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Defenders, The #106: Review

Apr 1982
J. M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin

Story Name:

The War to End All Wars

Review & Comments

4 stars

Defenders, The #106 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Other inkers: Rick Magyar, Jack Abel and Al Milgrom.

Defenders, The #106 Review by (August 29, 2014)
Mt Charteris in Colorado eventually becomes the Thunderbolts' HQ (including their stint as Colorado's section of the 50 State Initiative). Ogre in Thu#33 tells them it has a long history. It appears that it was his base when he was part of Factor Three in the original X-Men #28, and it was reused by some of those mutants in Amazing Adventures (Beast) #13. Ogre claims that the Sons of the Serpent and then Hydra made use of it, then August Masters as seen here. After this SHIELD will seal the base until Crimson Cowl takes it over for her Masters of Evil, as seen in Thu#24, and the Thunderbolts take it off them the next issue. (J M DeMatteis's Defenders issues must have really stuck in Fabian Nicieza's mind!) The Captain America issues referenced here were also written by Defenders-scribe JM. Some soldiers this issue mention a Professor as being in overall charge of the operation. This will turn out to be Professor Power in Marvel Team-Up #117-118. As well as this plot continuation, JMDeM will feature several Defenders in his run on that title.

Of course people don't really die in the Marvel universe. August Masters and the telepaths are just blown into the Squadron Supreme universe. The Defenders follow in #112-115 and they all have an adventure with the Squadron (including *their* version of Nighthawk who temporarily thinks he's *our* Nighthawk) and the villainous Overmind. That's the last we hear of Masters, but the telepaths merge with Overmind and the result is a good Overmind (for a while). Although he later reverted to the dark side, his last appearance so far was in Thunderbolts during the Civil War where he was sort-of on the side of good. Our Nighthawk will be seen a few times among the dead. But he *does* eventually return when Mephisto sends him back to Earth in his own mini-series.

Vera Cantor was Hank McCoy's girlfriend during the 1st run of X-Men. She reappeared (again) in his life in Avengers #209 and was immediately put in suspended animation to save her from a poison. Beast quit the team in Av#211 and came seeking Dr Strange's help in Def#103. Hank and Vera will hang out with the Defenders for quite a while. Daredevil has worked with the Defenders a few times. The last stint was #89-91 while he was Kyle Richmond's lawyer but got caught up in a battle with Mandrill.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Defenders, The #106 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Story continues from CAPTAIN AMERICA #268

Dr Strange receives a staggeringly powerful warning that Defenders
Gargoyle, Hellcat, Nighthawk and Valkyrie are in danger, and Captain America is in it with them. After a reviving tea from Wong he sends out an astral call for help.

Daimon Hellstrom, Son of Satan, is the 1st to answer as his
hell-chariot lands on the roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum. (He has been rebuilding his old life since rejecting his place in Hell last issue.)

Beast also responds to the call. But 1st he asks permission from his
girlfriend Vera Cantor because he's only recently got her back from a
coma. But since Dr Strange was instrumental in freeing her from that
coma (in the other half of last issue), she urges him to go.

He runs into Daredevil outside the Sanctum and they enter together.
But it turns out Hornhead wasn't specifically invited. He's just had a
sense of unease about the Defenders for the past few weeks, and he was
hoping Doc could tell him why.

Stephen Strange uncovers a hidden memory in DD's mind. Back in #104 Matt Murdock was at a private party celebrating the demise of Kyle Richmond's legal/financial problems when some guys claiming to be federal agents burst in and gassed everybody. Matt woke next morning at home with the memory of a good party. But the 4 Defenders haven't been seen since then.

Strange uses the Orb of Attunement to track his friends to Mt
in the Colorado Rockies, but also sees a vision of Russian
citizens lying in the streets, and gets a sense of danger to the whole

Inside that mountain we see Kyle Richmond in a hi-tech room with
August Masters. Kyle 1st met Masters in #102 in a sanitarium where he was secretly testing psychic patients, 1 of whom was an old girlfriend of Kyle's named Mindy. In #103 he made Kyle's problems go away, for reasons of his own. Then his men captured the Defenders in #104. And in Captain America #268 they found themselves here. Mindy is 1 of Masters' most powerful psychics, but he needed Richmond to keep her calm. And he'd kill the other Defenders if Kyle didn't cooperate. Which he has been doing since then.

Meanwhile back in CA#264 an associate of Masters, Morgan MacNeil
, tried to use some of the psychics to change reality for
America. But Cap stopped it. Later in #268 Steve Rogers was drawn to Mt Charteris by a mental summons from 2 of those psychics. Cap and the Defenders fought Masters' 'Roman' soldiers until Masters forced them to surrender by threatening to destroy the base, including the
innocent psychics. But Mindy sent a mental message to Dr Strange,
which is where we came in.

Masters has Cap, Gargoyle, Hellcat and Valkyrie unconscious in a
globe. His telepaths are hooked up to a machine which will lobotomise
the whole of Russia (hence the Strange vision). The other Communist
nations will then be easy pickings, and the USA will definitely be top

Dr Strange and friends have arrived outside. Daimon and Daredevil
detect machinery inside the mountain. Hellstrom tries to blast his way
through with soul-fire via his trident, but only uncovers metal which
is probably adamantium.

But that's enough for Masters to send 4 of his soldiers to investigate. They find nobody around so they come back in to report. Their commander is a bit brighter than the rest and he notices that 8
men returned when he only sent 4. The others are of course our heroes
disguised by a spell. Beast causes a distraction by insisting that
*he* is a real soldier (named Kowalski) and the real Kowalski is the
fake. Meanwhile the other 3 slip away to discover what they can.

While Hank McCoy reverts to his Beast look and leads the enemy away, Dr Strange finds the control room and hypnotises 1 of the technicians to tell him what's going on. But another tech bops him on the head and Strange's disguise fails. Meanwhile Son of Satan comes across Kyle Richmond walking in a zombie-like state. At that point the disguise spell fails and Hellstrom has to fight some guards.

Daredevil's search took him to the room with the globe holding Cap and
the Defenders. As his disguise fails too he is joined by Beast who has
overheard that the 4 in the globe are being used as living batteries
to power the psychics. DD fights off some more guards (and gets
zapped) as Beast crawls into the machinery and emerges right next to
the globe.

Zombie Kyle is in the control room where Dr Strange lies unconscious.
Beams from his eyes zap the techs. Masters enters just as Richmond has
entered the self-destruct sequence into the computer - a sequence
which only Masters knew. It turns out that the telepaths read his
mind. They've merged with Kyle and they're going to sacrifice
themselves to save the world.

Dr Strange wakes up, and Kyle tells him to teleport the other heroes
out of here. He himself has to stay to make sure Masters doesn't stop
the self-destruct. Kyle/psychics use mental force to hurl Strange out
of the control room and seal it against physical or sorcerous

An alarm has the inhabitants of the mountain base rushing for the
exits. Reluctantly Stephen Strange gathers the other heroes in his
mind and teleports them all to safety. (Beast had freed the 4 in the
globe.) The telepaths and Kyle refused to let DS help them, so they're
still there when the base explodes.

Don Perlin
Rick Magyar
George Roussos
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
George Roussos (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Shelly Leferman.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Patsy Walker)


(Kyle Richmond)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)


Plus: August Masters, Defenders, Mindy Williams, Vera Cantor.

> Defenders, The: Book info and issue index

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