By the time of my first DEFENDERS purchase, the series was already well past its best days. Which tells you something, given that it ran almost another 100 issues.
DEFENDERS is what Roger Stern refers to as a “fake book”–a book that exists due to editorial fiat, rather than being a logical extension of the way the characters involved would behave. The Defenders was a “non-team” (despite the fact that they had a roster, a headquarters, and met regularly) comprised mainly of loners, who banded together despite the fact that they had nothing in common and no real reason to do so.
Issue #57 was a fill-in issue, self-contained, written by Chris Claremont with nice artwork provided by George Tuska and Dave Cockrum. It was the most straightforward super hero story that had appeared in the series for a long time, but it suffered from “fill-in-itis.” It just wasn’t very compelling, and none of the characters really made me want to come back for more. Consequently, I only read DEFENDERS intermittently in the early days, when I had a few extra cents, or when a character I liked was guest starring.