Real Name: Inapplicable
Identity/Class: Terrestrial android
Occupation: Protector of the Puppet Master
Group Membership: None
Enemies: X-Men (Beast/Hank McCoy, Cyclops/Scott
Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey)
Known Relatives: Philip Masters (creator)
Aliases: "Ol' Frogface" (nickname used by Iceman)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly the Puppet Master's lair
First Appearance: X-Men I#27 (December, 1966)
Powers/Abilities: The Defender was a massive android capable of mimicking the superhuman abilities of opponents, easily firing back their powers at them. He could incorporate ice blasts and hurl frozen projectiles in return. He was so dense and massive, he could not be moved by telekinesis. Defender's size and girth made him imposing, but also slow and tough to maneuver.
Height: 7'5" (by approximation)
Weight: 450 lbs. (by approximation)
(X-Men I#27 (fb) - BTS) - Following a joint operation with the Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android, the Puppet Master (Philip Masters) was inspired to create an automaton of similar abilities. Eventually, he created an artificial lifeform that matched the Thinker's in ability, but lacked the Awesome Android's mobility and flexibility, both in movement and dealing with unexpected situations. Masters decided to call his creation the Defender and assigned him to guard duty in his sanctuary.
(X-Men I#27 - BTS) - Defender stood guard while Puppet Master planned his revenge on the Fantastic Four by trying to take control of Professor Xavier, whose mental prowess proved too great for him to overcome. Puppet Master then used his remote cameras to follow Xavier around for a while, tracking the professor's moves as he searched for possible new X-Men members (Angel had been seriously injured, Marvel Girl was away at college and Cyclops was riddled with self-doubt). As part of his search, Xavier came across the Mimic (Calvin Rankin) who had recently reacquired his ability to mimic others. Xavier invited Mimic back to his school even as the Puppet Master realized Rankin would be the perfect stooge and immediately started work crafting a clay idol of him he could control. Masters seized control of Mimic just as he'd arrived at Xavier's, fighting the X-Men and then taking off. However, Professor Xavier had picked up on the villain's radioactive brainwaves and sent the X-Men (except for the injured Angel) to find him.
(X-Men I#27) - The moment Puppet Master realized the X-Men had breached his sanctuary, he sent the Defender against them. The android's massive size first startled the mutant teens. It shot back Cyclops' optic blast and proved too dense for the Beast to hit with his acrobatics and too heavy for Marvel Girl to lift with her telekinesis. Iceman tried to flash-freeze the giant robot so they could move past it to get to Puppet Master. However, the Defender assimilated the ice into its own body and duplicated its properties, shooting rock-hard ice balls at the young teens through its chest jewel. Seeing no other course of action, Cyclops blasted the ground beneath the Defender causing it to drop down into a cave conveniently located underneath the base. The X-Men then concluded that even though the android possessed the same abilities as Mimic, it was too unmaneuverable to be effective in combat. A claim confirmed by the Puppet Master who then showed himself holding the Mimic's idol, which meant he possessed the versatile youth, sending him against the already spent X-Men.
(X-Men I#27 - BTS) - The day was saved by Angel who, ignoring Xavier's concerns, had joined his teammates despite the injuries he was suffering from. Angel surprised Puppet Master, jumping him and taking the Mimic doll, quickly smashing the delicate idol on the floor. This freed Calvin Rankin, even though the Puppet Master still managed to escape.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas (writer), Werner
Roth (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Sure, the Defender is pretty much an Awesome Android bargain basement knockoff. Roy Thomas doesn't even bother denying it, he actually has the Puppet Master state he got inspired to build it after meeting the Mad Thinker. It only makes sense that his android merely turned out "incredible" rather than "awesome", after all Philip Masters is a sculptor, not a scientific genius like the Thinker who also had access to Reed Richards' research. It also explains why the Defender resembles a melted clay doll.
Then again, if the Puppet Master had been creative, he'd have incorporated some of his radioactive clay in the make up of his invention. That way, he could have controlled its form through a doll. After all, he was able to control the equally artificial Dragon Man, so that's not too big a stretch.
Profile by Norvo.
The Defender should not be confused with:
images: (without ads)
X-Men I#27, p17, pan6 (main image)
X-Men I#27, p19, pans1&2 (uses powers)
X-Men I#27 (December, 1966) - Roy Thomas (writer), Werner Roth (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 04/06/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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