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Defenders, The #74: Review

Aug 1979
Ed Hannigan, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Fools Rush In

Review & Comments

3 stars

Defenders, The #74 Review by (October 17, 2023)

Review: Omega the Unknown (and his comic book) may be dead but his supporting cast is still kicking around so, for some arcane reason, Ed Hannigan imported a few of them into the Defenders milieu. It’s an odd choice, especially since I don’t think anyone was demanding to see Amber Grant and Richard Rory again—and the latter was said to be a self-portrait of Steve Gerber so another writer taking over the character seems very odd. But Foolkiller promises some crazy action for a couple of issues anyway. Then Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond is forcibly extracted from the series—while still appearing regularly. The big question? In that full page portrait, why does he look like Lurch from THE ADDAMS FAMILY? Then Doctor Strange contacts the Sub-Mariner, trying to get him to the setting for issues #71-73, presumably because the writer and artist liked working on that story arc. The Hulk can’t make up his mind whether or not he wants friends so we get not one but two incidents wherein he is interrupted by the outside world and reacts violently (but harmlessly—unless, you know, you need the train to get to work and back home). And then the Foolkiller acts like a fool but trying to kill someone besides himself. Oh and the original reviewer rated this issue at one star. I thought this a bit harsh so I bumped it up to three.

Comments: Part one of two parts. This is the second Foolkiller, Gregory Salinger, introduced in OMEGA THE UNKNOWN #8-9. Richard Rory was a regular character in MAN-THING, starting at issue #2, then showed up in OMEGA THE UNKNOWN before landing here. Amber Grant (also known as Amber Douglas) appeared in OMEGA THE UNKNOWN (every issue) and will now reside here until issue #81. Mentioned last issue, this is the first appearance of Kyle’s lawyer, Milton Rosenblum, who will show up frequently over the next several issues. Bill and Ledge are going to see INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, most likely the 1978 version, unless they are going to a revival theater. The letters page includes an announcement that, in response to reader input claiming the book has gotten too crazy, they will be moving toward more traditional storytelling. A shame as that was what actually made it interesting.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #74 Synopsis by Will Pilgrim
The Foolkiller seeking to "purge the world of human trash" (in other words, Professor Turk a.k.a. Lunatik) runs into his students Ledge and Dollar Bill, who after hearing the Foolkiller's quest to become a hero, tell him to try joining the Defenders, who captured Lunatik. Back at the Riding Academy that serves as the Defender's Long Island headquarters, Kyle Richmond, a.k.a. Nighthawk, tells the Defenders that he's decided to give up superheroing and is quitting the Defenders. Meanwhile, the Hulk is enjoying the peacefulness of the Riding Academy (settle for the fact that his friends live there as well, and he doesn't want friends because they will always go away, or die because of him) Wanting further isolation from his friends, the Hulk leaves to find another place for solitude. 

Doctor Strange meets with Prince Namor in Atlantis begging for his aide against the coming of "the Unnameable" and back on Long Island, The Foolkiller rides the train with his friends Richard Rory and Amber Grant along with Bill and Ledge, on his way to meet with the Defenders. However, sitting on the train tracks is the Hulk, unhappy that he can't find another place as serene as the riding academy. The train stops in its tracks, noisily, and Hulk becomes outraged. He picks up and throws the cars of the train in his fury, making sure not to hurt the human bystanders, and continues to destroy the railroad. He asks the human bystanders what they think of his destruction and they cheer for him spouting that they hated the horrible service of the railroad anyway. Hulk leaves, noting, "Puny ones are not only stupid - - but crazy too!" Back at the Riding Academy Hellcat, Clea, and Valkyrie welcome in Foolkiller who is accompanied by Dollar Bill, and are about to mention that they have an empty slot on the team for him, but are interrupted as Foolkiller fiendishly attacks them.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Steve Mitchell
George Roussos
Herb Trimpe (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Irv Watanabe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Amber Grant (Amber Douglas), Defenders, Dollar Bill (Aaron English), Foolkiller (Gregory Salinger), Horace Ledge (Ledge), Milton Rosenblum, Richard Rory.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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