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Defenders, The #17: Review

Nov 1974
Len Wein, Sal Buscema

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Story Name:

Power Play!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Defenders, The #17 Review by (February 2, 2021)

Comments: Part one of three parts. First (brief) appearance of the Wrecking Crew and its members, save for Wrecker who was introduced in THOR #148. First appearance of the Richmond Riding Academy, unofficial meeting place for the Defenders, complete with Adamantium chair for Hulk. First (veiled) appearance of Kyle Richmond’s business manager J.C. Pennysworth (no relation to Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler. Maybe). Luke Cage mentions “Ruby Begonia” a reference to the radio/TV series AMOS ‘N ANDY; Nighthawk refers to old time Western star Hopalong Cassidy. There is no explanation as to why Valkyrie didn’t cut Nighthawk’s head off for kissing her on the mouth.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #17 Synopsis by Fabian D'Souza
At the new H.Q. of the Defenders (courtesy of Kyle Richmond), Nighthawk, who's straining to ride Aragon, is forced to dismount before being bucked. Valkyrie comments that Nighthawk did a fine job trying if not succeeding. Subsequently in the ranch, Doctor Strange tries to reason with Valkyrie not to leave, but Valkyrie explains that she needs to learn more about her past and Barbara. She says that she will return once her task is complete, and thanks Nighthawk for the limo. She kisses everyone on the cheek including Hulk, and leaves. Hulk, angry that the girl who was kind to him has left, scolds Doctor Strange saying that though he claims to be Hulk's friend, he had allowed the girl to leave and so he barges out.

Later, Nighthawk tells Doctor Strange that he feels like a Jonah because from the time he joined, Defenders have been leaving the group. He says that he earnestly desired to be a Defender, and had built the new H.Q. with the intention that they wouldn't have to impose on his largesse. He sees the adamantium chair he had built for the Hulk, kicks it in anger and grasps his foot in pain, upon which Doctor Strange tells him to refrain from angry impulses. Just then the phone rings and Nighthawk takes the call. Pennysworth on the other end tells Nighthawk that something has come up that threatens Nighthawk's business. Nighthawk turns on the T.V. just as the broadcaster is talking about a peculiar Wrecking Crew, demanding a ransom of 10 million lest another building be leveled by them. He continues that the mayor has refused to succumb to arrogant intimidations and points to the soldiers guarding the building. The broadcaster finally says that the time limit for payment has passed and the building still stands. At that moment the building collapses and the Wrecker says that their ransom is now 25 million which is to be paid by tomorrow, failing which, they will convert the entire city into a giant parking lot. Nighthawk then asks Pennysworth who is still on the other end how that concerns him, whereupon he's told that the two buildings destroyed were owned by Nighthawk. Nighthawk, frustrated by the incident, says that he has to hurry to Manhattan to save his last building that's still under construction. Doctor Strange accompanies him.

In Manhattan, Doctor Strange and Nighthawk land atop his building. Nighthawk says that despite being a millionaire, he never had a liking for business- even his own. Suddenly, he remembers Pennysworth having told him of hiring someone to protect the building but exclaims that it seems deserted. Doctor Strange says that the sentry is probably elsewhere. Just then, both the heroes are attacked off guard. Luke Cage introduces himself as Power Man and says that Pennysworth hired him to protect the building. Nighthawk and Doctor Strange tell him that they friends but are told that if that were so, they wouldn't have been skulking about the roof. Doctor Strange, trying to reassure Power Man of their alliance, inadvertently blasts a rafter. As Doctor Strange's fixing the rafter Power Man wallops him from behind. Nighthawk tries punching Power Man but only hurts his own hand. Power Man says that he's literally as dense as steel but Nighthawk says that he isn't impressed, since he too has powers of his own, being the strongest during a full moon night, which, conveniently, is one today. Nighthawk shoves Power Man but he quickly recuperates, and leaps at Nighthawk only to be caught by him in mid-air. Nighthawk tries to assure Power Man of their mutual interest in the building's safety but Power Man pulls the roof down on Nighthawk. Before Power Man can continue, he is trapped in a force field by Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange says that they may appear to be trespassers, but that Richmond Enterprises had hired them to protect this building. However, just as Power Man is being sardonic, the entire building collapses over all of them!

Nighthawk commends Doctor Strange for protecting them from the cave in, but Doctor Strange says that it was the Vishanti who protected them with his Shield of Seraphim. The Wrecker says that they were fortunate once, but that their time is at hand. He then presents Piledriver, Bulldozer, Thunderball and himself as the Wrecking Crew.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Sal Buscema
Dan Green
Glynis Wein
Ron Wilson (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Annette Kawecki.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Defenders, Wrecking Crew.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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