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Defenders, The #37: Review

Jul 1976
Steve Gerber, Klaus Janson

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Story Name:

Evil In Bloom!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #37 Review by (August 10, 2021)

Review: Ghastly! No, not the story as a whole but the monster spores attacking out heroes! They resemble the Ghost Pokemon known as Ghastly, many years before the fact. And they are adorable! So, things are back on a crazy track, starting his surgery on a flying horse and including a planty prison (hmmm, Fire Pokemon would be a big help here). Plus, Porcupine and Eel are always a nice complement to Plantman, more silly bad guys, who seem to have regained some dignity by shooting at clown versions of themselves. And they actually get the drop on the heroes! Enjoy it guys, that status will not be quo for long.

Comments: Part two of three parts. Luke Cage previously teamed with the Defenders in issues #19, 24, and 25. Plantman’s ransom demand for Kyle last issue was fifty million dollars; here it’s only ten million. Has Kyle been marked down?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #37 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A group of volunteers move Aragorn indoors so the veterinarian can tend to his injuries—but Hulk believes the horse is dying and throws a major fit in the street. Police arrive to quell the Green Giant’s anger but he scatters them with a shockwave in the sidewalk; he leaps up  and brings down a helicopter  and, finally, totally fed up with the human race, he bounds off into the distance. Jack Norriss overhears a mention of Kyle Richmond on police radio and heads to the hospital….

Doctor Strange and Red Guardian, with Kyle Richmond recovering from brain surgery, are trapped inside a giant pod by Plantman, who is holding them for ransom. On his way, Jack gets the details from a television on display in a store window; assuming the other two hostages are Dr. Strange and Valkyrie, he calls Luke Cage for help. Cage, who was in the middle of beating up a bunch of thugs who had attacked him in his office, doesn’t really want to work with the Defenders again but he goes anyway….

Dr. Strange finally hits upon a spell to tear a hole in his green prison and he teleports Kyle back to the hospital; he and Red Guardian try to levitate to the ground but Plantman fires a cloud of spores at them then fires his Chloro-blaster to make them ferocious. They trap the two heroes and drift inexorably upward toward the ionosphere. Then Luke Cage arrives to punch out the villain, tearing through his nasty trees. Strange works his hands free and teleports himself and Tania to the ground, leaving the spores to continue levitating right out of the story. Jack Norriss fills everybody in on what has been happening but he doesn’t know where Valkyrie is…

…but we know Val is in jail for wrecking a restaurant (issue #35) where she is continually bulled by a fellow inmate but unable to fight back since her powers will not allow her to use them against another woman….

Realizing he can’t cut it on his own, Plantman returns to the Celestial Mind Control HQ to be greeted by the disguised Nebulon. He is sown his partners in crime, Alexander “Porcupine” Gentry and Leopold “Eel” Stryke shooting at clownish versions of their villainous alter egos as part of the enlightenment plan. Plantman wants out so Nebulon assumes his true form and knocks the baddie out….

The Defenders visit Kyle in the hospital and find him recovering nicely. Luke Cage tells them he doesn’t want to work for free, a position Tania Belinsky finds appalling, so Kyle promises him a retainer and asks to be left alone with Dr. Strange. Kyle tries to find an explanation for his weird experiences separated from his body (issues #31-36) but Strange tells him he’ll  have to work it out for himself. Strange leaves—and is gassed like his colleagues by Porcupine and Eel….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Klaus Janson
Klaus Janson
Don Warfield
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Sal Buscema. Letterer: Ray Holloway.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Kyle Richmond)
Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Tania Belinsky)


Plus: Defenders, Eel (Leopold Stryke), Jack Norriss (Jackson Norriss), Nebulon (The Celestial Man), Plantman (Samuel Smithers), Porcupine (Alexander Gentry).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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