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Defenders, The #70: Review

Apr 1979
Ed Hannigan, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Catch a Falling Lunatik!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #70 Review by (September 19, 2023)

Review: So the story of Lunatik goes crazy. Surprised? Well, yes, things haven’t been this crazy since Steve Gerber left. Lunatik is a goofy urban vigilante (come on, he’s a Joker wannabe) who talks in late 1970s pop culture references. He’s my least favorite villain because of the amount of research I have to do to identify all of his references and I was a teenager in the 70s. So make my day and read the comments below and email us with your copious praise. Meanwhile, there are three variations on the same fight scene because there are three variations on the same villain, joined by a fourth on the final page. And you won’t believe how much crazier this gets.

Comments: Part one of four parts. Dr. Strange and Hulk are on the cover but do not appear in the Lunatik part of the issue. Since his last appearance here in DEFENDERS #61, Lunatik appeared in MARVEL PREMIERE #45-46 against Man-Wolf. Ledge was beaten up by Lunatik in issue #56. Kyle’s financial troubles were apparently settled in issue #25. Lunatik quotes “King of the Nighttime World” by Kiss, “Who are You?” by The Who, “Magnet and Steel” by Walter Egan, “My Aim is True” by Elvis Costello, the Dr. Pepper (soda) jingle, “Three Times a Lady,” by Lionel Richie, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meat Loaf, the Mounds/Almond Joy (candy) jingle, “Tomorrow” from ANNIE, Elmer Fudd, “All Revved Up with No Place to Go” by Meat Loaf, “Get Off of My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones, the slogan of Maxwell House coffee, United Airlines’ slogan, the Alka Seltzer jingle, the Toyota (automobile) slogan, Mork from MORK AND MINDY, and “Macho Man” by the Village People. John Costanza did the lettering for page 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #70 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Defenders return for their trip to Maine (last issue), Valkyrie drops off Doctor Strange and Bruce Banner at the Sanctum Sanctorum where Strange asks for Bruce’s help. Val, Hellcat, and Nighthawk go on to the Riding Academy where they see they have unwanted visitors. Assuming they are mobsters—or reporters, Nighthawk swoops down on them to scare them off but one of them calls him “Richmond,” so he questions the man as to their identity. They are with the Justice Department, investigating Kyle Richmond for financial improprieties. Angry, Kyle points out that he was cleared of these charges two years earlier. The Agents depart and Kyle goes in to brood. Val receives a letter from her school with an invitation to a mixer (student party) two days from now; Hellcat suggests they attend….

Back at the Sanctum, Strange has explained the situation to Bruce and, with Bruce’s consent, he transforms the scientist into the Hulk. Strange tells Clea they go to seek knowledge, not danger, and will be back soon. They vanish….

Kyle drops Val and Patsy off at the mixer at Empire State University and drives off. They meet Professor Harrison Turk and Aaron “Dollar Bill” English but Ledge shows up and accuses Turk of being Lunatik, who beat him up earlier. After some acrimony, Turk walks out; Val and Patsy decide to follow him but once outside they don’t see him—but they do see Lunatik skulking in the bushes. While Patsy calls Kyle, Val assumes her armor and sword to pursue the villain. She comes upon Lunatik terrorizing some students and challenges him. After an acrobatic skirmish Val overcomes her foe….

Tired of waiting for Nighthawk to arrive, Patsy dons her Hellcat outfit and goes out to find Val. She comes upon Lunatik skulking in the bushes and, after an acrobatic skirmish, she overcomes her foe….

Nighthawk arrives and, not seeing Val or Hellcat, goes looking for them. He comes upon Lunatik skulking near the bushes and, after an acrobatic skirmish, he overcomes his foe….

Then the three Defenders meet and discover each has a captive Lunatik. Several students gather around them then Professor Turk arrives and confesses to being Lunatik….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Mike Esposito
Bob Sharen
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Joe Rubinstein (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rick Parker.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Defenders, Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Horace Ledge (Ledge), Lunatik (Arisen Tyrk).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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