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Defenders, The #54: Review

Dec 1977
David Kraft, ?

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Story Name:

A Study in Survival! The Power Principle Part Two

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Defenders, The #54 Review by (May 4, 2022)

Review: Fast-paced and action-filled tale only pauses for two brief pointless scenes: Valkyrie falling asleep and Jack Norriss being confused. Otherwise it’s pure excitement with the climactic introduction of a pair of transmogrified humans to throw the next issue into jeopardy.

The Nick Fury tale is pretty cool, it’s just a mystery what it is doing as filler in an issue of THE DEFENDERS. It also seems to be setting up a later development but at this time, Fury did not have an ongoing series so it’s not clear where this would be continued. And a No-Prize to anyone who can determine why Nick Fury hurling himself through a presumably thick glass partition would not be cut to pieces.

Comments: First story: Part two of three. The Atlantean monster is identified in a footnote as having been introduced in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #13 but the Marvel Database links it to the Behemoth of TALES TO ASTONISH #77-80. Hellcat makes an odd reference to her ex-husband, Buzz Baxter. Pencils shared by Keith Giffen and Michael Golden. Gaspar Saladino did the lettering for page 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #54 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Codename: Sergei has detonated a nuclear bomb in Russia, sending shock waves throughout the world, even underwater as Namor’s Atlantean ship breaks up. Namor and the Defenders seek to save themselves and the crew; back in Russia, Sergei and Dr. Tania Belinsky undergo transmogrification….

Nighthawk is swept away by strong currents as Hellcat tries to carry an oxygen helmet to him. Hulk is also determined to save his air-breathing friends. Hellcat catches up to an unconscious Nighthawk and puts a helmet on him—but she is then pulled away by something grasping her leg….

Back in New York, Dollar Bill invites Valkyrie home to show her the movie he has made of his own life. As the film unfolds we see that Bill grew up in a wealthy family…and then he notices that Val has fallen asleep….

Hellcat has been grabbed by a giant monster and Namor arrives to force it to let her go with a mighty blow; he then carries her to the surface. Meanwhile, Hulk has discovered Nighthawk and likewise draws him upward….

Jack Norriss ponders Nick Fury’s offer for him to join SHIELD and the more he thinks, the more he likes it. And then he realizes he has no way of contacting Fury….

Namor, Hulk, Hellcat, and Nighthawk are on the surface, clinging to a large piece of floating wreckage. Hulk spies land and, despite his teammates’ protests, leaps over to it with the equal and opposite reaction pushing them all underwater again. Namor carries Kyle and Patsy over to the island where Nighthawk loses his temper at Hulk for such a foolish action, which makes Hulk mad…but then they are interrupted by the appearance of those responsible: a glowing and godlike Presence and Red Guardian, floating in midair….

“Fury Times 5!”
Writer: Scott Edelman. Pencils: Juan Ortiz. Inks: Bruce Patterson. Colors: Ken Klaczak. Letters: Howard Bender.
Synopsis: On the SHIELD Helicarrier, Nick Fury is lured into a training area where four Fury Life Model Decoys attack him under orders from a masked villain. Fury is able to fight them off and seizes a gun from one. The villain flicks a switch, rendering the gun powerless so Fury hurls it to short out the electricity, plunging the room into darkness. When the villain turns the lights on again, Fury has stripped to his shorts, making him indistinguishable from two of the LMDs. The villain flicks another switch, shutting down the LMDs. Which was what Fury was planning on: he hurls himself through the glass partition into the control room and clobbers the villain, who, unmasked, is revealed to be another Nick Fury LMD. Fury calls Clay Quartermain to clean everything up while worrying what would happen if LMDs ever gain sentience….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Bob McLeod
David Kraft
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Ernie Chan (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Bruce Patterson.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Tania Belinsky)


Plus: Defenders, Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Jack Norriss (Jackson Norriss), Presence.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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