Appearing in "The Heartbreak Kid!"
- Edna Mae Terry (First appearance)
- Harry Shepard (First appearance)
- Louise Shepard (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Heartbreak Kid!"The Beast’s old girlfriend receives a romantic poem from him which makes her reconsider their relationship.
Moondragon debuts a new costume to go along with her new attitude. Cloud tries to talk to Moondragon about her/his feelings for her, but Moondragon claims that she had been sending subliminal sexual impulses to Angel and Iceman in an attempt to get them to fall in love with her so they might remove the headband that had been restricting her psychic powers. Cloud probably picked up on those impulses, so her/his feelings for Moondragon are false. However, Cloud asks Moondragon if she feels any love for her/him, and Moondragon says that doesn’t know what love is. In a small Midwestern town called Abbotsford, the Sheriff, Harry Shepard, has to put his own son in jail. Later, a woman named Edna Mae Terry comes to Shepard’s house to visit him and his wife, Louise, and to ask for permission to see their son, Danny. When Shepard brings Edna Mae to the jail, she asks Danny why he attacked her. Danny claims it was because she was black. Halfway across the country, Moondragon senses a great source of power and possible danger and asks the Defenders to investigate. Still suspicious of Moondragon, the Beast refuses to get involved since she cannot offer any explanation about this power she senses. The Defenders are split on the decision, with Valkyrie, Cloud, and Angel agreeing to accompany Moondragon, while Gargoyle and Iceman elect to stay behind with the Beast. Gargoyle feels that he would be of little help with his wounded hand still regenerating, while Iceman just feels uncomfortable around Cloud in her male form. Meanwhile, in the New Mexico valley, a farmer’s cow gives birth to a muck-encrusted man that turns out to be Ephraim Soles, who begins to mutate and attacks the farmhands. In Abbotsford, the Defenders find a neo-Nazi group protesting Danny Shepard’s arrest when the townspeople start throwing rocks. A riot ensues, which is quickly broken up by the Defenders. After things settle down, the trial of Danny Shepard begins, with the Defenders sitting in the courtroom to observe. Edna Mae testifies that she was Danny’s teacher and that he came to her with a poem for her to read, then she looked into his eyes—which began to glow—and she breaks down and cannot continue. Danny then takes the stand and claims that he has no regrets over what he did, because people get assaulted every day, and Edna Mae was a woman of bad morals who deserved everything she got. Someone in the crowd tries to shoot Danny, but Moondragon telekinetically stops the bullet before it can hit him. When Moondragon asks Danny why he really did what he did, he answers that he wanted to break their hearts. Moondragon then asks Edna Mae to tell the complete truth, and Edna Mae admits that she was in love with a white man in the South when she was young and had his baby, but she was forced to put it up for adoption. The memory was so painful that she had tried to block it from her mind…until Danny made her remember. Edna Mae felt so defiled that she claimed Danny had assaulted her. Moondragon asks Danny why he did this to someone who loved and trusted him, and he explains that he sensed her pain and had to break her heart so he could remove the pain from her. Danny places his hand on Edna Mae’s shoulder, and she suddenly begins to laugh. Danny then explains that he had to get everyone in town together in the same place and break their hearts by making them think that he betrayed everything they believed in. He had to bring their pain to the surface in order to remove it. Danny departs, with everyone in the courtroom feeling better about themselves. Meanwhile, the plant-like creature that was once Ephraim Soles begins to grow and heads towards the Defenders headquarters.
- Cover art: Nowlan signs himself Mundelo for Larry Mundelo.
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