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Comic Legends: The Hidden Watergate Connection in Avengers/Defenders War

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and thirty-ninth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the weekly three legends.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

COMIC LEGEND:

The Avengers/Defenders War initially had a big Watergate connection that was eliminated after the issue in question had been written.

STATUS:

True

After Roy Thomas created the team, Steve Englehart was given the assignment to write the Defenders on an ongoing basis. Soon, Englehart was writing both the Defenders and the Avengers and so Englehart soon decided to write one of the first major crossovers where each title told one part of the story. These had been done before, of course, but not really to this extent.

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The conceit is that pieces of a MacGuffin known as the Evil Eye had been spread all over the globe and the Defenders and the Avengers had to race to find the pieces of the Evil Eye before the other team could...

So the teams split up and you had individual fights between the heroes all over the world, like Silver Surfer vs. Scarlet Witch and Vision...

Hawkeye (then a member of the Defenders) vs. Iron Man...

and Doctor Strange vs. Mantis and Black Panther...

Okay, this led to Swordsman and Valkyrie facing off in Bolivia at a mysterious castle...

Swordsman is attacked...

but he makes it to the castle first, where he meets its odd owner...

Then Valkyrie shows up and the two heroes battle...

The Evil Eye is in the possession of the weird owner of the castle and he actually tries to kill Swordsman before Swordsman kills him...

Valkyrie won the battle and left with the piece...

Weird stuff, right? Like, for instance, why did that guy try to kill the Swordsman?

Well, the thing is that as the story was originally written, the guy was hiding out in Bolivia because he escaped from the United States after being convicted for his part in the Watergate scandal! Some offbeat political humor there.

However, when the issue was ready to be published, no one had actually been convicted yet, so they changed it very late in the game.

They revealed the truth in the letter column in Avengers #122, as readers naturally wrote in asking what the deal was with that mystery guy.

Boy, Steve Englehart was ALL over Watergate. Man, it's so good that comics aren't as political these days as they were back then!

Check out some other comic book movie legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Was the Villain Max Schreck in Batman Returns Originally Going to be Harvey Dent?

2. What Surprising Character on Friends Was Originally Going to Have a Kid?

3. Did Paul McCartney Acquire the Rights to the Phrase “Ob La Di, Ob La Da” in a Unique Fashion?

4. Where Did the Liberty Bell in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square Come From?

Check back soon for part 2 of this week's (actually on time) legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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