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Defenders, The #59: Review

May 1978
David Kraft, Ed Hannigan

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Story Name:

Xenogenesis Day of the Demons Part 2 Tyranny and Mutation

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #59 Review by (July 5, 2022)

Review: A kicky part two to this arc gives us the same info about Devil-Slayer and the Cult as we learned last issue but there’s always the need for a recap and this time it’s Valkyrie having to take notes on the complicated plot. Then we meet Dr. Strange and he has additional exposition which is interrupted in the center by some of the cult exposition. Then for some crazy reason, we abandon the demon stuff as Nighthawk and Hellcat play around with a dangerous carnival ride which requires some exposition of its own. Then it’s back to the demons with Dr. Strange trapped in the demons’ realm, complete with more exposition. And it only gets worse next issue. Yet the story is quite compelling and may have been better served by stretching it to four or five issues. Yes, for once I’m suggesting a story should have been longer. Miracles happen.

Comments: Part two of three; names and concepts come from the rock band Blue Oyster Cult. First appearance of Belathauzer/Balthazar. First appearance of the Ort-Beast; it returns in issue #61, sort of. The Red Guardian subplot resumes in issue #64-65. The Cult’s chant to raise the demon bears an uncanny resemblance to the Prologue to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #59 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Valkyrie finds herself in another dimension, transported there by Devil-Slayer using his Shadow Cloak; while floating around, he explains the situation that she misread last issue: how he rebelled against the Cult of the Harvesters of Eyes and fought to destroy it and how Vera Gemini and the Cult are plotting Xenogenesis, a rebirth of the demon race on Earth using the Eye of Agamotto stolen from Dr. Strange. Devil-Slayer takes Val to find the Hulk battling a crystalline creature called the Ort-Beast, after its sole cry. Spotting Devil-Slayer, Hulk tries to attack him but is transported back to Earth by the Cloak, DS and Val following….

They arrive at the home of the injured Doctor Strange, who fills them in on what he has seen of the Cult: they have offered up a human sacrifice to conjure the demon Belathauzer who related to the half-human/half-demon Vera Gemini how demons have taken up human bodies, using their powers and positions to spread fear and violence, preparing the way for Xenogenesis, the return of the demons to reconquer Earth. Strange explains that they have used the Eye to open a portal and hasten the day. Demon-Slayer officially joins the Defenders and they begin preparations….

Near the Long Island Riding Academy owned by Kyle Richmond, Hellcat takes Kyle’s Lola MK1 on a reckless test drive, scaring him. Kyle shows her around his carnival as his tech staff outfits Nighthawk with a new jet-pack. He tests his new infra-red lenses and maneuverability by flying in and out and around a “ride” that mimics the motions of an aerial battle with weapons. NH does quite well, until Hellcat jumps in too and accidentally hits the buttons to speed it up. Things then move at a violent and insane clip—and then Hulk arrives and smashes it to pieces….

Interlude: Soviet scientists are examining Red Guardian (Tania Belinsky) after her radiation exposure (issue #53) and fear her enhanced strength and as yet undemonstrated nuclear powers….

Dr. Strange enters the Arcane Dimension, home of the demons, in his astral form and finds a horde of demons to fight. Vera Gemini appears in her demon form and the demons swarm Strange and begin to merge, trapping Strange among them. Vera opens the Eye of Agamotto for them to enter this world. Learning that Xenogenesis is happening, Devil Slayer uses his cloak to teleport to their Dark Retreat in Mexico, where he faces the Agent of Fortune. Meanwhile, the Defenders arrive at the Sanctum only to find Dollar Bill, who informs them that Dr. Strange is dead….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Ed Hannigan
Dan Green
David Kraft
George Perez (Cover Penciler)
Tony De Zuniga (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric Payne)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Tania Belinsky)


Plus: Defenders, Dollar Bill (Aaron English).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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