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Defenders, The #45: Review

Mar 1977
David Kraft, Klaus Janson

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Story Name:

We Must Free The Defenders!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #45 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Review and comments by Peter Silvestro (September 28, 2021)

Review: Nice enjoyable wrap-up to the Star of Capistan plot with a number of small, inconsequential battles to carry the action, along with some mystical pseudo-explanations for the narrative. No big deal, just a bunch of cool moments, though I’m starting to miss the oddball spin Steve Gerber put on the series during his run (issues #20-41).

Comments: Part two of two parts. Hellcat officially joins the team. The Star of Capistan next appears in DEFENDERS (2001 series) #9-10. The issue is dedicated to the members of the rock band Rush. Hellcat says, “Back off Boogaloo,” citing a song by Ringo Starr. Gerry Conway did the plot; the dialogue was written by David Anthony Kraft and Roger Slifer. Gaspar Saladino did the lettering for page 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #45 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Villainous cult leader the Red Rajah has captured the minds of Nighthawk, Hulk, and Luke Cage, along with a sizable chunk of the population of Manhattan, leaving Valkyrie, Red Guardian, and Hellcat left to face him. The Rajah raises a giant stone and wooden Doctor Strange from the Earth to battle them and while Val and Cat engage with it, the Rajah uses the Star of Capistan to hypnotize Red Guardian into his power. She is only saved by Hellcat tackling her and the three women heroes beat a hasty retreat….

Elsewhere, Jack Norriss is in his car trying to lose some pursuing baddies he had spotted last issue; he wrecks his car, leaping out in time and runs off into the distance….

To test his hold over the captive Defenders, Red Rajah orders Hulk to punish his companions. So the Green Giant knocks Cage and Nighthawk down, adjusting his blows to keep from hurting them….

Back at the Sanctum Sanctorum, Hellcat speculates that Red Guardian was susceptible to the Red Rajah’s hypnosis because of her communist background. Tania agrees, citing her culture’s belief in collectivism over individualism as the likely cause. They consult Clea, who reveals to them that the Red Rajah is Doctor Strange….

As Red Rajah preaches his message of unity through mind control, the heroines attack; the villain commands his Defenders to battle them. While they mix it up for several pages, Cage versus Val, Hulk against Hellcat, and Nighthawk battling Red G, Clea seizes the opportunity to enter Red Rajah’s mind and free Dr. Strange from the power of the Star of Capistan. Once freed, he destroys the giant ruby and all of his followers are then set free, including the male Defenders. Strange explains that he was a little too open-minded when examining the ruby in issue #42 and so he was captured by its power….

Epilogue: Back at the Sanctum Sanctorum, Dr. Strange stuns the others by announcing he must leave the Defenders….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Klaus Janson
Klaus Janson
Dave Hunt
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Keith Giffen. Letterer: John Frost.


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: Defenders, Jack Norriss (Jackson Norriss).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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