Defenders 28 was cover dated October 1975 and was on sale in July 1975 sharing the spinner racks with Amazing Spider-Man # 149, Detective Comics# 452, Giant Size Power Man# 1, Hercules Unbound # 1, Inhumans# 1 and Super Team Family #1
This was part 4 of the 5 part Guardian’s story, with the same cast and art team.
The story opens with a recap showing Badoon boarding the Captain America and that Doctor Strange was hooked into the ships systems to find everyone not on the ship. On the ship, the Badoon along with a contingent of Zom troops. Initially doing well, the crew are eventually outmanouvered into surrender whilst the Badoon check on Doctor Strange, but with his astral body away searching for the others, the Badoon mistakenly declare him dead. Strange finds Val & Vance on a world called Capella along with the stranger from the previous issue. The stranger tells Val to put away her sword, telling her that she will become nauseous again, as the swamp-lizard creatures are all female. When Vance queries this, the stranger points out that if a Brotherhood of Badoon exists, then so must a Sisterhood. They are both then led to the city of Venisia, home of the Badoon Sisterhood. The group are amazed when they are invited to an audience with the queen of the peaceful, elegantly dressed female Badoons.
On the world of drunks and loons, Hulk and Yondu are being prepared for the games. Hulk has been fitted with sort of high tech gladitorial garb, while Yondu is left as is.
Emperor Goozot gloats of the heroe’s situation whilst his courtesan takes an interest in the Hulk, seeing his difference from the soft and drunken men of her world. Yondu and Hulk are led to a TV studio where a panel decide that Mr Blue (Yondu) should be impaled. He is teleported to a room with a floor that has a 45 degree incline, to face three robots with sharp lances for hands. He is awakened from the stasis beam from the previous issue and is able to destroy one of the robots almost immediately. As a bonus he is given a mace, which to the surprise of the panel he uses expertly to destroy all the robots before he is teleported back to the studio to be seized by guards.
Back on Capella, Queen Tolaria of the Badoon welcomes Val, Vance and the stranger, who she identifies as Starhawk. Vance demands answers and the Queen explains that the males and females of the Badoon hate one another and only mate once per life cycle. The rest of the time they warred until the male Badoon developed technologically and were able to leave the planet. Now they return once per generation to mate and collect the eggs which they incubate and hatch off world and return again to drop off the females who are brought into and raised by the Sisterhood. The Queen assumes that the males are equally peaceful and is appalled by their rapacious conquest of other worlds. Queen Tolaria confirms this with Starhawk who agrees and notes that he has done all he needs do for now. Energy wings form between his shoulders and feet and he flies into the air and into space. Doctor Strange finds Val and Vance and is able to transport them to Earth, just in time to see Martinex, Nighthawk and Charlie-27 facing a Badoon firing squad.
To be continued.
Notes: All in all a satisfying part of the 5 part story. We are formally introduced to Starhawk and his particular brand of frustrating assistance. It was also nice to see Yondu get something to do, pitting him against the robots showcases his mastery of weapons and since you know Hulk’ll be safe, this gives us the only point of genuine jeopardy. At the point, the Guardians of the Galaxy are guest stars only, but this was soon to change.
The Guardians return in Defenders 29.