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Defenders, The #64: Review

Oct 1978
David Kraft, Don Perlin

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4 stars

Defenders, The #64 Review by (August 9, 2023)

Review: And “Defenders for a Day” wraps up (with a bit left over for next issue) with pure mayhem and a disturbing scene of Hellcat being choked to death before her powers manifest.

Comments: Part three of three parts. Prospective Defenders are Hercules, Marvel Man (a/k/a Quasar), Nova, Stingray, Black Goliath, Iron Fist, Son of Satan, Polaris, Jack of Hearts, Falcon, Prowler, Torpedo, Captain Ultra, White Tiger, Havok, Tagak. Final appearance of Tagak as of 2023. Villainous Defenders are Sagittarius, Porcupine, Blob, Beetle, Whirlwind, Batroc, Electro, Looter, Plantman, Libra, Toad, Shocker, Boomerang, Leap-Frog, Melter, Joe the Gorilla, Pecos, Cap’n Skragg. Skragg, Pecos and Joe the Gorilla’s only other appearance was in AVENGERS #77, eight years before this, the final appearance of all of them. Patsy Walker’s psychic potential was discovered when she visited Titan in AVENGERS #150-151. Horace Ledge was badly beaten by Lunatik in issue #56; he was last seen in the hospital in issue #58. Red Guardian (Tania Belinsky) was exposed to radiation in issue #53 and last seen in a Russian hospital in #59. GCD suggests either George Perez or Keith Pollard as the cover penciler.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #64 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A band of new Defenders led by Hercules (Hellcat, Black Goliath, Iron Fist, Torpedo, White Tiger, Captain Ultra) and a gang of crooks claiming to be the Defenders led by Sagittarius (Porcupine, Blob, Beetle, Whirlwind, Batroc, Electro, Looter, Plantman) are each claiming to be the good guys and accusing the others of robbing the Diamond District. The police decide to arrest everyone and sort it out at the station. When Herc produces his Avengers ID, the bad guys take off so the good guys pursue, leaving the cops yelling. The Defenders catch up to the crooks in Grand Central Station, battling them on the subway platform. The bad guys board a train, using Electro’s power to double the train’s speed. Black Goliath tries to halt the train manually but only succeeds in separating the last car from the rest. They run back to the surface where Captain Ultra can follow the train’s progress with his scanner vision….

At Empire State University, Dollar Bill greets Horace Ledge, just released from the hospital, and Professor Turk who has an idea that may intrigue Bill….

In the Wall Street area, Nighthawk’s team (Nova, Marvel Man, Tagak, Polaris, Son of Satan) comes upon a crook stealing a woman’s purse—and it’s the kid they caught stealing his father’s car last time, only now he’s pranking his mother. Fed up with Nighthawk’s leadership, the other heroes quit the team and take off. Then he learns the Stock Exchange is being destroyed by another band of evil Defenders, this time led by Libra of Zodiac (Toad, Shocker, Boomerang, Leap-Frog, Melter, Joe the Gorilla, Pecos, Cap’n Skragg). Shocker bullies a broker into investing in Kyle Richmond’s company, putting a million dollars into a brand-new Swiss bank account for him, just as Nighthawk crashes through the window. The hero is so outnumbered and outmatched that Melter takes him down in seconds and the crooks depart. A groggy Nighthawk goes out in search of allies….

In the subway, Hercules stands in front of the train bearing the bad guys and it crashes into him. There is a fight in the tunnel and Blob gets Hellcat in a chokehold; on the verge of death by strangulation, she unleashes her latent psychic powers, knocking everyone unconscious, hero and villain alike….

Nighthawk locates Valkyrie’s team of Defenders (Falcon, Torpedo, Stingray, Prowler, Jack of Hearts) and they hunt down Libra’s gang at the docks where they are hijacking the Staten Island Ferry. Having achieved equilibrium, Libra departs, joined by his toady, Toad, leaving the others to fight. Joe the Gorilla puts Val in a chokehold and she unleashes a sudden power: she hallucinates, believing she is back in Viking times, battling trolls. Val goes berserk and clobbers everyone with Dragonfang, friend and foe alike. Many of the baddies flee and new Defenders resign because of her fury. Nighthawk tries to calm her down and she nearly kills him before coming to her senses. She collapses and Kyle promises to get her the best health care money can buy but she despairs, knowing no one can understand her inner turmoil, setting an Asgardian persona in a mortal body….

In Russia, scientists at the Soviet Research Institute decide that nothing can be done for Red Guardian after her exposure to radiation but containment. Then word comes that Codename: Sergei (now the Presence) has entered the Forbidden Zone and reawakened the giant Amoeba…. 

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Don Perlin
Don Perlin
Bob Sharen
(Unknown artist) (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Sal Buscema. Letterer: John Costanza.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Batroc the Leaper
Batroc the Leaper

(Georges Batroc)

(Fred Dukes)

(Max Dillon)

(Patsy Walker)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)

(Kyle Richmond)

(Richard Rider)

(Lorna Dane)


Plus: Beetle (Abner Jenkins), Black Goliath (Tom Foster), Captain Ultra (Griffin Gogol), Defenders, Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Horace Ledge (Ledge), Looter (Norton Fester), Marvel Man (Wendell Vaughn), Plantman (Samuel Smithers), Porcupine (Alexander Gentry), Sagittarius, Tagak, Torpedo (Brock Jones), Whirlwind (David Cannon), White Tiger (Hector Ayala).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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