Giant-Size Defenders #1 [1974] – Surfer / Hulk reprints


For about a year in the mid-1970s, Marvel added a bunch of “Giant Size” specials to their schedule, with a mix of new and reprint contents. As the editorial in this one explains, the plans for the line were often in flux in terms of price and page counts, which is how this early one wound up with four reprints, three of them tied together with a new framing story.

Two Kirby stories made it in here. The first is “Banished to Outer Space”, the first half of INCREDIBLE HULK #3 from 1962, inked by Dick Ayers. It’s a fun story if you don’t think about it too much, since that early Marvel stuff is clearly very seat-of-the-pants type plotting, and especially with the Hulk, where they didn’t seem to know where they wanted to go during that short original run. I kind of like how charmingly stupid Rick Jones is as he’s tricked into luring the Hulk into a rocket, and the blank look on the Hulk’s face when he inexplicably falls under the mental control of Rick.

Later in the book, outside the framing story, is “The Peerless Power of the Silver Surfer”, from FF ANNUAL #5 (1967), inked by Frank Giacoia.


In this one, during his wandering days on Earth between major FF stories he comes across the Mad Thinker’s leftover construct from an earlier FF story, Quasimodo (Quasi-Motivational Destruct Organ). The Surfer uses his powers to give Quasimodo a body, not realizing that whole Destruct Organ thing, and eventually has to turn the rampaging Quasimodo into a statue.

A bit of an iffy story, I guess, but great art, with the Surfer looking as elegant as always, and Quasimodo being a great Kirby monster type, with his body or without.

Published 1974

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