Despite being the red-headed stepchild among Marvel’s superteams, the Defenders still managed to rack up wins against some truly class-A villains, including the Headmen, the Walrus, Plantman, um, the guy who looked like a baboon, ah … well, okay, maybe they weren’t facing down Galactus on a regular basis, but you have to admit that The Defenders certainly fought bad guys. And among those bad guys, Tapping Tommy was definitely one of them!
An all-singing, all-dancing Maggia operative, dressed to the nines in top hat and tails, Tapping Tommy debuted by kidnapping Kyle Richmond (a.k.a. Defenders team leader and landlord for their upstate clubhouse Nighthawk) for cash ransom in Defenders vol.1 No.30 (December 1975, in a Bill Mantlo story delightfully titled “Gold Diggers of Fear!”).
|Spoiler: They get him.|
Tied to a Busy Berkely musical number set – OF DEATH – the Defenders endure abuse from swinging canes and robotic fists until they remember that they all have super-powers and the Hulk just headbutts Tommy into unconsciousness. They probably ought to make a note of that for future battles, maybe a little post-it note on Hulk’s forehead reading “Don’t forget – use powers to fight criminals” or something. Lord knows, they don’t want to get murdered by a criminal hula hooper or something.