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Defenders, The #84: Review

Jun 1980
Ed Hannigan, Tex Blaisdell

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Story Name:

Battle Royal!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Defenders, The #84 Review by (April 9, 2024)

Review: An international incident between Wakanda and Atlantis prompts a two-issue tale that features Black Panther. The issue has the same troubles are the rest of the current run: talky scripting and uninspired art. Here we have hints of a “New Defenders” that is not followed up on, kicked into the background by the war news. Hulk gets angry, Namor gets angrier, the rest of the non-team has little to do. And what may be the worst bit of art in the entire series, there’s that grotesque caricature of President Jimmy Carter that resembles no one I’ve ever seen. They couldn’t find a decent photo of the sitting President of the United States for the artist to copy from?

Comments: Part one of three parts, sort of; the Black Panther plot, at least. Kiber Island first appeared in BLACK PANTHER Vol. 1:11-14 (that’s the crazy Jack Kirby run). That is allegedly President Jimmy Carter there, referring to his Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and US Ambassador to the United Nations Donald McHenry. Kindley Air force Base (USA) in Bermuda is also a real place.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #84 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

After their return from Tunnelworld, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner hosts Doctor Strange in Atlantis. Both men are concerned about the Hulk having his brain taken over by the Unnameable; he is receiving Atlantis’ finest medical care. As Strange and Namor watch, the comatose Hulk transforms back into Bruce Banner, which they take as a sign Hulk is cured. Then Namor is called away to business by Lord Vashti so Strange excuses himself, thanks Namor for his hospitality, and goes home, where he is greeted by Clea, with Valkyrie and Hellcat visiting to ask if he wants to join the new Defenders.….

On Kiber Island, a protectorate of Wakanda, some Atlantean pirates are meeting with Wakandan smugglers to secretly purchase the African nation’s advanced technology. But the Black Panther is on their trail and he breaks up the meeting violently. The Atlantean pirates escape in their submarine and T’Challa pursues in the smugglers’ air-car until the Atlanteans join a Royal Navy dreadnought. Namor is startled to learn this; he has been lax in his rule so his warlords have taken liberties in their autonomy, becoming pirates. Namor orders the capture of the intruder, while giving orders that Bruce Banner be sedated to keep his green alter ego from interfering….

In an air-filled area of the palace, Namor confronts the trespasser and is surprised to see the King of Wakanda himself, Black Panther. Namor demands the release of his citizens captured by T’Challa; T’Challa insists that since they violated Wakandan law on Wakandan territory, they must answer to Wakandan law. A fight breaks out and Namor orders the chamber flooded; BP uses his underwater breathing apparatus and escapes through the vents. He comes upon a room where a prisoner is being guarded and investigates; it is Bruce Banner. BP subdues the guards and awakens Banner who transforms into the Hulk, who, remembering that the Atlanteans wanted him sedated, starts smashing. Namor arrives on the scene and tries to calm the Hulk but Hulk smashes through the wall, letting the ocean in. The Wakandan fleet rescues BP while Namor drags the unconscious Hulk to safety. Both nations start to prepare for war….

In light of this crisis, President Jimmy Carter addresses the US with Kyle Richmond thinking he might be able to calm Subby but he is not permitted to don the Nighthawk costume. All over the world the reaction is mixed, some fearful, others skeptical, and the Soviets plotting to seize advantage of the crisis to attack Red China….

When Namor tells Hulk that he (Subby) has saved his (Hulk’s) life, Big Green throws a fit and leaps straight up into the sky. Observers in Wakanda mistake Hulk for a missile fired at them and so launch one of their own to destroy it, without T’Challa’s knowledge. When Hulk vanishes from their screen they go to their king. T’Challa then contacts Namor and explains the situation. Namor is suspicious but flies out to intercept the missile, diverting it so that it nukes Kiber Island. Both monarchs are affected by the close call, T’Challa subdued and Namor angry…. 

Characters:  Vashti, Black Panther, Clea, Hellcat, Valkyrie, President Jimmy Carter, Nighthawk, Milton Rosenblum,

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Tex Blaisdell
Tex Blaisdell
George Roussos
Ed Hannigan (Cover Penciler)
Bob McLeod (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Don Perlin. Letterer: Diana Albers.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)

(Bruce Banner)

(Kyle Richmond)


Plus: Defenders, Milton Rosenblum, President Jimmy Carter (Jimmy Carter).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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