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Defenders, The #76: Review

Oct 1979
Steven Grant, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Little Triggers!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Defenders, The #76 Review by (February 14, 2024)

Review: And so, we gather to pay our respects to the late lamented Omega the Unknown while also seeing what Marvel has done to explain the truncated storyline that, incidentally, Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes, creators of Omega, were not consulted on. So the Defenders locate James-Michael Starling, annoyingly alien human kid, and fight the robots that have been after him since the cover of OMEGA THE UNKNOWN #1. And we yank in a guest hero, Moondragon, because there ought to be somebody in the issue who knows what’s going on. But so far, we have more questions with few answers because Ed Hannigan is saving it all up for a huge burst of exposition in the final issue before DEFENDERS goes back to being about the Defenders. Stay with me, now….

Comments: Part one of two parts, concluding the short-lived OMEGA THE UNKNOWN series. Ruby Thursday and Dybbuk comes over from OMEGA #10, the final issue. Ruth Hart, also from OMEGA, appears here with no explanation. James-Michael and Dian come over from OMEGA with an explanation. Dibbuk was introduced in OMEGA #10; this issue and the next mark his final appearances. Gaspar Saladino did the lettering for page 1.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #76 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Now that the Defenders have broken up (last issue), Hellcat calls on her friend Wasp to pick up her and Valkyrie in an Avengers Quinjet so they can search for the runaway James-Michael Starling as a favor to the latter’s friends Ruth Hart, Amber Grant, and Richard Rory. They give Val and Patsy a short version of James-Michael's history and his mysterious connection with the silent superhero Omega. But as they head for the site of JM’s car crash that killed his parents in Pennsylvania, they see that they are being followed by alien spacecraft….

In Las Vegas, Navada, Ruby Thursday, disguised as a police officer, visits the morgue. She summons her demonic pal Dibbuk and together they steal the dead body of Omega the Unknown so that she can study the cybernetic body and perhaps incorporate it into her own physiology….

Meanwhile, James-Michael Starling and his friend Dian Wilkins are at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania, where they have discovered robot duplicates of his dead robot parents. Then the voices in JM’s head become intolerable. He recalls his disintegrating mother’s last words not to listen to the voices. Then he becomes aware that someone has found them and they flee….

It’s the killer robots of Protar who have found him and the Defenders and company see the flying saucers stop and beam down robots who pursue JM. One corners JM intending to kill him but JM fires a blast out of the omega on his palm, destroying his foe. Hellcat and Valkyrie jump into the fight and assault the robots. JM convulses and hurries back into the house. Wasp arrives and joins the battle, having stopped to let the passengers off in a safe area. Hellcat runs to the Quinjet and sends out a call for help….

Back in New York, Nighthawk returns to his office only to be met by a government official serving him an injunction that prevents him from becoming Nighthawk and going out on adventures so that they can keep an eye on him….

On the Virginia Seaboard, Hulk encounters a large silver glob that wants to study him to see if he would make a suitable servant for its Master; rebellious Hulk punches the glob and bounces off….

The three women heroes are losing to the robots when help arrives in the form of Moondragon beaming down from her ship, already aware of the situation. She stands before the robots and denies them entry to the house. Suddenly a massive flash of light comes from within the house. The robots note that the energy they were tracking has vanished and they must locate it once again, and they depart in peace. Richard Rory asks why they would let the bad guys just leave; Moondragon states that the robots meant none of them harm, pointing out that they only stunned Wasp and Valkyrie when they could easily have killed them. They hear Dian scream in the house and dash inside to discover that James-Michael is gone and the corpse of Omega the Unknown left in its place….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Steve Mitchell
George Roussos
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clem Robins.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Amber Grant (Amber Douglas), Defenders, Dian Wilkins, Richard Rory, Ruby Thursday (Thursday Rubinstein), Ruth Hart.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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