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November 16, 2013

Ye Olde School Café: The Defenders #94

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Written by: Billy
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Hey everybody! Welcome back as we forage into the world of comics! In this edition of Ye Olde School Café we’ll be taking a look into one of my favorite titles, The Defenders (issue #94)! This fragmentary team of heroes had its ranks change from time to time (a la The Avengers), but at the core you usually could count on Dr. Strange, and in the earlier years, Silver Surfer, Namor, and Valkyrie. In the later years, crazy characters like Gargoyle, Daimon Hellstrom, and Nighthawk!

This particular story involves another strange character, though, in the form of Patsy Walker. She’s also known as Hellcat, and her story is a weird one, for sure. In this story, we find out about her past, and a secret that her mother holds. Oh, and also there’s the matter of a cult called “The Six-Fingered Hand” to deal with! This story was written by J.M. DeMatteis, and beautifully illustrated by Don Perlin, Joe Sinnott, and George Roussos (1981)!

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In the town of Montclair, New Jersey, a few residents are startled when they see what appears to be a fireball streak through the sky! In truth, it’s the fiery chariot of Daimon Hellstrom, and Dr. Strange and The Valkyrie are also arriving by his side! They’ve come at the behest of Hellcat, or so they think. After arriving, they are quick to learn that the invitation was a trap. Valkyrie finds Patsy’s housekeeper, and she’s on the brink of death, but manages to tell them that Patsy was carried off by some sort of winged creature that flew them off in the night.

The scene switches to a home in Virginia, where a cult ritual is being performed by Gargoyle in the name of some insidious demon. He’s got Patsy strapped down on a table, and he means to use her to let the demon rise from the netherworld. Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Dr. Strange and Valkyrie listen as Hellstrom informs them of a new threat called The Six-Figured Hand! He then uses his trident to find the location of Hellcat. The three Defenders then make their way over to Virginia, to find Hellcat.

As they arrive, immediately Gargoyle is warned of their presence. The Defenders are then accosted by Gargoyle and a horde of demons. Dr. Strange and Valkyrie fight off the demons, while Daimon Hellstrom goes one on one with Gargoyle. Hellstrom seems to be getting the upper hand, but then is violently struck down by a bolt of fire. He whirls around to see none other than his lover, Hellcat, who has been transformed into some sort of demon.

She overpowers Hellstrom, then Strange tries to intervene. Her new power proves to be even more than a match for him, as well. Then, she must face her good friend Valkyrie. The two square off, and as Hellcat seems to be poised to kill her friend, Valkyrie cries out to her, and begs her to fight this demon that’s possessing her. She does, and then manages to force the demon out of her body, and it flies away into the ether. The cult followers are also let out of their trance, as is Gargoyle. He explains to the team that the Six-Figured Hand bonded him within this gargoyle body, as punishment for trying to alert the Defenders about their presence. Hellcat then tells the team that her soul was promised to the Hand by her own mother!

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Well, that’s it for now, but get ready for next time’s exciting conclusion, as we’ll see the fate of Hellcat, Hellstrom, and an appearance and alliance with the Lord of Vampires, Dracula! See you next time!

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

 

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2 Comments



  1. Joe Sinnott is freakin’ awesome! Other than that I can’t say I was ever a huge Defenders fan. I would just grab those books off of the spinner rack if I couldn’t find Spidey, Batman, or Cap lol


  2. Billy

    Speech, I love Sinnott! His inks over some of the all-time greats are classic!



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