November 30, 2013

Ye Olde School Café: The Defenders #95

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Written by: Billy
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yeoldschool3Hello and welcome back to another edition of Ye Olde School Café! In our last visit, we saw an evil cult known as the Six-Fingered Hand, and discovered what they have in store for our heroes. Now, we’ll see a crazy twist that nobody could see coming! Another brilliant issue brought to you by J.M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin, Joe Sinnott, and company!


As the team (Dr. Strange, Valkyrie, Hellstrom, Gargoyle, and Patsy Walker) approach Strange’s sanctum sanctorum, they realize someone has already gained access. Strange and Hellstrom sense no evil presence, but someone with mystical abilities is the only answer to this intrusion. Well, it is someone out of the ordinary, but not necessarily someone with mystic powers. Their teammate, Nighthawk, has swooped in, and after the recent troubles he’s had, they’re astonished to see him (he had recently been paralyzed and his mind was taken from him). They quickly fill him in on the situation with Patsy, and then suddenly Nighthawk passes out. He awakens and Strange tells him that his abilities, and now also his motor skills, are tied to the night, and he’ll have to wait until then to be able to help out. The phone ringing interrupts them, and Patsy gets some bad news. Her friend that got caught up in this is all but dead at the hospital. In a fit of rage she attacks Gargoyle, but then realizes that won’t help matters.

Later, Patsy asks Hellstrom to help her find the connection between her mother and the cult. They go to her grave and he begins to craft a spell. Almost instantly images appear, and Patsy’s mother makes a deal with the devil to avoid death. They have a group meeting to decide on what to do next. Suddenly, Strange feels an eerie presence outside of the window. In the very next moment, a bat comes crashing through the window, and Dracula has arrived! He immediately assaults Nighthawk and Patsy, Gargoyle provides a distraction by dog-piling on him, and it provides Strange enough time to use the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak to hold him, while Hellstrom exorcises a demon from him.


A quick pow-wow on the details, and Dracula is now joining the team to rid the world of this cult, as well! An uneasy alliance, for sure, but it will take the combined might of all to stop this threat. Dr. Strange then gathers everyone close, speaks an incantation, and whisks everyone away. They arrive at a castle, but without Strange. The others, led by Dracula, begin their siege on the castle. Hordes of undead attack them, but they are no match for Dracula, Valkyrie, Hellstrom, and Gargoyle. The horde seems to be waning, but their leader, Gordski (possessed by the demon Puishannt), isn’t. Hellstrom devises a plan to stop them all in one fell swoop. He uses his trident to summon the sun in the middle of the night, and it vanquishes the undead, and the demon leaves Gordski’s body. He did however warn Dracula of his plan, and the king of vampires quickly made his exit.


Afterwards, Nighthawk falls over and passes out again, and Hellstrom is left to ponder if he did the right thing in being honorable towards Dracula. How easy it would’ve been to not warn him, and destroy that evil forever. He gives himself some credit for being the Son of Satan, but an honorable son at that!

Well, that’s it for now. If you haven’t given this title a chance before, I suggest you rectify that sooner than later. Get out and grab the Marvel Essentials if you don’t want to hunt down back issues, as they provide a cheaper means to collect a run. I for one have a mix of both and want to grab all the singles in my lifetime. The stories by guys like Gerber and DeMatteis, partnered with artists like Perlin, Heck, and Buscema, are a good enough reason for me!

Billy Dunleavy




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