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Defenders, The #65: Review

Nov 1978
David Kraft, Bruce Patterson

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Story Name:

Of Ambitions and Giant Amoebas

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #65 Review by (August 16, 2023)

Review: Ha, a floating head cover which usually indicates most of the cast is not involved in the main story. And so they aren’t. Red Guardian and her enemy/lover Sergei unite to destroy the monster that no one, save a handful of Soviet government types, will ever know about. The tone of the plot is at odds with the rest of the issue and indeed the rest of the series. The rest of the comic has a more bittersweet tone. The Defenders for a Day project fizzles out as well it should. Hellcat has an oddly perky personality, a “Golly gee whiz!” type, when interacting with the cops and even by herself. But then she reunites with Millie the model who suddenly has the ditsy personality and Patsy becomes the brooding hero. And Valkyrie is seriously ill, leading into the next story arc. The mood changes give the reader whiplash, discovering later that the Millie the Model subplot will not be followed up on, existing to change Patsy’s character in only a few pages. Weird issue and that’s not counting the Dollar Bill/Professor Turk subplot which is going nowhere three panels at a time. And come on, we all know Turk is Lunatik, what are they waiting for?  

Comments: False advertising: Hulk is on the cover but does not appear in the story. Brief appearances by Black Goliath, Iron Fist, and Havok as they quit the Defenders; baddies Blob, Porcupine, Whirlwind, and Sagittarius are seen being arrested. Last appearance of Red Guardian (Tanya Belinsky) in DEFENDERS; her next appearance is in THE INCREDIBLE HULK #250 then #258-259 where the Presence joins her. Millicent “Millie the Model” Collins was the star of Marvel’s most popular humor titles, running from 1945 to 1973, joked about a lot by Stan Lee in his writing days and making occasional comebacks. This is Millie’s second appearance in a superhero comic, the first saw her attending the wedding in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3. Third and final appearance of Lt. Kris Keating in DEFENDERS, after issues #44 and 51; he later becomes a recurring character in Spider-Man titles. Gaspar Saladino did the lettering for page 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #65 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In the wake of the disaster in the subway tunnel, Police Lieutenant Kris Keating is yelling at Hellcat as various Defenders for a Day skulk off and the cops apprehend several villains. Hellcat appears contrite, Hercules has a headache, and Keating says he will send a bill for damages to the Defenders, as their address was at the end of the documentary. Patsy hops in her Hellcatmobile and opens the letter delivered by Iron Man (issue #63), discovering it is from Millie the Model. She heads over to see her old friend….

In the Soviet Union, Red Guardian (Tanya Belinsky) is locked up, her body now of sheer nuclear energy and thus a danger to her country. The leaders inform her that the Presence/Sergei has entered the Forbidden Zone and reactivated the giant amoeba; with her new situation, she is the only one who can approach him safely. She agrees to the mission and is freed from her cell remotely and flies off to the Zone. There she discovers that the Presence has been swallowed by his creation, the amoeba. She fights the creature, achieving nothing until she targets the nucleus and then it seizes her and pulls her inside….

Nighthawk and Valkyrie return to HQ and she is still dizzy from her spell of madness last issue. She snaps at NH so he excuses himself and paints a sign for the porch telling prospective Defenders to go away. Val goes crazy again, attacking a horse trough; he pushes her into the water which seems to bring her to her senses before she faints. NH decides to get her professional help….

Hellcat visits Glamor Models, Inc., the modelling agency run by her old friend Millicent “Millie the Model” Collins. Millie doesn’t recognize her until she unmasks. Millie shows off her flashy business and asks Patsy if she wants to come back and model for her. Patsy’s life, however, has gone in too different a direction and she is no longer the bright and carefree girl Millie knew so she must decline….

Within the amoeba, Sergei sees Tanya trapped and he makes his way slowly to her, believing they are doomed. But then he remembers an earlier moment and clasps her hand so that their combined power enables them to escape. He professes his love for her and kisses her, which revives her. Together they fight the giant amoeba and, merging into one, they are able to destroy the nucleus and with it the entire amoeba, ending its threat. They decide to settle down in the Forbidden Zone, so as not to endanger the rest of the world….

Dollar Bill and Ledge hang out at Professor Turk’s weird apartment. Ledge, just out of the hospital, excuses himself to go study. Bill asks Turk if he knows how he can get back into the Defenders’ good graces. Turk says he’ll try….

At the HQ, Valkyrie stares into the fireplace and recalls fighting battles and being confronted by a mysterious foe. Nighthawk meets Hellcat outside where they catch up on the status of the new Defenders. Suddenly there is a flash from inside the house. Patsy and Kyle rush in to find Val gone, with a note saying they will never see her again….  

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Bruce Patterson
Bruce Patterson
Petra Goldberg
Keith Pollard (Cover Penciler)
Terry Austin (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Don Perlin. Letterer: Jean Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Patsy Walker)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Tania Belinsky)


Plus: Defenders, Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Horace Ledge (Ledge), Millie the Model (Millie Collins), Presence.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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