Defenders #35-40 & Annual 1
Continuing on with Nebulon's "Celestial Mind Control" thing. The Headmen get involved, and so does the new Red Guardian. Her intro's pretty straightforward: she's a Russian brain surgeon whom Dr. Strange called in to put Nighthawk's brain back in his body. Who just happens to be a Kremlin Bat-Girl of sorts. She hangs out with the team and becomes their newest member.
Then more stuff gets shoe-horned in. Valkyrie fights the Headmen's Chondu, crashes into a penthouse retsaurant and gets arrested. This leads to a "women's prison sub-plot" that runs for a few issues. She's eventually cleared (with a cameo from Matt Murdock), but not before all the cliches of an exploitation flick are included. When Val returns, she gets a new costume from Clea.
There's also an appearance from the Eel, Porcupine and Plant Man. Eel and Porcie are into Nebulon's "CMC" movement, but Plant Man goes solo and holds Nighthawk, Red Guardian and Strange hostage on the Upper East Side. Jack Norris calls in Power Man to save the day, who re-joins the team on a retainer basis from Kyle Richmond.
Not to mention a completely random villain called "The Assassain", who messes with Red Guardian for one issue by throwing a rock through a window. So for one issue, they try to explore the concept of Russian Communism.
Jack Norriss is temporarily written-out when Nighthawk pays him $300,000 to leave. This doesn't last, as he soon returns as a "secret agent" for all of 6 pages.
Everything finally gets mixed into a big Cuisinart in "Annual #1". It's basically a blow-off for writer Steve Gerber's run on the book. So of course, he packs in a buncha' random ideas and backed-up concepts out-of-the-blue. Prime example: Ruby Thursday suddenly runs for President, causing Jack Norriss to go undercover in her camp for... some reason.
It's all capped off when Dr. Strange, Nebulon and President Gerald Ford all meet in another dimension. The Headmen then put everybody in a big dome. So of course it all ends with a quick slugfest (done in about 3 panels).
Oh, add in three more murders by The Elf.
The on-again/off-again thing with Val and Jack Norriss is annoying, as it seems to imply that they're getting back together, but then it's forgotten and they hate each other two issues later. There's even a potential relationship between Dr. Strange and Red Guardian that seems to develop, but is left to die.
There's just too much that's not developed. It's like Gerber had these grandiose ideas, but didn't think of them in advance. Worse, he seems to start a story, then tries to reverse things and re-start it with a different emphasis or motive.