Appearing in "The Phantom of Gamma-Ray Flats!"
- Ephraim Soles (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Phantom of Gamma-Ray Flats!"
A man named Ephraim Soles is dying as he attempts to cross the desert when he finds a fragment of a gamma bomb. Starving, he eats the plant growing on it. Soles eventually wanders to the Defenders headquarters and asks for help. Before the Defenders can do anything for him, he starts to mutate into a tree-like creature. Tentacles begin to grow from the creature, which the Defenders must fight off. Cloud and Gargoyle combine their powers, which destroys the creature. Flowers begin to grow from the creature’s remains, but they also prove to be deadly, so Iceman freezes them. Later, as Angel takes a shower, he finds a piece of the creature attached to his wing. To get rid of it, Angel flies as high as he can so the ultraviolet rays of the sun weaken it. The rest of the creature begins to mutate again and breaks through the ice. Finally, Iceman uses his control over moisture to dehydrate it. Unknown to the Defenders, some tiny spores drift away from their headquarters, where the wind carries them across the land.
A grizzled old prospector, barely alive, comes to the Angel's doorstep for help! What possible problem could he pose? When the New Defenders let him in, the results are unexpected, to say the least! "The Phantom of Gamma Ray Flats" is a story that should... grow on you!
- Cover pencils and colours by Plunkett, inks by Weiss.
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