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Giant-Size Defenders #4: Review

Apr 1975
?, Don Heck

Story Name:

Too Cold a Night for Dying!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Giant-Size Defenders #4 Review by (March 31, 2021)

Review: Another battle with a super-team! And this one because of a mistake? It’s another unusual reason for a super-battle with the goodies and the baddies squaring off for some exciting ruckus. Yes, it’s sad about Trish Starr, though we never really saw that much of her and we won’t for a while after this so we are spared the important stuff of seeing her life turned upside down (she’s a model but also an accomplished musician—two professions that would be hampered by loss of a limb) and having to put it back together. Other highlights: Egghead getting beaten up—twice. Dr. Strange zoning out under pressure during surgery. Oh and the revelation that the Squadron Sinister was planning to attack the Defenders anyway, retroactively justifying the heroes’ assault on them. Not a bad issue.

Comments: Main story takes place between DEFENDERS #21 and 22. Written by Steve Gerber and Don McGregor, based on a plot by Steve Gerber and Roger Slifer. Trixie (Trish) Starr rescued Ant-Man in MARVEL FEATURE #5. Egghead was introduced in TALES TO ASTONISH #38, featuring Ant-Man. Hank Pym abandoned the Yellowjacket identity in AVENGERS #74. Trish returns in issues #32, 36, and 41 and after that it’s several Hulk issues.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Giant-Size Defenders #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Millionaire Kyle (Nighthawk) Richmond and his date Trish Starr are out on the town, chatting with the paparazzi—and a bomb planted in their car explodes, injuring many….

Doctor Strange and Valkyrie arrive at the hospital and surgeon James Wynter, an old colleague of Strange’s, asks him to consult on the operation on Kyle. It’s a strain on Strange going through such an experience with a friend’s life at stake but the operation is successful. He leaves the OR to find that Hulk has crashed through the wall, looking for the person who killed his friend “Bird-Nose;” Strange and Val manage to convince the big guy that Kyle will recover. Hulk carries Strange and Val back to the Sanctum Sanctorum, revealing that Strange’s concern over Kyle’s chances in the OR accidentally summoned Hulk….

At home, Hank and Janet Pym see the news reports on the explosion and Hank is shocked; Trish Starr (then Trixie) saved his life in battle with her uncle the villain Egghead. Believing Egghead was still alive and responsible for the bombing, he dons his Yellowjacket gear and goes out in search of him. Yellowjacket arrives at the hospital, entering through the hole Hulk made; against doctors’ orders, he talks to Trish and finds she may lose her arm as a result of the bombing. Trish also tells him that Egghead is alive and living in the Bowery. Hank vows to avenge her….

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange and Val are visiting Kyle who tells them the only enemies he has that know his true identity are the guys from Squadron Sinister, the villains’ team he defected from to be a good guy. They leave to find Hulk, watching Aragorn, Val’s winged horse, in an altercation with a traffic cop. Strange smooths out the issue and they take off to find the Squadron….

Meanwhile, Yellowjacket has found Egghead in the Bowery and forces him to confess to planting the bomb. Eggy did it, wanting to maim his niece out of revenge. He then punches the baddie’s lights out and returns to the hospital where he learns Trish has lost her arm. As he leaves, Hank is spotted by Kyle and they talk, Kyle learning that Hank is a friend of Trish’s. The problem is when he learns that Egghead was the bomber, that the other Defenders are going after the Squadron Sinister and he begs Hank to stop them….

The Squadron is at their observatory hideout, plotting revenge against Nighthawk and the Defenders when Hulk smashes in through the wall, followed by his (non-)teammates. Hulk punches out Hyperion, Strange magically wraps up Whizzer so he can’t move, Dr. Spectrum grabs a gun that absorbs energy from Hulk so that he reverts to Bruce Banner. Then Hyperion knocks out Val, Spectrum frees Whizzer and he clouts Dr. Strange so the good guys are captured. They wind up in a dungeon, Val and Bruce chained, Strange gagged too. Strange sends out his astral form, runs into Yellowjacket and brings him back to the dungeon. Bruce turns back to Hulk, frees Strange and Val and the heroic quartet finds the bad guys abducting Kyle from the hospital. Yellowjacket buzzes in Whizzer’s ear so that he loses control and crashes into a wall, Hulk thunderclaps Hyperion, incidentally also smashing Spectrum’s Power Prism, and Strange drops him from the sky….

Epilogue: Kyle and Trish reunite; she knows her loss of an arm will change her life and career; she also knows that Kyle is offering to stand by her out of pity but he won’t make a commitment so they break up.

(No title given)
Writer/artist: Bill Everett.
Synopsis: Story reprinted from THE HUMAN TORCH (1940 series) #4. 
An influenza epidemic strikes Alaska but the weather is too bad for planes to deliver the new serum to cure it. Namor, the Sub-Mariner, is asked to get the serum through. With a pack on his back, Subby swims underwater until the sea starts icing up, trapping him. Scout planes search for him and one crashes nearby, melting the ice and freeing Subby. Icebergs threaten a small town and Subby helps the scout planes evacuate the town. Subby takes a plane and tries bombing the icebergs, setting the town on fire. So he bombs the icebergs causing the town to flood, putting out the fires but, well, flooding the town. So Subby blows up the town’s gasoline supply, destroying the icebergs and allowing the flood waters to pour out. And then he delivers the serum to the hospital.

“Witchcraft in the Wax Museum!”
Reprinted from STRANGE TALES #121. 

Don Heck
Vince Colletta
Petra Goldberg
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)
Janet Van Dyne
Janet Van Dyne

(Janet Pym)


Plus: Defenders, Dr. Spectrum (Squadron Supreme), Egghead (Elihas Starr), Hyperion, Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond), Squadron Sinister, Trish Starr (Trixie Starr), Whizzer.

> Giant-Size Defenders: Book info and issue index

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