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Defenders, The #77: Review

Nov 1979
Steven Grant, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Waiting For The End Of The World!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Defenders, The #77 Review by (February 20, 2024)
Other inkers: Steve Mitchell and Chic Stone.

Review by Peter SilvestroYou’re still here? Good. This is the wrap-up to the whole Omega story and Ed Hannigan kind of nails it, though the story gets a bit murky at a few points. James-Michael Starling, that precocious lad, innocent of anything dark or evil in his soul, goes Godzilla on Las Vegas so Moondragon, who knows his secret (he’s a powerful living weapon), fills him in on his rather complicated backstory, a bit much for a living weapon, and the kid decides that suicide is the better part of valor because he doesn’t want to hurt his little girlfriend. And then we discover what would never have occurred had OMEGA been allowed to reach its own conclusion: the Defenders were the bad guys, whose interference led to all the havoc that has been wrought. Moondragon, the only person who knows what was going on, curses the Defenders and herself, and heads out of the galaxy to mope. It’s a very creative tale, though I’m uncertain about the robots’ complicated scheme.

Additional comments by Peter SilvestroPart two of two parts. Al Milgrom assigned Steven Grant the task of concluding OMEGA THE UNKNOWN which he did, though Steve Gerber was reportedly unhappy with the result; this ending is accepted by Marvel as canon. Moondragon removes Hellcat’s psychic powers; they are returned in SAVAGE SHE-HULK #14. The thing Hulk is fighting is a servant of the Unnamable, leading into the next story arc. Ruby Thursday dies but returns in SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK #1, with an explanation in #3 that she “got better.” The issue is dedicated to Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, and Jim Mooney, creators of Omega the Unknown.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #77 Synopsis by Julio Molina-Muscara
In an attempt to obtain Omega's powers, Ruby held the hero's corpse. But suddenly the body vanished and a boy named James-Michael Starling appeared in its place. Ruby and her goon, Dibbuk, waited for the young man's answers. But Starling didn't know how he show up in Las Vegas! Then, a robot like creature breaks in the room attempting to kill Starling. Meanwhile, Valkyrie, Hellcat, the Wasp, and Moondragon are nearby looking for the boy. They see how the robot is crashed through a wall by Dibbuk. Ruby recognizes the Defenders and attacks them. During the fight, Starling escapes but Moondragon follows him. The victory seems Ruby's. But the Wasp throws a deadly biodisrupter blast to her head. The sphere breaks in peaces! Dibbuk holds the presumibly dead woman in his arms, and while crying, they both vanish. Now the group seeks for Moonstone and Starling. They find out that the boy has Omega's powers! Robots on saucers try killing him, but they fall under James-Michael's blasts. The heroes notice how their strengths are weakened when they approach Starling. The boy feeds from their energy and that from the planet itself! Moondragon discovers that the robots are alive and reads one of them's mind. Astonished, she shows Starling the truth. The robots were the creators of Omega and Starling in an attempt to save their civilization from extinguishing. Omega was sent to a planet with no memories from his origin. But his powers were in risk of wrong use, so the robots tried to destroy him. In the battle, Omega absorbed all the planet's energy, killing everything on it. But he managed to escape before the robots could harm him. Starling was the second android and Omega tried to save him. After seeing it all, the boy gets furious and threatens the Defenders to use Earth's energy against them, destroying the planet also! But since his friend Dian would die too, he reconsiders the situation. Starling sacrifices himself throwing the energy onto himself. Moondragon understands that the group was responsible for a great loss and leaves the Defenders. Meanwhile, the incredible Hulk comfronts a big transparent drop-like creature. This alien, sent by the Unnamed One, swallows Jade Jaws and turns him into an unconscious Banner! The creature triggers the change once again, seeding the secret of its master's name within the Hulk's mind. Having prepared Doctor Strange's trap, the drop-thing flys away.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Al Milgrom
George Roussos
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)


(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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