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Defenders, The #79: Review

Jan 1980
Ed Hannigan, Herb Trimpe

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Story Name:

Chains of Love!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #79 Review by (March 5, 2024)
Review by Peter Silvestro: Wow! Four pages of heavy exposition delivered in the heroes’ sleep! If only there was a way that could work on the readers. Anyway, the wing-headed guy brings us up to speed on the local situation. Shortest version: Evil Vulture guys rule over everybody else. Back on Earth, we meet the Big Bad and he’s a ridiculous looking monkey man (maybe he should be in Tunnelworld) who can seduce women into his power which would take on an even darker spin forty years later in the era of #MeToo. Really, any decent comics reader should be cringing through his big scene—but then, he is the bad guy. Let’s wash up and come back next time

Comments by Peter Silvestro: Part two of six parts. Mandrill was introduced in SHANNA THE SHE DEVIL #4, showed up in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #3, then DAREDEVIL #110-112; he’ll be in this book for a while. Ytitnedion is “No identity” spelled backwards. Aeroika wonders how Namor can fly using the little wings on his feet; we share your confusion, pal. Ed Hannigan also contributed to the pencils.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #79 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In Tunnelworld, Aeroika leads the disguised Doctor Strange, Hulk, and Sub-Mariner to a peaceful glade where they are protected by the Nya (benevolent spirits). There they can drop their disguises and sleep. Through the DreamSleep, Aeroika fills their heads with all necessary exposition: In the citadel called Ogeon, the dictator Ytitnedion rules over the Vulture People; he has created and enslaved races who long for freedom, including Aeroika’s own, given wings but unable to fly. The previous visit by the Defenders (issues #71-73) fit the first sign of the Prophecy so Aeroika was smuggled out of Ogeon to meet them on their return. The guide then scans the three visitors’ minds and learns Namor is a monarch and warrior who fought against an enemy (the Nazis) that would enslave his people; Dr. Strange is a wizard but more powerful than most; the Hulk? He has transformed back into Bruce Banner, confusing Aeroika….

In the Colorado town, the three heroines, Valkyrie, Wasp, and Hellcat, battle the women warriors of the Fem-Force but then the men of the Mutant Force arrive and the battle goes against the good guys and they are captured and locked up. They can’t understand why their friends Dian Wilkins, Ruth Hart, and Amber Grant have turned against them; elsewhere, Yellowjacket is a prisoner, drugged so he is unable to change size….

That night, the captive heroines are taken to a house where a party is in progress, with the cadre of attractive women fawning over the weird guys of the Mutant Force. Val tries to escape but she is halted by the arrival of the Big Bad, Mandrill, whose power is the use of pheromones to make women fall in love with him; he enslaved and employed the Fem-Force to seize the gold from the army base to further his grand plot to take over the United States. Mandrill now uses his power against the Defenders and Val and Hellcat fall under his spell but not Wasp who is kept in a jar held by Dian Wilkins. Mandrill puts Valkyrie in charge of his army which some of the Mutant Force guys resent but they grow quiet for now….

Late that night, Dian takes the jar with Wasp and sneaks out to the Avengers Quinjet and takes off, unaware she has been spotted by Peeper of the Mutant Force. Wasp resumes her normal size and we learn she wasn’t affected by the villain’s pheromones because Dian held her hand over the air holes in the jar lid; Jan speculates that Dian wasn’t affected because she has not yet reached puberty. Wasp tries to contact the Avengers and Fantastic Four but receives no answer so she calls Kyle Richmond to ask for help. Kyle, forbidden by a court injunction from becoming Nighthawk, agrees to help for that very reason; he calls his tech team to ready his new weapons package for a test run, suits up, and heads out….

Mandrill doesn’t understand how his power failed to work on Wasp and Dian so he decides to move up the next part of his plan. He gives the order to his army to attack the Air Force base immediately and so his forces head out, led by Valkyrie….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Herb Trimpe
Mike Esposito
Carl Gafford
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Bob McLeod (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clem Robins.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Amber Grant (Amber Douglas), Defenders, Dian Wilkins, Mutant Force, Ruth Hart.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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