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Defenders, The #4: Review

Feb 1973
Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema

Story Name:

The New Defender: Valkyrie Rides Again!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Defenders, The #4 Review by (November 24, 2020)

Comments: First appearance of Valkyrie. Queen Casiolena was introduced in AVENGERS #83 and will return in DEFENDERS #66-68, sole appearance of her wizard Fragon. Hulk previously fought the Executioner in INCREDIBLE HULK #102.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #4 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Hulk gets angry at Doctor Strange for always being told what to do, and never being thanked for his efforts. So he holds Barbara Denton in his arms and leaps into the castle.

The Sub-Mariner and Strange follow the Hulk fearing for the girl's safety. When in the castle's basement, they find a brazier that is a portal to another realm. Both are trapped in it and get attacked by the warriors of Queen Casiolena: Fragon, the conjurer, and the Executioner, an Asgardian powerhouse. Doctor Strange and the Sub-Mariner try their best to defend themselves from the attack but are finally defeated.

They are locked in a mystic cell with Bruce Banner and an unconscious Barbara. Banner explains them how he got to be locked. Suddenly, they hear voices from another cell, and see the Black Knight and the Enchantress, evil sorceress from Asgard.

The Enchantress tells them that she created the portal in Garrett Castle to access this dimension and try rescuing the Executioner from Casiolena's spell. But she also failed, and was trapped in the cell. So the Enchantress develops an idea to free them from the mystic prisons: Turn Barbara Denton into the Asgardian female warrior known as the Valkyrie who could break the prisons' gates. The Defenders disagree with the Enchantress because of Barbara's state. But the evil sorceress explains that no trace of Barbara Denton would remain in the Valkyrie and casts the spell. The girl turns into the Valkyrie, who trashes the cell doors and liberates them all.

Casiolena sends her hordes against them. Doctor Strange and Enchantress join forces and defeat Fragon, but the Hulk, Namor and the Black Knight don't do as well against the Executioner. The Valkyrie takes the axe from the Executioner and punches him hard. Then, Jade Jaws, the Sub-Mariner, and the former Avenger unleash a second attack and are able to defeat the powerful opponent.

When Casiolena tries destroying the heroes, Valkyrie grabs her from behind. But her power is null against other women. So the Enchantress defeats Casiolena, and frees the Executioner from her spell.

Before the Enchantress and the Executioner return to Asgard, the Black Knight asks her about their love relationship. But she pleads she just used him.

Hurt and angry, the Black Knight stands against the Executioner. But the Enchantress halts the confrontation, and kisses the Black Knight who turns him into a stone statue!

The Enchantress and the Executioner vanish. Doctor Strange tries to revert the Enchantress' spell to no avail. The Valkyrie grabs the Black Knight's blade and his winged horse, Aragorn, promising to take care of them. Finally, Valkyrie tells the Defenders she'd like to join the group. But they respond that they do not need her.

Sal Buscema
Frank McLaughlin
Petra Goldberg
Sal Buscema (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)


(Bruce Banner)


Plus: Aragorn, Barbara Denton, Casiolena, Fragon.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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