LEGION OF THE UNLIVING "II"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Membership: simulacra of Baron Blood (John Falsworth), Black Knight (Sir Percy of Scandia), Bucky (James Buchanan Barnes), Captain Marvel (Marv-Vell), Death Adder, Dracula, Drax the Destroyer, Executioner (Skurge), Green Goblin (see Comments), Hyperion, Korvac (Michael Korvac), Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond), Red Guardian (Alexei Shostakov/Shostakovich), Swordsman (Jacques Duquense), Terrax, (the following all briefly, also simulacra) Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Doctor Druid, Doctor Pym, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mockingbird, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Thor (Thor Odinson), Wonder Man

Purpose: Destruction of the Avengers and Silver Surfer and protection of the life-bombs

Affiliations: Pawns of the Grandmaster

Enemies: Avengers (Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America, Captain Marvel (Rambeau), Dr. Druid, She-Hulk, Thor, Wasp), West Coast Avengers (Dr. Pym, Hawkeye, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mockingbird, Moon Knight, Tigra, Wonder Man), Silver Surfer, Death, life as we know it

Base of Operations: Five points in the universe

First Appearance: Avengers Annual#16 (1987)

History:(Avengers Annual#16) - As part of a complex plan to usurp Death's power and recreate the universe, the Grandmaster had his fellow Elder of the Universe, the Collector, poison the East and West Coast Avengers and thus transport them to the realm of Death. With Death distracted by all this, the Grandmaster apparently siezed "her" power and set about creating five bombs that would destroy the universe so that he and his fellow Elders could then recreate it in their image. Knowing that the Avengers would oppose him, the Grandmaster summoned simulacra of various dead superhumans, and allowed the Avengers to play a final "game" against them. Teams of Avengers and teams from the Legion of the Unliving would be sent to the lifebomb locations, and would battle over the bombs.

The teams did not fare well. On a hellish world Thor, Dr. Pym and Hawkeye battled the Executioner, Nighthawk, and the Swordsman. Pym and Nighthawk died in batle, Thor determined the Executioner was a fake and slew him, and Hawkeye reluctantly struck down the Swordsman. Thor then sacrificed himself in muting the life-bomb's blast. On a pleasant, verdant planet, Captain Marvel II, Moon Knight, Tigra, and She-Hulk clashed with Death-Adder, Drax, Captain Mar-Vell, and the Green Goblin. Though Captain Marvel II managed to destoy the life-bomb while her teammates were being slain, Drax, the Goblin and Mar-Vell murdered her anyway. The Silver Surfer was killed by Korvac in the depths of space, but used the last of his will to send his board into the life-bomb, destroying it.

On a gloomy world of ruins, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Dr. Druid, and Black Knight II met Dracula, Red Guardian, Black Knight, and Terrax. Iron Man sacrificed his armor to kill Terrax and set about trying to defuse the life-bomb. The two Black Knights became locked in stalemate. Mockingbird thrashed the Red Guardian and went to help Iron Man. Druid proved no match for Dracula's willpower and died. Dracula then assaulted Mockingbird, distracting Iron Man long enough for the life-bomb to explode and wipe out a fifth of all existence. Finally, on an icy world, Captain America, the Wasp, and Wonder Man warred with Hyperion, Baron Blood, and Bucky. While Hyperion brutally drove Wonder Man through the planet and into its sun, Cap and the Wasp killed baron Blood. Bucky killed the Wasp by crushing her in his hand, and an emotionally torn Cap dropped him with one punch and then shattered the lifeb-omb with his shield.

Cap and Hawkeye were then summoned back to Death's realm by the Grandmaster, who explained that the two would battle the Legion (which now included their dead allies as well) over only four life-bombs. Thinking quickly, Hawkeye challenged the Grandmaster to a simple game of chance - picking which arrow shaft in Hawkeye's hands had the arrowhead on it. The Grandmaster agreed, picked, and lost. While he was still stunned, Death broke free, reclaimed her power, and banished the Grandmaster from her realm. "She" then restored the dead Avengers and the Surfer, sending them all back to Earth, where Hawkeye revealed he cheated by palming the arrowhead.

Comments: Legion of the Unliving idea created by Steve Englehart and Roy Thomas; roster for this version picked by Tom DeFalco, Mark Gruenwald, and likely Englehart as well.

It's par for the course in these Legion of the Unliving tales to note how many of the members returned to life. In this case, I'm going to use Thor's statement that they were all fakes to explain why Death's realm seemed to have so many not-dead folks in it. Nighthawk was never dead as of the first issue of his mini-series, and is currently appearing regularly in Defenders. Korvac has returned on several occasions, the most concrete in Captain America III#17. Terrax returned partly in New Warriors I#1, and fully in New Warriors I#15.

The Swordsman would go on to appear as a member of Legion of the Unliving III and V, making him the most-used Legionnaire. The second Red Guardian also made it into Legion IV.

The Green Goblin may have been Norman Osborn, and was likely intended to be. However, in the absence of any evidence, it could also be Bart Hamilton, the only other dead Green Goblin at the time, and who is still dead.

One of the champions of Death fought by Monica Rambeau (aka Captain Marvel II, at that time) was Norman Osborne, the original Green Goblin. Yet, he was supposed to be in a regenerative coma, at the time! So, how could that have been possible.
Simple: Even the spirits of the clinically dead have to obey Death Incarnate. Right? And, the same probably holds true for every other mystical entity of non-human origin in the Marvel Universe.
--Carycomic

Issues of Silver Surfer III revealed that the Grandmaster's true plan was to get the Elders exiled from Death's realm so they could assault Galactus.

--also, Baron Blood made a comeback in Knights of Pendragon#10;
Dracula's been back a bunch, starting with Blade: Vampire Hunter I#1;
Drax was revived in Silver Surfer III#35:
The Red Guardian was brought back for no good reason in the continuity trashing early 21st century, @ Daredevil II#64 (maybe he's an LMD)?
The Executioner has been seen since, but is still dead for now, @ New Mutants I#85
--Snood

All Legions of the Unliving got a group entry in OHotMU Horror 2005 & OHotMU A-Z HC#6.

Profile by Omar Karindu.

Clarifications: Legion of the Unliving II is not to be confused with:

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) is not to be confused with:

Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton) is not to be confused with:

Baron Blood (John Falsworth) is not to be confused with:

Swordsman (Jacques Duquense) is not to be confused with:

Red Guardian (Alexei Shostakov/Shostakovich) is not to be confused with:

Black Knight (Sir Percy of Scandia) is not to be confused with his descendants:

Terrax (Tyros of Lanlak) is not to be confused with:


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z HC#6 - Legion of the Unliving entry (original version Avengers Annual#16, p5, pan1)


Appearances:
Avengers Annual#16 (1987) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Bob Hall, John Romita Jr., Keith Pollard, Marshall Rogers, Jackson Guice & Ron Frenz (pencils), Tom Palmer, Bill Sienkiewicz, Al Williamson, Bob Layton, Kevin Nowlan & Bob Wiacek (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)


Last updated: 09/17/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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