Defenders #136-139 (1984-1985)

Gargoyle is taken to Afhanistan where he is enslaved by a Mujahideen priest.  Seriously.  In 1984!

Check out that awesome cover by Frank Cirocco.

The priest uses Gargoyle to fend off the Soviets.  Remember when they were at war with Afghanistan?  And remember when the U.S. gave the rebels the weapons to fight them?  And remember when those weapons and tactical trainings were then used, twenty years later, against us?  Good times.

The Priest is able to manifest new, much greater power sets for Gargoyle.

The team goes out to rescue their friend.  They save him, but he is severely injured in the process—including losing his hand.

…When Beast uses Valkyrie’s sword, dragon fang, to cut it off.

An interesting subplot: Newest team-member Cloud changes her gender (she is a mist that can manifest in human form) because she’s in love with Moondragon and Moondragon thinks lesbianism is “wrong.”  Very interesting subplot.

And if that isn’t enough….

I don’t know who thought of the idea first, but both Alpha Flight and Defenders gave smart-but-powerless women the roles of team leader.  In this case, it’s Candy Southern—Beast’s girlfriend.

These issues give us a deep dive into Moondragon’s background.  She killed a dragon who killed everyone on the planet Titan before The Eternals and Thanos lived on it, and that dragon seems to have some kind of mystical hold on her—like it always looms in her subconscious and might someday consume her.

They also help Red Wolf fight off some Asgardian monsters who are invading his reservation.

Creators: Peter Gillis and Don Perlin
Grade: B-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.


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