The Defenders were assembled under unrevealed circumstances. They came to the attention of the Avengers when they ran into Defender John Eisenhart while looking for Martin Hargood, who was wanted in connection for a failed attempt on the life of Avenger Captain America. Eisenhart had Hargood cornered in the Latverian Cuisine restaurant. When the Avengers intervened, Eisenhart transformed into the Hulk and was later joined by the rest of the Defenders team.
The two teams almost came to blows, but the Defenders proved themselves trustworthy when Defenders Sub-Mariner and Valkyrie prevented Hargood from escaping. The two teams made peace, and the Defenders agreed to let Hargood be taken in by Alchemax, the Avengers' employer, for interrogation. While at Alchemax Tower, Alchemax CEO Miguel Stone offered the Defenders a place in Alchemax, but the Defenders refused and left. The Defenders later learned that Stone's offer wasn't just him being nice. Alchemax literally ruled the domain of 2099, and any superhero that didn't work for Alchemax was considered a criminal. The Avengers managed to defeat the Defenders and captured Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Silver Surfer while Valkyrie and Strange escaped.
Captain America, however, disagreed with Stone's orders, believing that the Defenders had a right to operate without Alchemax's interference. With help from fellow Avenger Hercules, Captain freed the captured Defenders while fighting off her fellow Avengers. Captain's husband then triggered a failsafe that changed her back into her civilian persona of Roberta Mendez, which had no memory of her superhero persona. Strange was able to rescue Mendez.
During the Defenders' rescue attempt by Mendez, Hargood was able to escape custody and use Alchemax's virtual unreal laboratory to summon the monster the Dweller-in-Darkness. The situation became so dire that Stone that he called not just the Avengers but also allowed the Defenders to help without fear of being arrested. While Avenger Iron Man and Defenders Silver Surfer, Hulk, and Sub-Mariner dealt with the Dweller, the other Avengers and Defenders dealt with Hargood and knocked him out. Strange was then able to send the Dweller back to where he came from. As an act of gratitude, Stone allowed the Defenders to continue operating independently.
- 4 appearance(s) of Defenders (Earth-23291)
- 2 mention(s) of Defenders (Earth-23291)
- 11 image(s) of Defenders (Earth-23291)
- 6 member(s) of Defenders (Earth-23291)