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Defenders, The #90: Review

Dec 1980
Ed Hannigan, Don Perlin

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Story Name:

Mind Over Mandrill

Review & Comments

3 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #90 Synopsis by Tod Herdt
The Mandrill is preparing to leave Central America to return to New York City to gain revenge on his father and, by extension, all of humanity for ostracizing him for being different. He reflects back on his trials and tribulations and mentions that his female warriors have already captured his old foe Daredevil (last issue). In the makeshift headquarters of the Defenders in Montclair, NJ, Valkyrie, Hellcat, Bruce Banner, and Dolly Donahue (their housekeeper) realize that today is Kyle Richmond's court date and they promised to go for moral support. After giving Banner further grief for the Hulk using all of their money to buy nothing but beans, they decide to eat out. Afterwards, they head to New York City and Hellcat asks to be dropped off in Midtown. They drive past the Women's Bank of Savings, where the Daredevil is trapped in the vault. After failing to open the vault door (due to it's being a timed lock), DD uses his radar sense to get a perfect image of the office beyond the door. Valkyrie and Banner are dropped off by Dolly at Dr. Strange's mansion to borrow a suit for Bruce and reclaim Valkyrie's steed, Aragorn, which the duo use to get to the courthouse. Meanwhile, Hellcat has gone to Kyle's penthouse to sneak in and retrieve her things. She's surprised to see a gaping hole in the wall (courtesy of DD and Mandrill's Fem Force) but proceeds inside and finds her Shadowcloak. Just then the Fem Force attack, having watched the penthouse for the possible return of Hellcat or Valkyrie. Hellcat defeats the first group but when reinforcements arrive, she inadvertently punctures a tank full of the musk Mandrill uses to control women. The female warriors take no chances and knock Hellcat out for good measure. Back in the bank vault, DD uses a convenient air vent and the retractable cable from his billy club to lift the receiver off a phone in the office next door. By lifting it up to the vent in the ceiling of the office, he is able to yell down the air duct to the operator to connect him to the courthouse where Kyle's hearing is taking place. At said hearing, the prosecutor has first go and refers to Nighthawk's criminal past and recent defiance of a court order forbidding him to use his super identity. He also mentions the Shocker's connection to the stock fraud aspect of the case. Valkyrie gets upset when the prosecution calls Kyle a dangerous criminal and the judge warns her that she will be arrested for contempt of court for another such outburst. Rosenblum, Kyle's attorney, is informed he has an urgent phone call from Matt Murdock. The prosecution objects but the judge allows Rosenblum to take the call because Murdock is well regarded by the court and may be having difficulty getting there due to his blindness. Rosenblum returns and tell's Kyle of DD's predicament, though he's not sure how Murdock found out. He tries to get an hour recess but the prosecution objects and again makes remarks about Kyle that enrage Valkyrie. True to her word, the judge orders the bailiffs to arrest Valkyrie. As she tussles with her would-be captors, Kyle slips away and flees to DD's aid as Nighthawk (thanks to his costume being in Rosenblum's trunk). Hellcat bursts into the courtroom at the head of Mandrill's Fem Force and Valkyrie rushes to intercept her. The Mandrill appears, however, and bends Valkyrie to his will. The judge also falls prey to his influence and orders the bailiffs to now arrest Banner, who is trying to interfere. As expected, he Hulks out and shrugs off the bailiffs. Back at the bank, Nighthawk has arrived and crashes straight through the front windows. Using his wing-mounted laser cannons, Nighthawk frees DD but both are confronted by bank guards. Easily making their escape, the pair return to the courthouse to see Mandrill's Fem Force boarding his airship with Hellcat and Valkyrie in tow. The Hulk alone is trying to stop them. Nighthawk disables the ship's engines with his lasers and it topples into the hands of the Hulk, who further damages it. While DD engages the Fem Force, Mandrill beats a hasty retreat, not wanting to face his old foe. DD quickly attempts to follow but the Hulk stops him. Confused by their last encounter where DD first fought then helped the Hulk, the green goliath lets him go and he continues the pursuit. Mandrill has disappeared into the crowded street and DD loses the Mandrill's unique scent. Back on the rooftop, Nighthawk is battling Hellcat until he grabs one of her cat-claws and drops it into an electrical transformer. The shock brings Hellcat back to her senses. On the other side of the roof, Valkyrie is attacking the Hulk, who doesn't understand why his friend is attacking him. He swats her aside but she ends up right next to Aragorn, which she uses to escape. Hellcat watches helplessly as Valkyrie flies off still under Mandrill's control. Miles away downtown, the Mandrill exits a cab with a female driver and uses his hypnotic control to ensure she forgets he was ever a fare. In the now-demolished courtroom, the judge grants Rosenblum's postponement as the prosecution calls for Kyle's immediate arrest should he return to the courtroom. The judge agrees.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Don Perlin
Pablo Marcos

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