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Quote1 The record of the Defenders has been a proud one so far. I am certain that whatever the future may bring, nothing will ever change that. Quote2
-- Doctor Strange

Appearing in "A Dark and Stormy Knight"

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Synopsis for "A Dark and Stormy Knight"

Brief Summary:
With Dormammu and Loki defeated, the Defenders leave the Avengers and head back to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Strange attempts to once again contact the Black Knight in limbo, but is unable to find him. Instead, the Defenders are suddenly transported back in time to the Crusades. There they find the Black Knight. They help him rescue the captured King Richard and fight his evil brother, Prince John, and Mordred. They stop the army of giant gnomes, but Prince John is able to get the Evil Eye during the battle. Before he can use it, Prester John appears and seizes it from him. He defeats the villains and sends the Defenders back to their own time. The Black Knight decides to stay in the past and Hawkeye, Namor, the Hulk, and the Silver Surfer all decide to leave the Defenders for their own adventures.

Defenders Vol 1 11 001

Detailed Summary:
The Defenders and the Avengers have defeated Dormammu and Loki and have reclaimed the Evil Eye. Dr. Strange, not wanting the world at large to know of the existence of a new super hero team, erases Nick Fury's mind (as well as the entire world's) of any knowledge of the Defenders. Only the Avengers are spared this memory wipe. Using the Evil Eye, Strange also repairs all the damage that Dormammu had done to Earth. With this work completed, he and his fellow Defenders leave the Avengers and head back to New York City.

Returning to his Sanctum Sanctorum, Dr. Strange attempts once again to free the Black Knight from his stone prison. Using the Evil Eye, Strange sends his physical body to the limbo realm where he initially contacted the Black Knight's astral form. To his surprise, he is not able to find the Black Knight there.

Dr. Strange returns to tell the Defenders, but they all find themselves suddenly transported to the 12th Century and right in the middle of the Crusades. They are met by the Black Knight, who is fleeing a large Arab army. The Defenders come to his aid, but are then attacked by a giant gnome named Temax. This earth spirit proves to be too powerful, so Strange makes the heroes vanish from the battle site.

Once they are safe, the Black Knight explains that he is living through the body of one of his ancestors. King Richard has been captured by the Arabs and now Prince John plans to desert the king and take over his army. He was sent here by Merlin's spell to fight Mordred, who has allied himself with Prince John. The Defenders agree to help the Black Knight rescue King Richard and stop Mordred's evil plans.

Disguising themselves, the Defenders sneak into the Arab's castle. The Defenders split up, half going to save King Richard while the others attempt to destroy the evil sorcery that is being used against them. They free the king, but are then attacked by more giant gnomes. Their elemental powers once again over power the heroes and they are defeated. Meanwhile, Dr. Strange, Hulk, and Namor find Prince John, Mordred, and an Arabian wizard named Chandu. They attack the villains, but are repelled by Chandu and other gnomes. During the battle, Namor manages to defeat the gnomes after discovering their weakness to water. Water is used to destroy the entire army of giant gnomes.

During the battle, the Evil Eye is taken from Dr. Strange by Prince John who is eager to use the device to destroy his enemies. Suddenly, Prester John appears (having traveled through time in search of the Evil Eye), seizes the device, and uses it against the prince and Mordred. With Mordred defeated, the Black Knight decides to stay behind and continue to fight in the Crusades under King Richard. Prester John returns the Defenders to their own time. Once back, Hawkeye, Hulk, Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer all decide to leave the Defenders and go out on their own. Dr. Strange and Valkyrie bid them farewell.

Trivia

  • It appears that Frank Bolle also inked the issue's cover.[1]
  • Gaspar Saladino is uncredited for lettering page 1.

See Also

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