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Defenders, The #58: Review

Apr 1978
David Kraft, Ed Hannigan

Story Name:

Xenogenesis Day of the Demons Part 1 Agents of Fortune

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #58 Review by (June 28, 2022)

Review: Nice issue kicks off an arc showcasing the obscure hero Devil-Slayer, in hopes of creating a popular new hero in the more horror oriented corner of the Marvel Universe. Didn’t happen, likely because Devil-Slayer just comes off as a weaker version of Son of Satan, and who wants more of that? I’m not a big fan of the occultic tales and this one needs a lot of exposition to bring the reader up to speed on a character who had only one previous appearance. We’ll see more of him over the next few years of the is comic as Defenders seemed to be the home for obscure heroes (well, and MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE; both titles served to close up unfinished story arcs and phase out obscure heroes as well). And these three issues are also a tribute to Blue Oyster Cult; nearly forty years later, Robert Galbraith would pen Career of Evil in “his” Cormoran Strike series, also using song titles and lyrics from BOC but with a lot more to work with. “Career of Evil” also shows up in the issue. But no “More cowbell” jokes, please, as that is also from a later date.

Comments: Part one of three; names and concepts come from the rock band Blue Oyster Cult and the issue is dedicated to band member Eric Bloom. Devil-Slayer was created by Rich Buckler and David Anthony Kraft for Atlas/Seaboard Comics under the name Demon Hunter; when Atlas went out of business, Kraft revamped him as Devil-Slayer and he made his Marvel debut in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #33; this Defenders arc marks his second appearance. First appearance of Vera Gemini and the Cult of the Harvesters of Eyes; the organization isn’t named until issue #59. The story is said to take place the same night as MS. MARVEL #10, DAREDEVIL #144, and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #175. Klaus Janson inked the first three pages, Dan Green the rest.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #58 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

On a quiet night in Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange has dozed off though even Wong feels the night is too quiet. Suddenly the Eye of Agamotto awakens him, warning of an attack. A flashily-dressed, beaked figure, an Agent of Fortune, bursts in and starts a fight with Strange. The intruder seems immune to Strange’s magical attacks; he knocks out Strange, seizes the Eye of Agamotto, and vanishes with it….

Valkyrie and Bruce Banner visit her friend Ledge, who was beaten up by Lunatick in issue #56, in the hospital. Dollar Bill stops by and invites Val and Bruce to an evening at the Felix Club. At the club, Val has an odd feeling about a couple seated nearby; they are Eric (Devil-Slayer) Payne and Vera Gemini; he was trained by the Cult of the Harvesters of Eyes then turned against them and now she wants him back. He resents having been manipulated by the cult and vows he will not stop until the cult is destroyed. When Vera reveals that the Cult now has the Eye of Agamotto, Eric unwittingly drops his magical disguise and stands revealed as Devil-Slayer; Valkyrie draws her sword and, thinking him the villain, attacks him. DS, assuming Val is one of Vera’s agents, draws a poleax out of his cloak and fights back. It is only Vera’s parting words as she teleports away that lead Val to think she made a mistake. By then, the excitement has caused Bruce to transform into the Hulk. Hulk bashes Devil-Slayer around for a bit until DS uses his Shadow Cloak to send Hulk to another dimension. The police arrive and zero in on Devil-Slayer but he seizes Val and takes them both elsewhere….

Looking for Nick Fury about that job offer, Jack Norriss breaks into Avengers Mansion and is nabbed by one of the traps. Captain America, Iron Man, Beast, and Scarlet Witch investigate and the embarrassed Jack says he is looking for Nick Fury….

In the jungles of Mexico, two archaeologists, Sharon and Marc, come upon a huge temple; they are enveloped in a mysterious glow and vanish. It is the temple of the Cult and the Agent of Fortune has arrived announcing his success in obtaining the Eye for the coming Xenogenesis. Marc and Sharon are sacrificed to their gods in the Chamber of Rebirth. Dr. Strange is spying on them remotely and recognizes the Cult that worships the demons who long ago ruled the Earth, until the Ancient One banished them with the Eye of Agamotto. And now the Cult has stolen the Eye and will use it in Xenogenesis, the rebirth of the demon race….

Ed Hannigan
Phil Rachelson
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
Klaus Janson (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Defenders, Devil-Slayer (Eric Payne), Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Horace Ledge (Ledge), Jack Norriss (Jackson Norriss).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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