Out of all the Giant-Size books, Giant-Size Defenders #1 is one of my favorites. I used the logo on the cover as the masthead for this blog. There's something about seeing Doctor Strange, the Hulk, and Namor teaming up that just gives me a thrill.
The cover looks like it was done by Gil Kane, and I've always liked that motif where they burst of out of comic book pages from previous stories. It's appropriate because this issue appears to have been produced in a rush, consisting of mostly reprints and only 10 pages of new material! Yet when it starts off with a splash page like this by Jim Starlin...
...you can't help but be amazed. Starlin's Hulk looks like he could burst through anything, Strange looks cosmic, and Namor looks regal. Here's the inked version of this page without color:
Looks like paste up behind the characters for the comic panel motif.
The rest of the story is quite a lark. The Defenders had been together for a couple of years, and by this time had survived the Avengers-Defenders conflict.
Valkryie suddenly realizes that she knows little of her team-mates even though she's been fighting alongside them since Defenders #4. Clea realizes this, and uses her magical abilities to help Val relive some key moments in the lives of the Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Namor. What a convenient framing device for a series of reprints! They are very good reprints, and I didn't care as a kid when I read it. It was all new to me and flowed into the new material pretty seamlessly.
One of the best things about this story is that it gives us more insight to the relationship between the Hulk and Doctor Strange. What do they do when they are not saving the world? The Hulk chows down on massive chicken drumsticks prepared by Wong! Wong must have Colonel Sanders secret recipe from the look on the Hulk's face in this panel.
I can't wait for Jeff Loeb to bring back the Defenders in the Hulk. The Offenders (Red Hulk, Tiger Shark, Baron Mordo, and Terrax) sounds like a great enemy for them. Nuff said.
Update: Comments from my old MT blog...