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Defenders, The #50: Review

Aug 1977
David Kraft, Keith Giffen

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Story Name:

Scorpio Must Die! Who Remembers Scorpio? Part Three

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #50 Review by (November 2, 2021)

Review: A pretty wacky issue as the Defenders takes on the new Zodiac, three of whom were stillborn, Libra holding himself above such squabbles, Gemini divided as to his allegiance, and Aquarius just plain sitting it out. That leaves six Zodiacs against five Defenders with one of the latter being the Hulk, which makes him count for ten or eleven in combat. Plus, Scorpio kicks out early and sinks into his own misery and shoots himself. The battle scenes aptly play up the chaos of the conflict, with nine little panels on each page, not classy like WATCHMEN but certainly mirroring the action. Really cool with a somber end to a hopeless megalomaniac.  

Comments: Part five of five parts/part three of three parts. First full appearance of the new Zodiac whose career after this is a bit scattershot, with one-shot adventures against She-Hulk and Iron Man but mainly in WEST COAST AVENGERS. Scorpio/Jake Fury returns in issue #87 then rejoins his new Zodiac gang. Issue includes a detailed diagram of the DefendersLong Island non-headquarters. Gemini says, “Tough ditty,” another cleaned up vulgar expression. Mike Royer, John Tartaglione, and Dave Cockrum are credited with “art assists.” Gaspar Saladino did the lettering for page 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #50 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hulk has crashed into the lair of Scorpio, who unleashes his newly created Zodiac on him. Scorpio introduces eight of them and realizes three are missing (remember, he’s the twelfth) just as Hulk lays into them. Libra, who fancies himself above such conflicts, advises Valkyrie, Hellcat, and Moon Knight to join Hulk in battle. Max Fury comes running too, telling Jack Norriss to stay out of the way. As night falls, Nighthawk increases in power and breaks free of his restraints, joining the battle. Scorpio panics, as his beloved Virgo is one of the missing three while Aquarius sits out the fight and drinks beer. Scorpio discovers that Capricorn, Pisces, and Virgo did not survive their “births” and he mourns the loss of his beloved Virgo, his last chance at being normal. The Defenders regroup (in a nice two-page spread) and the fight continues. Gemini, split in two, is divided over which side to favor. Reunited, he chooses to side with the Defenders, trapping Leo in the same pit Moon Knight escaped from at the end of issue #48. Jack Norriss leads Moon Knight to where he can find Scorpio…

…who is listening to his Judy Garland records while brooding over his failure. He sees that it is all futile, even his scheme of revenge against his brother Nick Fury and asks for Max Fury’s gun. He shoots himself but the arriving heroes wrongly assume that the LMD, mourning his friend’s death, killed him….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Keith Giffen
Keith Giffen
Don Warfield
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Costanza.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Defenders, Jack Norriss (Jackson Norriss), Max Fury, Scorpio (Jake Fury LMD), Zodiac.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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