Issue(s): Defenders #120, Defenders #121, Defenders #122, Defenders #123, Defenders #124, Defenders #125
Hellstrom tries to take back the darksoul that the Miracle Man has stolen from him, but Hellcat makes his sacrifice unnecessary by using her budding psychic powers to push the darksoul into a snake instead.
An epilogue still at the site of the battle with the Miracle Min is at the beginning of #122. Also in that issue, an Elf with a Gun shows up to shoot Dr. Strange, Hulk, the Sub-Mariner, and the Silver Surfer.
Meanwhile, Hellstorm and Hellcat decide to get married.
And Iceman shows up to visit his friend the Beast.
And Odin summons Valkyrie away.
The Beast has been thinking about trying to turn the Defenders into a real team.
He's been upset by the lack of teamwork on the Defenders.
He tries to recruit the Vision & the Scarlet Witch onto the team...
...but they're not interested. Nonetheless, while the Defenders are visiting, they're attacked by agents of the Secret Empire called Cloud, Seraph, and Harridan.
The agents are relatively easily defeated and the Defenders arrange for SHIELD to take them away. Cloud will later become a member of the team.
Later, the Angel shows up to visit the Beast and Iceman...
...and the Valkyrie returns. She's been charged by Odin to keep guard over Moondragon...
...so Moondragon is with her, to the chagrin of everyone else. Odin has placed a headband on Moondragon that prevents her from abusing her mental powers. Which doesn't stop her from trying.
The Beast's team of Defenders go to Hellcat & Hellstorm's wedding and get into a fight with Hellcat's ex-husband, who has been transformed by the Secret Empire into a lame villain called Mad Dog.
He's backed-up by Mutant Force...
...but the Defenders are able to put a quick stop to them and the wedding continues.
Meanwhile, the A-list Defenders are shown by the Elf that they are the cause of a future dystopia on Earth.
The elves work for a group called the Tribunal who are trying to prevent the timeline from occurring (we've seen this tribunal once before in Ed Hannigan's unexplained Inquest story).
All the previous people that the Elf killed were in some way connected with the timeline...
...but killing all of them did not prevent it, so now they are going after the Defenders.
The Tribunal says that the four A-list members (Strange, Hulk, Namor & the Surfer) must never again join together as a team.
Two problems with this: one, it just sounds like nonsense. But more importantly... two, the whole point of Gerber's elf scenes and even Hannigan's story was that there was no point. Gerber was trying to get across the idea that life is strange and cruel and bizarre things just happen. And Hannigan's story was deliberately unexplained. DeMatteis (or his editor Carl Potts?) is ruining the intention of those stories for no good reason. Obviously the goal is to usher in a new direction for the Defenders that doesn't include any of the founding members. But it didn't have to be done this way.
Pretty agonizing plotting all throughout this arc. I persevere only because i know that this is the set-up for the New Defenders line-up that is handled pretty well by Peter Gillis.
I did want to post this image from #120 of Hellcat waking up from a dream telling her that Hellstrom is in trouble, mainly because Gargoyle in his pajamas is the cutest thing ever.
And here he is taking a bubble bath.
I don't have some weird Gargoyle fetish, i swear.
One cool thing about this arc is seeing Banner-Hulk as a member of the team, advising Namor to cool off.
Kim DeMulder, who i think works very well with regular penciler Don Perlin, inks or co-inks most of these issues, but he's not yet the regular inker.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Has to take place after Doctor Strange #59, since Doc's vampire hunting is referenced in this arc. But it has to take place before the Vision is rendered inert in Avengers #233, and therefore before Doctor Strange #60 since that story takes place after Avengers #233. The MCP has Dr. Strange's appearances in Avengers #234 and Doctor Strange #60 taking place during Defenders #125, between pages 20-21. As for the Hulk, a good break is between Hulk #284-285. Takes place after Uncanny X-Men #170.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (13): show
The title to #125 refers to an album by Joe Cocker, and "Hello..." refers to something else I can't quite remember right now.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 7:29 PM
'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' was a Noel Coward song long before it was a Joe Cocker album title, and 'Hello, I Must Be Going' is a song most closely associated with Groucho Marx.
Posted by: James | June 1, 2012 6:41 AM
In one of Peter David's Hulk issues (right before he merges the various Hulk personalities into the Professor Hulk), he references this story about the prophecy with the original Defender members and has Dr Strange say it was a hoax. Since I never read that issue, I didn't know what was meant until now.
Posted by: Chris | August 4, 2013 9:27 AM
It would have been more realistic to have the BIG FOUR/A-listers have some sort of a fallout than this Elf/Tribunal story.
This was a disappointing end to story that was building up for almost a year.
Posted by: A.Lloyd | October 7, 2014 11:23 AM
Valkyrie doesn't seem particularly happy to hear that Patsy is getting married.
Then again, if my best friend was marrying the Son of Satan I might have a few reservations too...
Posted by: Gary Himes | October 7, 2014 11:40 AM
Chris, you are right. It was IH #369
Posted by: Creel | January 23, 2015 10:52 AM
While "Hello, I Must Be Going" was a Groucho song, it was also the name of Phil Collins' second solo album which was a big seller at the time this story would have been being written.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 10, 2015 7:26 AM
And I always felt this story made Miracle Man a bit more viable. As a Fantastic Four villain, he is pretty bottom barrel. As a Hellstorm villain, it actually gives Daimon Hellstrom another villain who could recur (something he, and many similar characters, are sorely lacking).
Still didn't save him from Scourge though.
Posted by: AF | January 8, 2016 5:52 AM
Actually Creel, I think it was Incredible Hulk #370.
And..er...yeah this issue really doesn't advance any "Moondragon isn't a manipulative A-hole. No really" characterizations. Again, you'd think every super-hero would lose her number quick with the amount of times she abuses her mental abilities on her "friends."
And wow, I never knew there was so much "ho-yay" among Angel, Beast and Iceman (ok, maybe I did with Iceman, but...)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | December 15, 2016 11:40 PM
fnord12 wrote: "There's also a reference to "upcoming issues of Marvel Fanfare" wherein Angel recovers his confidence. I don't think those issues were ever published."
Does anyone know what became of this story? Who was supposed to write it, what it was about, why it was never published?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 18, 2017 2:58 AM
Yeah, this story was unnecessarily convoluted
Posted by: Dave B | September 13, 2017 9:49 AM
Since the Tribunal's claims were a "hoax" and we never got any more acknowledgement than that, we don't really know what their deal was. The problem being their claims about the Defenders were clearly a "hoax" but does that mean everything they said was a hoax? They clearly have pretty big Cosmic power and were able to fool the Eye of Agamotto somehow. So these can't be just a bunch of irrelevant pranksters lying and trolling the Defenders.
But a real similarity dawned on me... if you swap out Tribunal for Time-Keepers and the Elves with a Gun for Space Phantoms, and you have very very similar events to the plot of Avengers Forever. I despise that story but there's a lot of parallels; Time travel authoritarians with diminutive agents based outside of the timestream in a castle in Limbo fear the potential of a superhero team ascending beyond their station and try to distract and prevent them with a "smoke and mirrors" campaign which includes farcical untruths and pitting nonsense villains against them to distract them (Mutant Force).
And then you have the events of The Order, where the Defenders tried to take over Earth, as a possible event that the Tribunal were truly trying to prevent (it could've gone a lot worse)?
Posted by: AF | September 15, 2017 8:23 AM
I don't know why I'm suddenly dead keen on fan theories or ideas relating to DeMatteis' Defenders run...
Posted by: AF | September 15, 2017 8:26 AM
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