Author: Robert Diehl
Updated: Version 1.0, last modified May 25, 1997
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Issue: Defenders 137 Date: Nov-84 Story: Hearts and Minds (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie and Aragorn, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: an Afghani wizard; Moondragon (the demon, in flashback) Other Characters: Synopsis: Isaac is huge and threatening, his demonic body under control of the wizard. Bobby freezes Cloud into icicles and shoots them at the wizard; he tries to suffocate the wizard, but is forced to turn corporeal. Valkyrie is forced to attack Isaac with Dragonfang, but can't bring herself to kill him, and he bats her away. Moondragon tries to talk to Isaac's mind, but the wizard catches her. Beast recognizes the Gnostic names the wizard mentions and tries to convince him the Defenders are spirits from his god. Angel captures the wizard and tries to wrest the pentagram amulet from him, but it is magically protected. Gargoyle slams his fist down on the Defenders; Beast uses Dragonfang to cut it off. The hand becomes a monster, which Cloud kills with lightning. Cloud likewise blinds the wizard; he makes Isaac give him "true sight," which lets him see the Defenders as they really are: the Beast a scholar, Warren a dove, Bobby a jester, Cloud a man and a woman. When he looks at Valkyrie and Moondragon, he runs for his life, out of the huge pentagram inscribed around the battle site, thereby breaking his control of Isaac. Issue: Defenders 138 Date: Dec-84 Story: Three Women (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie and Aragorn, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Candy Southern, Dolly Donahue, Sassafras the dog Guest Stars: the Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America, Namor, the Silver Surfer, the Thing, Rich Little as Humphrey Bogart, Galactus (as holograms); Mentor of Titan (in flashback) Villains: an Afghani wizard; Moondragon (the demon), a demon, Mantis Other Characters: Synopsis: The wizard is afraid of death (Valkyrie) and the dragon (Moondragon) and runs into the mountains. Warren calls forest rangers to go find him. Beast accuses Moondragon of being evil; Cloud defends her. The team returns to Warren's home; Candy has installed new holographic security and an automated infirmary, where remote-access doctors check out Isaac and say his hand may grow back. Dolly is relieved. Moondragon goes off alone to ponder the nature of evil; Cloud is now switching genders often; Bobby is unable to deal with it. Isaac was in touch with Moondragon's mind (last iss.) and knows her dark secret. On Titan as a young woman, she took her teachers' studies too far, was confronted by the Dragon of the Moon, and bound it. She took its name to commemorate her victory, but has subtly become like the still-struggling dragon over the years. Hank and Warren announce that Candy is to be their leader, since they need an organizer more than a field leader. Meanwhile, Moondragon is attacked by demons and Mantis as she meditates, and is thrown through the door. Issue: Defenders 139 Date: Jan-85 Story: Hungry Like the Wolf! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Candy Southern, Dolly Donahue, Sassafras the dog Guest Stars: Odin, Red Wolf (Talltrees) Villains: Mantis, Trolls Other Characters: William MacAllistaire Synopsis: Mantis attacks, but then disappears when Hank snaps Moondragon out of her trance. She complains that everybody is against her; Cloud and Dolly comfort her. Angel flies with and eagle and gets a warning from it: trouble in the earth. He investigates and finds that there have been deaths near a silver mine on an Indian reservation. The team jets there. Isaac's hand is growing back, but it is human, not gargoyle. Moondragon admits she had been trying to remove her headband; the resultant telepathic energy is what drew Sole (iss. 132) and Brand (iss 135) to the mansion. Red Wolf meets them at the reservation and leads them into the mine. Valkyrie realizes that they have passed from earth to Asgard, and they are attacked by trolls, whose breath turns all as to stone, except Valkyrie. The troll smith is making weapons, using the blood of men and cattle. He sees Odin's band on Moondragon's head and starts to remove it; she considers it, but decides not to be tempted by power and keeps the band. She splashes the blood of Red Wolf's people on him, and he uses it to free the rest of the team. Valkyrie pulls the roof down on them, and emerges victorious from the rubble. Odin makes his band fall off Moondragon's head; she has passed the test of humility. Issue: Defenders 140 Date: Feb-85 Story: The Heartbreak Kid! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie and Aragorn, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Candy Southern, Dolly Donahue, Sassafras the dog Guest Stars: Villains: Danny Atherton Shepard, Ephraim Soles, neo-Nazis Other Characters: Vera Cantor; Harry and Louise Shepard; Edna Mae Terry; Hiram Thomas Synopsis: Beast sends flowers and a note to Vera, whom he has neglected since he left New York. It works. Moondragon has a new, modest costume; she shows no modesty otherwise. She admits to having tried to telepathically make someone fall in love with her and remove her headband; this explains why Warren, Bobby, and Cloud all had feeling for her. In a small Midwestern town, Sheriff Shepard locks up his son, who raped Edna Mae because she's black. Moondragon senses this; she, Warren, Cloud, and Valkyrie go to investigate. They arrive just in time to stop neo-Nazis from starting a riot. Moondragon calms the crowds' minds, and they go to Danny's trial. He says it's okay to rape a black, inciting a spectator to take a shot at him. Moondragon stops the bullet, then forces Edna Mae to remember the truth: Danny telepathically made her remember giving up her illegitimate baby, and her subconscious mind transformed this into rape. Danny explains that he faked this to break the hearts of everyone who cared about him, so he could remove their heartbreak. He leaves. On a farm near Defenders' mansion, a cow gives birth to Soles (iss. 132), covered in sores, and he attacks the family. Monstrous flowers sprout hands, reaching up toward the mansion. Issue: Defenders 141 Date: Mar-85 Story: All Flesh Is Grass! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Sassafras the dog Guest Stars: Villains: Other Characters: Chris Larmouth, the Shirers, Sheriff Garvin Macken Synopsis: Larmouth works as a plane mechanic for Warren, works out, and dreams of being a super-hero. His health food sprouts inside him, swelling his muscles, then tendrils burst out from him. The security system alerts Beast and Iceman, who freezes Chris until a cure can be found. In the valley, plant-like men are riding horses, and tendrils with human appendages are sprouting out of the ground. Bobby and Isaac lock up the mansion tight against a spore-infested fog, while Beast goes into the lab to investigate. The rest of the team returns from the Midwest (see last iss.) but are unable to approach the mansion. The next day, the spores form a huge slime-mold, which crawls up the valley toward the mansion. Moondragon realizes it is about to reproduce and jumps into it. She calls Isaac to join her in the slime, and joins minds with him. Together, they dissolve the creature. (As a byproduct, Isaac's hand is healed.) Issue: Defenders 142 Date: Apr-85 Story: M.O.N.S.T.E.R.! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Dolly Donahue, Candy Southern Guest Stars: Villains: Adrian Leverkuhn Castorp, Sen. Robert Kelly Other Characters: Chris Larmouth, Fontaine college students including Helen Williams, Harold, Art Wagner Synopsis: Adrian is a student at Fontaine, an epileptic, a six-fingered pianist, and can only see in infra-red. A student rally describes the current anti-mutant prejudice (see Dazzler: the Movie), and points out that Kelly and Hank will both be lecturing there soon. Larmouth is still on ice (see last iss.). Moondragon gets nauseous while meditating. Bobby talks to Cloud and promises to be there for her/him. At Beast's lecture, Adrian accuses him of being a clown, when mutants need a real advocate. Hank has no answer. Adrian complains that his mutation is not enough to be a hero, but is enough to be persecuted. At Kelly's lecture, he advocates the Mutant Registration Act: "If there were thousands of H-bombs in basements across the country - wouldn't you think it a good thing if somebody knew where they were?quot; Adrian attacks him, going right through his bodyguards, Bobby, and Hank. Cloud senses electrical equipment on him and zaps it. Turns out to be an exo-skeleton, needed because of a degenerative nerve disorder. He can no longer play the piano. Beast helps him found MONSTER (Mutants Only Need Sensitivity, Tolerance, and Equal Rights), an advocacy group. Issue: Defenders 143 Date: May-85 Story: Another Runner... (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie, Moondragon, Cloud; Andromeda (see iss. 146) Regular Characters: Candy Southern Guest Stars: Mentor, Runner (in flashback) Villains: Moondragon (the demon) Other Characters: Tony (see iss. 145) Synopsis: Flashback: Thanos of Titan's ship crashes into a car in the desert, killing Moondragon's parents. The demon Moondragon taunts her. Valkyrie tells Gargoyle that they must not interfere as she faces this challenge. She makes Candy leave the mansion for her own safety. In New York, Andromeda emerges from a submarine, feigns an injury, and gets a stranger named Tony to take her home. Moondragon finds the slime (from iss. 141) still inside her. The demons tells her only he has the power to kill it, but she would rather die than let it loose in the world. It shows her the other Defenders: Cloud blames Moondragon for messing with her mind; Bobby comforts her. Moondragon remembers meeting Runner, an interstellar traveler, on Titan. She ran off with him, exploring, but he showed her a star about to nova and explains that he cannot intervene. Disillusioned, she returned to Titan. Moondragon is convinced that people are not worth dying for and accepts the demon. She attacks and easily defeats Isaac, blinds Warren, and disintegrates Valkyrie. Issue: Defenders 144 Date: Jun-85 Story: Dragon Midnight (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie and Aragorn, Moondragon, Cloud Regular Characters: Candy Southern, Dolly Donahue, Sassafras the dog Guest Stars: the Valkyries Villains: Moondragon (the demon Other Characters: Gen. Argyle Fist Synopsis: Moondragon has killed Valkyrie (last iss.), and is horrified but intoxicated with power. Candy calls Beast, and he, Cloud, and Iceman jet back from Boston. Aragorn, wild, attacks them in midair, and Bobby calms him. A renascent, giant-sized, Odin-boosted Valkyrie confronts Moondragon, surrounded by demonic energy in the form of a huge dragon. She opens volcanoes; Valkyrie closes them. Candy notifies the army; Valkyrie summons the rest of the Valkyries. Cloud has the blinded Angel fly her into the dragon, to confront Moondragon, but when she learns she likes being evil, attacks her with lightning, which strikes her heart and disperses the evil. Issue: Defenders 145 Date: Jul-85 Story: Five Women (23 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie, Moondragon, Cloud; Andromeda/Andrea Regular Characters: Candy Southern, Sassafras the dog, Dolly Donahue Guest Stars: Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Wolverine, Captain America, Namor the Sub-Mariner (as holograms); Johnny Blaze; Seraph alias Nancy Turpin (see iss. 147) Villains: William Taurey and the Royalist Forces of America (in flashback) Other Characters: Gen. Argyle Fist, Tony, Roxanne, Chris Larmouth Synopsis: The army helps clean up the mess; Moondragon and Valkyrie have disappeared. Argyle advises the Defenders to get better connections in the government, if they're going to be having battles like this. In New York, a slightly blue-skinned Andromeda makes copies of Tony's credit cards. Doctors are unable to cure Warren's blindness, and when they examine Cloud, they find she's nothing but anomalies. Blaze (the former Ghost Rider) cycles past the army and security system to the mansion, with Roxanne. They had seen the Valkyries (last iss.) and came to help. Valkyrie reappears and explains that Moondragon still lives, whereabouts unknown, and the demon is gone. Moondragon checks into a hotel in the Mid-East. The Defenders consider disbanding, Blaze rejects Warren's offer to be their new mechanic, but borrows money from him. Turpin sneaks into the med-lab, makes a date with Hank, and identifies Cloud as Carol Faber, a local girl killed in a car crash. Issue: Defenders 146 Date: Aug-85 Story: Fun! (23 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Angel, Valkyrie, Cloud; Andromeda/Andrea Regular Characters: Candy Southern Guest Stars: Thor, the Hulk (as holograms), Johnny Blaze, Seraph/Nancy Turpin Villains: Hotspur Other Characters: Roxanne, Tony, Gen. Argyle Fist, Higgins, Wong, Sarah Synopsis: Cloud acts as Warren's eyes as they go flying together. In New York, Tony and Andromeda go to a club. Andromeda realizes that Hotspur is slashing the people as they dance, and they aren't even noticing it. She confronts him; he runs away. The Defenders to go New York, staying at Dr. Strange's house, so Warren can get better treatment for his eyes. Turpin goes with them, and reveals herself to Cloud as her sister. Valkyrie senses death; the team investigates and finds Hotspur leading a midnight revel in Central Park. Valkyrie attacks him; he explains that he is already dead and can spit soul-fire, and he defeats Valkyrie and Beast. Andromeda shows up in armor and confronts him. Issue: Defenders 147 Date: Sep-85 Story: ...And Games! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Valkyrie, Cloud; Andromeda; Moondragon (as a memory) Regular Characters: Candy Southern Guest Stars: the Interloper; Sgt. Nick Fury (as an illusion); Seraph/Nancy Turpin Villains: Hotspur Other Characters: Synopsis: Gargoyle takes a jewel from Strange's house. Andromeda apprehends Hotspur, accidentally breaking his arm. He pops it back in place; Valkyrie attacks him, and he gives her a vision of trolls that Beast wakes her from. Hotspur has summoned high-tech demon troops. The Defenders battle and are captured by the Hades-engine, which drains their powers. The Interloper walks across Siberia, intimidating wolves. He senses a dragon in the world. Hotspur explains: he was an 18th century British peer who formed a gang of sadists and made a pact with a demon to cheat death. He was recently summoned back into this world, and plans to conquer it. Inexplicably, Sgt. Fury shows up from WWII, frees the Defenders and gives them machine guns. They almost fire into the demon troops, but realize it is all an illusion, except the guns, and they were about to kill Hotspur's revelers. He wants them to kill for fun. Gargoyle makes Cloud remember her pain over Moondragon, forcing Hotspur to feel the pain he always caused others. He screams and disappears. The revelers are released. Turpin reveals herself as Seraph. She knows who Cloud really is, and has come to take her away. Issue: Defenders 148 Date: Oct-85 Story: The Kickshaws Consignment (23 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Gargoyle Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Hellcat (Patsy Walker Hellstrom), Son of Satan (Daimon Hellstrom), Rufus T. Hackstabber (Groucho Marx); Oliver Cutlass, Typhoon (Kwan Tai Fung), Hannibal King Villains: Minerva Bannister Other Characters: Capt. Van Vliet, Det. Henry Crun (SFPD) Synopsis: Hackstabber recklessly drives the Hellstroms in his cab to Van Vliet, who has hired them, along with Gargoyle and Beast, to get an artifact: the lesser grey god. Crun breaks in through the door; Cutlass through the window, followed by a grenade, which Hackstabber volleys back with a tennis racket (handy). Cutlass sends Crun after the grenade-thrower; he is also after the missing artifact, which was shipped under the name Kickshaws. But Van Vliet doesn't know where it is. Daimon says it is a danger because it can revive old enchantments. It was made by the Six-Fingered Hand. Van Vliet is found dead (poisoned, and stabbed with an ice dagger). A shot leads all outside, where Crun is under attack, and they rescue him. Cutlass figures it out: he takes all to Bannister's mansion, finds the lesser grey god, and shows it is a fake. King, a former vampire, arrives and says Bannister wanted to be one, too, and wanted the lesser grey god to revive the enchantment. Van Vliet killed himself to avoid the same fate. The Defenders defeat Bannister's goons and have her arrested. Hackstabber polishes his hood ornament: the lesser grey god.
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