DEFENDERS #17-19 (1974)

This is a GREAT set of issues. The tale starts with a rodeo and lineup change. Nighthawk tries to be a cowboy, as he agrees to care for Aragorn when Valkyrie leaves the team.

She adopts, formally, her Barbara Norris secret identity–with the help of Dr. Strange. I’m only tagging Barbara on posts where that identity is formally used. Unlike Thor, where I never tagged Donald Blake. I have no real reason for this other than that Barbara Denton-Norris has some solo events in her history that don’t involve Val.

Anyway, Val leaving makes Hulk sad.


I am generally not a fan of Hulk comics.  I don’t hate them or anything, I just think that most Hulk comics are boring.  I’m enjoying the current Indestructible Hulk.  I liked the half dozen issues John Byrne did back in the late 1980s.  Peter David’s run is legendary. There was a horror-type, short-lived series that was different and interesting. His origin comic was neat.  Planet/World War Hulk were terrific.  But that’s about it for truly great Hulk stuff.

But I’m loving the crap out of the way he is written in The Defenders.

Val says goodbye.


Then the team has an adventure where they’re joined by Power Man.

He fights Nighthawk.

Until Dr. Killjoy arrives and squashes it.

But at least he puts Luke in a clear container, so I can use my tag, below.

And if all that isn’t enough, and surely it is, we also get the first appearance of the Wrecking Crew! 

I would have bet money they would have debuted in a Thor comic. But nope.  It was here.

We get the origin of the team in the course of the story, in which the Crew are looking for a Gamma Bomb–only they find it’s not where it was supposed to be.  

The two opposing teams go on a search for the bomb, with the Defenders finding it first and disarming it.


Then the punching starts.

And it is awesome.

How does Doctor Strange survive this:

I mean, he doesn’t have powers.

Anyway, these issues are fantastic. These are also Len Wein’s last issues, with Chris Claremont writing #19.

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