Issue(s): Defenders #32, Defenders #33
He is unable to help because the cause of Nighthawk's problem (he's got Chondu of the Headmen's brain) is scientific, not supernatural. Eventually Strange is able to deduce what's going on, and he performs another switcharoo: Jack Norriss's mind is put into Nighthawk's body and Chondu's mind is put into the body of the baby deer Hulk brought to Dr. Strange's house last issue.
The Defenders then travel to the suburban house the Headmen are based in. The Hulk mentions that he thinks he's been there previously, but Dr. Strange dismissively says "Unlikely, Hulk", ignoring the evidence of the house that is being rebuilt across the street.
Meanwhile, Nighthawk, his brain floating in a dish, relives his past live. It's the story of a rich kid with no motivation who keeps screwing up and getting bailed out by his father's money. He got his powers from the Grandmaster, who gave him a serum to help with his heart murmur and in the process gave him super-powers.
The Headmen have recruited a new member, named Ruby.
She dresses like Moondragon and has a red crystal ball for a head. The ball can take any shape she desires, and when the Defenders show up she has it explode with "anti-gamma radiation", knocking out all the good guys.
Not realizing that Chondu is no longer in Nighthawk's head, they wake him, but restrain the other Defenders and begin to brainwash them. Jack/Nighthawk has a rough time staying in character as Chondu but gets the other Headmen to fight among themselves to stop asking him questions. Then the Defenders wake up. Hulk immediately wants to start smashing, but Strange restrains him (looks like the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak) because he wants to attempt reasoning with the bad guys first. This doesn't work, so the Defenders attack. Norriss grabs Nighthawk's brain and makes a run for it, and the Headmen let him go thinking that it's really Chondu.
Meanwhile, Nebulon and a group of scaly amphibious aliens (the Ludberdites of Zaar) have been abducting people and placing them in a small Greek-style structure in the middle of the ocean. They abduct the Chondu deer and Jack/Nighthawk as well, but Nighthawk goes directly to their ship, and not to the Greek structure.
Issue #32 is largely an origin story for Nighthawk, which is shown in flashback form while his brain floats in its jar. Nighthawk was originally intended to be a Batman fill-in, so there isn't a lot that can be done with his origin, but Gerber plays up the spoiled rich kid angle to nice effect. The key takeaway is that when he was in college, he got into an accident while drunk-driving and his girlfriend, Mindy Williams was killed (or so he thinks; much later we'll learn otherwise).
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue starts with the Son of Satan already having arrived at Dr. Strange's house, so i'm allowing a gap between this issue and the last, although no appearances of these characters should probably appear in between. This issue ends with the Defenders trapped in an ooze generated by Ruby Thursday and Jack/Nighthawk having been teleported to Nebulon's spaceship, so, again, while there's a gap between this arc and the next, none of these characters should appear elsewhere in between. None of this applies to Hellstorm himself, since he just pops in briefly at the beginning of #32 in response to a request from Dr. Strange.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showArthur Nagan, Chondu, Dr. Strange, Hellstorm, Hulk, Jack Norriss, Jerry Morgan, Nebulon, Nighthawk, Ruby Thursday, Valkyrie
The last title refers to an Outer Limits episode "Cold hands, Warm Heart".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 21, 2011 1:31 AM
Mary Jo Duffy has a letter in #32.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 27, 2013 5:31 PM
Wow! The acid in the bullpen must have been great around this time! There was a veritable lysergic maelstrom coursing through the House of Ideas in the mid-70s.
Posted by: Yogi deadhead | January 16, 2016 4:18 AM
Ruby Thursday's name was probably derived from the 1967 Rolling Stones song "Ruby Tuesday," as was the Ruby Tuesday restaurant franchise.
Posted by: Holt | February 21, 2018 6:57 PM
ya think? :-)
Posted by: kveto | February 23, 2018 3:39 PM
Posted by: Holt | February 23, 2018 8:07 PM
fnord, I totally don't expect you to do this, BUT it occurs to me you could create an "imposter" table in your database with fields for the character being impersonated, the character doing the impersonating, the issue(s) in which it took place, and, optionally, the nature of the imposition (eg, "mental domination", "shapeshifter", "id given form", etc.) So in this case you'd have Nighthawk < Chondu < Jack Norriss. Or, more helpfully, in other issues, Jean Grey < Phoenix Force, or Alicia Masters < Lyja Laserfist. That way, readers could look up the first appearance of Domino, even if it later turned out to not really be her.
Posted by: Andrew | March 16, 2018 5:17 AM
Yeah, that would be cool. Unfortunately there's no easy way for me to implement it.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 16, 2018 12:05 PM
Comments are now closed.
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