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Defenders, The #44: Review

Feb 1977
Roger Slifer, Klaus Janson

Story Name:

Rage Of The Rajah!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Defenders, The #44 Review by (September 28, 2021)

Review: Exposition-heavy issue has quite a number of entertaining moments, such as the arrival of Hellcat, accompanied by a lengthy sci-fi account of where she has just been, the battle with the Red Rajah, who comes with a fantasy history of the Star of Capistan and… Well, those were the good parts. There’s also an account of Red Guardian’s troubles with her Soviet bosses and the umpteenth scene of Valkyrie telling Jack Norriss to take a long walk off a short roof. And a bunch of people are hypnotized, including our (male) heroes, leaving the ladies to save the day next time. So see you then….

Comments: Part one of two parts. Hellcat/Patsy Walker makes her first appearance in the title, joining the team next issue; her previous appearances were in AVENGERS #144-151. First appearance of Detective Kris Keating who will show up a few times in this title, then in FF and Captain America issues, finally in several Spider-Man titles; somewhere along the line he is murdered by the Foreigner and replaced with a double but no one is clear exactly when. Rhino comes back in INCREDIBLE HULK #218, Solarr in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #53. Jack Norriss’ name is misspelled “Norris” throughout the issue. Dialogue by David Kraft.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #44 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
Hulk breaks in the Sanctum Santorum looking for Doctor Strange. Power Man and Nighthawk try calming him down with violence. But it's Valkyrie and her subtle way who persuades Jade Jaws to cool down. The Asgardian girl tells Hulk that Strange should be back soon. But she also senses that the mage is in some kind of peril. Suddenly, Hellcat also shows up looking for Doctor Strange. She claims that human kind needs of him or the Earth might perish! The Red Guardian joins the heroines in their search for Strange. Previously, Hulk and the hero boys went on their own search and found a mystic man with news about Strange. According to him, Doctor Strange tried to control a gem called the Star of Capistan. The stone has the power of controlling people's minds. But Strange failed merging with the gem. As a result, he turned into the Red Rajah! The new spawned villain starts controlling minds from Central Park. It's where the Hulk, Power Man and Nighthawk arrive. But they are easily defeated by Strange and the power of the gem. Special guest: Jack Norriss, Rhino, Solarr.

Klaus Janson
Klaus Janson
Glynis Oliver
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Keith Giffen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Tania Belinsky)


Plus: Jack Norriss (Jackson Norriss), Solarr (Silas King).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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