the surface. He determined to use the armor to become a super-hero, and took the codename "Defensor."

(Contest of Champions#1)- In the midst of battling a paramilitary group, Defensor was whisked away by the Grandmaster to participate in his game against Death, in an attempt to revive his brother the Collector. The Grandmaster chose Defensor to serve on his team.

(Contest of Champions#2)- Defensor was placed on a team with the She-Hulk and Captain Britain and pitted against Iron Man, the Arabian Knight, and Sabra. Their goal was to obtain 1/4th of the Golden Globe of Life, hidden within a ghost town. Defensor was taken with She-Hulk, and chivalrously kissed her hand. However, his teammates each decided to work separately, rather than as a team. Defensor pitted himself against Iron Man, and deflected his repulsor rays with his Vibranium shield. However, Iron Man was able to knock him unconscious with a judo flip. Ultimately, Defensor's team lost the encounter.

(Contest of Champions#3)- Defensor observed from the sidelines along with the other heroes who participated in the Grandmaster's game as he revived the Collector, but was then forced to die himself. Death then returned all of the heroes, including Defensor, back to their respective homes.

(Incredible Hulk II#279)- Defensor was among the throng of super-heroes who celebrated the pardon of the Hulk after he had temporarily regained his intelligence.

(Captain America I#422 (BTS))- Defensor was assassinated by the villain Zeitgeist, who slaughtered several South American super-heroes.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo, Steven Grant, John Romita Jr. and Pablo Marcos.

Strangely, Defensor identifies himself as being from Brazil in Contest of Champions#2, even though the OHOTMU and the back page of Contest of Champions#1 say Argentina.

The craftsman of Defensor's armor was never revealed. And probably never will. Maybe it was citizens of El Dorado?

Profile by Prime Eternal

Contest of Champions writer Steven Grant revealed that the series was supposed to have the characters broadly international, but Marvel didn't have many international heroes at the time who weren't X-Men. Bill Mantlo brought in Mark Gruenwald and Steven Grant to help out creating new characters. Defensor was one of the characters created by Bill Mantlo.

Steven Grant: "In 1980, Marvel had a deal to do Olympic-themed treasury editions. Bill & I did the Hulk & Spider-Man at the Winter Olympics, which was published. We then worked with Mark on the Marvel SLuper-Heroes Summer Olympics Special. Then the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, & in protest Carter pulled the US from the Moscow Olympics. Nothing to tie into, book went into the drawer for awhile. At some point, after tons of resistance, Marvel was convinced to try the mini-series format. Jim Shooter pulled "Summer Olympics" from a drawer, & Bill (Mantlo) & JR2 (John Romita Jr.) reowked it into a 3 issue mini. But that was months after it had already been done. The main reason MSH&SO was chosen as the mini-test was that it was already done, for the most part, so the company would have to spend minimal more money to publish it. The # of characters were bet hedger. But it made Marvel gung-ho on minis...BTW pretty sure Mark did the rough designs for all the new characters, to prescribed specifications. JR2 did more polished takes. I'm constantly having people at conventions bring copies to sign & asking "Did you expect when you were working on CoC it would have the impact it did?" I tell them, truthfully, "We didn't even know we were working on Contest of Champions..." (I believe Jim (Shooter) named it).

Defensor should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
OHOTMU I#3, p18 (Defensor main image)
Contest of Champions I#2, p16, pan2 (Defensor and She-Hulk)

Contest of Champions I#2-3 (July-August, 1982) - Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant & Bill Mantlo (writers), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#279 (January, 1983) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Mark Gruenwald (pencils), Greg LaRocque (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#3 (March, 1983)
Captain America I#422 (December, 1993) - BTS - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover & Sandu Florea (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

First Posted: 12/10/2003
Last updated: 10/14/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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