Giant-Size Defenders #2
Issue(s): Giant-Size Defenders #2
It's not necessarily an improvement, but it's definitely different.
Second, the Defenders are forced to call on Daimon Hellstrom this issue, making it the Son of Satan's first appearance with a team that he'll later become a regular member of (to the degree that you can be a member of a non-team), and also the character's first appearance in a mainstream super-hero book as opposed to his own title and Ghost Rider.
Third, this is a story where the Hulk is kidnapped and the rest of the team has to rescue him. I thought that was worth mentioning since the Hulk is not your usual hostage.
The Hulk has been taken by Asmodeus, the leader of the cult of the Sons of Satannish. He was thought dead, and indeed he was dead, but he's been granted a reprieve by Satannish that will be permanent if he's able to capture the souls of the Defenders.
Asmodeus' plan involves tormenting the Defenders with their worst fears, so Hulk is attacked by multiple Bruce Banners, Hellstrom watches his mother get attacked by a demon, Nighthawk is put on trial i guess based on the fact that he was a criminal in his early appearances, etc.. Valkyrie's predicament, where she becomes faceless because she does not have an identity of her own...
...reminded me of a semi-common blunder from more modern comics and in fact when i first saw it, before i started reading, i thought "oh wow they made mistakes like that back in the 70s too?", but no, the character really isn't supposed to have a face.
It's Dr. Strange, faced with the ghosts of everyone that died because he gave up being a surgeon, that breaks out of his trap first, and he helps Valkyrie and so on. They then face Asmodeus directly. Asmodeus zaps them, but Daimon is unaffected by his Satanic (or Satanic-ish) powers thanks to the nether metal in his trident.
With that failure, Satannish reaches up out of the ground to pull Asmodeus back to Hell (or its equivalent Hell-ish dimension).
Definitely a showcase for the Son of Satan but not a lot for the rest of the Defenders to do.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This begins soon after the end of Defenders #16 (which puts it basically at publication date). Aside from the fact that Dr. Strange goes to St. Louis to get him, Hellstrom's appearance in this issue is context free and can fit in any gap in his Marvel Spotlight appearances.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAsmodeus (Sons of Satannish), Dr. Strange, Hellstorm, Hulk, Nighthawk, Satannish, Valkyrie
Strange being haunted by the ghosts of the people that died because he gave up being a surgeon never made sense to me- he gave up being a surgeon because his hands were injured and it would endanger his patients if he operated. It would make more sense for him to be haunted by the ghosts of the patients that died because of his greed.
Posted by: Michael | January 25, 2015 4:53 PM
When this book was announced in FOOM #5, Asmodeus was called "The Manipulator".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 28, 2015 3:52 PM
He's definitely showcased early on, but Daimon doesn't really do that much here besides help the Defenders find the gateway to Hell. Otherwise, as with early issues of this title, it's the Doctor Strange show; heck, we don't even get to see Daimon break free of the illusions on panel because the story is too busy showing Doc rescuing everyone else.
Interestingly, this story's structure -- one hero escapes illusions, then frees the next, and so forth -- is pretty much the same as the Dr. destiny episode of Bruce Timm's Justice League 'toon...which also had an episode or three devoted to a Defenders homage.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 23, 2017 6:49 AM
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