The New Defenders’ start with a JM DeMatteis story, which continues his convoluted tale about an evil group called The Empire who have infiltrated all levels of American government. Including SHIELD, we learn this issue.
The newly formed team acts like a real team, unlike all prior iterations of The Defenders, which means they need to vote on a leader. Beast and Valkyrie both campaign for the post.
After bringing Mad Dog into SHIELD custody, they have a meal together. Iceman is in his underwear, and both he and Angel are crushing on Moondragon. Then, they take on the giant Leviathan.