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Defenders, The #21: Review

Mar 1975
Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema

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Story Name:

Enter: The Headmen!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Defenders, The #21 Review by (March 17, 2021)

Comments: First appearance of the Headmen as a group; they return in issue #31. Gorilla-Man (Arthur Nagan) had his introduction and origin in MYSTERY TALES #21 (1954); Shrunken Bones (Jerold Morgan) had his introduction and origin in WORLD OF FANTASY #11 (1958); Chondu the Mystic first appeared in TALES OF SUSPENSE #9 (1960). The fourth member, Ruby Thursday, will debut in issue #32. Trish/Trixie Starr, Egghead’s niece, was introduced in MARVEL FEATURE #5 (starring Ant-Man); her next appearances are in GIANT-SIZE DEFENDERS #4 and DEFENDERS #32, 36, and 41, after which she will pop up in some Hulk issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #21 Synopsis by Nick Walters
Doctor Strange and Nighthawk return to Valkyrie's Connecticut home after their previous battle. Valkyrie looks through some photos and realizes somehow she is married which upsets Nighthawk. Meanwhile outside some plush suburban home, the Hulk appears watching children play. Once the father sees him, the father attacks Hulk, making him mad where he smashes down a house then leaves upset after the kid starts crying. Flash to Gorilla-Man (Dr Arthur Nagan) and Shrunken Bones (Jerold Morgan) working in a lab where they have finished a sinister serum of some sort. Bruce Banner awakens near Dr Strange's home and he hobbled in and Strange shows him to bed. Meanwhile Nagan and Morgan meet up with Chondu the Mystic who is willing to take an ingestion of the Serum. It is revealed that Nagan has only a human head, but the body of an ape. Chondu takes the serum and he dreams a sinister dream that causes a Black Rain to fall over anyone sleeping in NYC. Nighthawk sees Trixie Starr running about to throw herself over a ledge to her death but stops her. He realizes than there are many similar screams, all of these people asleep but terrified. Many are throwing themselves out of windows and then so is the Hulk. Hulk has gone berserk. Valkyrie and Strange try to stop him, but they can't. Cut to the Diamond district where Nagan is out stealing Diamonds where Nighthawk spots him and them battle, but Nagan wins and heads back to where Chondu is passing out as the serum wears off. Everyone awakes and the madness ends for now. Nighthawk tells Dr Strange what he encountered and they are sure they are related, but that's all for this issue.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Sal Buscema
Sal Trapani


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Chondu the mystic (Harvey Schlemerman), Gorilla-Man (Arthur Nagan), Shrunken Bones (Jerold Morgan), Trish Starr (Trixie Starr).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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