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Defenders, The #42: Review

Dec 1976
Gerry Conway, Klaus Janson

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Story Name:

And In This Corner: The New Emissaries Of Evil!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #42 Review by (September 14, 2021)

Review: A surprisingly unattractive issue is bursting at the seams with words, words, words, as dialogue balloons and narrative boxes threaten to crowd the pictures off the pages. The story itself is pretty good, though Egghead is far from a formidable villain (remember, this guy could never beat Ant-Man), giving him a space station and a couple of powerful henchmen in Solarr and Cobalt Man (Rhino is useless in any comic featuring Hulk) is a good way to make him a match for our non-team. And Klaus Janson’s art is very nice, with only a hint of the dark and gritty edge that DAREDEVIL requires. So, as I started to say, pretty good issue, especially with the explosive opening and the apocalyptic climax, despite the crowded art.

Comments: Part one of two parts. Story falls immediately after INCREDIBLE HULK #206-207 where the Defenders fought Hulk who was out of his mind with grief after the death of Jarella in HULK #205. Egghead was introduced as an Ant-Man villain in TALES TO ASTONISH #38 and battled the Avengers as a whole; he had recently faced the Defenders in GIANT-SIZE DEFENDERS #4. Rhino first appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #41 and has been a Spidey and Hulk villain ever since. Solarr was introduced in CAPTAIN AMERICA #160, returning in CAP #168 and AVENGERS #126, this is his fourth appearance. This issue and #44 mark the only appearance of Omar Karindu. Solarr compares the Defenders to the Sweathogs, the comical teen gang from the sitcom WELCOME BACK, KOTTER (1975-1979).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #42 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As the Defenders are hanging around the Sanctum Sanctorum, suddenly Nighthawk bursts into flame; as Valkyrie tends to his injuries, which don’t leave a mark, Hulk and Luke Cage go outside to find out who is responsible, followed by Doctor Strange. They meet Solarr, a giant with heat powers, who demands the Star of Capistan; the Rhino arrives to mix it up with Hulk and Luke while Strange tells Solarr he has never heard of the Star of Capistan. Solarr seems impervious to Strange’s spells while being able to engulf the sorcerer in a web of flame. Hulk uses water from a broken hydrant to rescue Strange, who has deduced that Solarr’s presence is an illusion. The baddie enters the house to search for the Star and fights Val before he realizes the Star really isn’t there and he departs, along with Rhino, via teleportation….

The two bad guys return to a NASA space station hijacked by their boss, Egghead. They explain that Strange didn’t have the Star of Capistan but the arrogant genius refuses to believe them and traps them in a Time Stasis tube for punishment. The Star is a giant ruby belonging to a Pakistani religious cult led by Strange’s friend Omar Karindu; due to the war in Bangladesh, the Star was recently moved to London and thence to New York where Egghead is certain it is in the possession of Dr. Strange, so he calls out his most powerful weapon….

Strange has a summons from his friend Omar Karindu, who shows him the Star of Capistan and telling him it is out of their control. Strange looks and the ruby captures his mind….

Egghead’s secret weapon turns out to be Cobalt Man, whom he has rescued from space after CB’s encounter with Hulk. And now the villain attacks Hulk outside Strange’s mansion; Luke Cage, Val, and the injured (and shirtless) Nighthawk also jump into the battle. And together they overpower Cobalt Man…and then Egghead hits a switch that will cause CB to melt down and explode in a nuclear holocaust….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Klaus Janson
Klaus Janson
Klaus Janson
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Keith Giffen. Letterer: John Costanza.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Cobalt Man
Cobalt Man

(Ralph Roberts)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Defenders, Egghead (Elihas Starr), Solarr (Silas King).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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