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Defenders, The #38: Review

Aug 1976
Steve Gerber, Klaus Janson

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Story Name:

Exile To Oblivion!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #38 Review by (August 16, 2021)

Review: So we’ve got a cult led by an alien and the good guys are facing a couple of second-rate baddies—what do we do next? How about strand the heroes on another planet? One with bad weather and a giant monkey monster. And if that sounds too dire, add a door back to a building in Manhattan occupied by clowns. And if that isn’t goofy enough, toss in the Elf with a Gun. And it all ends with the heroes clobbering the clowns and calling the cops, despite the baddies having done nothing wrong. All the police will see is that the Defenders invaded the CMC HQ and beat everybody up. Yeah, there were a couple of costumed villains there but unless there were warrants out for them already, they were only defending themselves (ironically against the Defenders). Goofy to the max.

Comments: Part three of three parts. Third appearance of Elf with a Gun, previously seen in #25 and 31, who will return in issues #40, and 46. The letters page includes one by Peter Sanderson, future contributor to the Official Handbooks and Marvel editor.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #38 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Nebulon deposits Doctor Strange, Red Guardian, and Luke Cage on a remote, storm-wracked world to get them out of his hair. He again reminds them that his mission on Earth is to bring salvation to the inhabitants and then he leaves. Strange tries some magic but learns it attracts lightning. They find refuge in a cave, where Strange is able to make a magic fire but his powers are unpredictable. And then they are attacked by a huge monkey-like monster….

Back at the hospital, Jack Norriss tells Kyle Richmond that the others have been kidnapped by Porcupine and Eel. Kyle heads out to take action, Jack tailing along behind….

In jail, Valkyrie has only one friend, the meek Shirley; in the mess hall, Felicia, the big bully, puts out her cigarette in Val’s food and Val responds by dumping it on the bully’s head. But the guards only see this last part and Shirley is too afraid to stand up for Val, so it is our heroine who is punished….

On the alien world, Luke Cage manages to defeat the big monster in battle but then, tiny biting insects swarm all over Red Guardian….

Kyle dons his Nighthawk outfit and heads to the Celestial Mind Control HQ where he crashes in and does battle with an army of Bozos before confronting the disguised Nebulon, demanding to know where his fellow Defenders are. The bald little man directs him through a doorway…

…and Nighthawk finds himself on the alien world with Strange and the others. Learning of a door to Earth, Strange is able to marshal his thoughts and locate it from their side. The heroes smash through against the combined might of the Bozos. Porcupine and Eel show up to fight, the insects die on Earth and drop off of Red Guardian, and the good guys battle the bad guys. And then the monkey monster comes thought the door….

Interlude: In the Grand Canyon a couple, Sally and Stu encounter an elderly Indian. Stu wonders if it is a vision. The Indian reveals himself to be the Elf with a Gun and he shoots….

Dr. Strange fights the monkey monster, while Cage takes on the Eel. Cage grabs him in a bear hug and then learns that the guy is electrified. And slippery. Nighthawk kicks Porcupine into Eel and they are both knocked out, Eel electrocuting Porcupine whose weight crushes Eel. Strange, unable to master the power to defeat his foe, manages finally to trap the monster in the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. They decide to go home and call the police while the trapped monster transforms….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Klaus Janson
Klaus Janson
Don Warfield
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Layouts: Sal Buscema. Letterer: Irv Watanabe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
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), Porcupine (Alexander Gentry).

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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