Appearing in "The Final Conflict?"

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Synopsis for "The Final Conflict?"

Continued from last issue...

The Defenders have venture into the Nexus of Realities to find that the Six-Fingered Hand have captured not only the entire city of Citrusville, but also their comrades Clea, Silver Surfer, Hulk and the Sub-Mariner. Their leader Maya's bravado lends to Son of Satan lashing out with his trident, however the attack has no effect and Dr. Strange suggests they try a more diplomatic approach at dealing with the Six-Fingered Hand. Approaching the captured Defenders, Strange learns from Clea how the Hand tricked her into thinking he was in trouble and summon the other captured Defenders and were easily defeated. Strange, furious tries to free them with his magic, however he learns quickly that the energy spheres that are around them are linked to their life force, so that destroying them would effectively kill them as well.

The Six-Fingered Hand then mock the Defenders and then offer to show them around their transformed version of Citrusville to give them an idea of how they intend to reshape the entire Earth as well. The Defenders have no choice but to follow, except Gargoyle stays behind when the demons mock his uselessness in the fact of the fact that he betrayed them to the Defenders. This mockery causes Valkyrie to lash out against Avarrish, however Maya stops any further conflict.

While back on Earth, Kyle Richmond is put to bed by his private nurse Luann Bloom. Left alone in his room he is visited by Hellcat who teleports into the room with her stolen Shadow Cloak and offers to help cure his immobility and teleports away. While at the ruins of Patsy's New Jersey home, a child brings his mother to the ruins after one of his friends disappeared in another Shadow Cloak that was left at the scene, they are horrified to find demons in the ruins of the house when they go to investigate.

Back in the Nexus, the Defenders are horrified that Citrusville has been transformed into a hellish version of itself and it's people transformed into faceless creatures. Having seen enough Son of Satan attacks the Six-Fingered Hand and a battle errupts as Maya unleashes an army of demons, Citrusville residents against them. They are overwhealmed until the Gargoyle arrives with Clea, the Surfer, Hulk and Sub-Mariner turning the tide of battle. Destroying the demons, the Defenders are surprised when the people of Citrusville are restored to normal and teleported away and Avarrish, Fashima, Hyppokri, Puishannt, and Unnthinnk suddenly lose their powers and shrink in size until they vanish from sight. With their enemies vanquished, Gargoyle explains to the group that he freed the others with his powers, which allowed him to absorb and redirect life-force energies into others. They then notice that Maya, the leader of the Six-Fingered Hand is still among them, and he reveals to them his true identity: Mephisto, lord of the underworld.

Meanwhile on Earth, Hellcat and Kyle arrive in Arizona, where she takes the immobilized Nighthawk into the tunnel that leads into Hell. Returning to her demonic form, she brings Kyle before Daimon Hellstrom's father: Satan.

Back in the Nexus, Mephisto captures the Defenders in a giant cylinder and takes them through existence and explains the entire plot: That following the near destruction of Eternity[1] he and his comrades were inspired to destroy the universe. They decided to create Hell on Earth. In order to do so they orchestrated the Six-Finger Hand conspiracy to prompt Dr. Strange to constantly use his teleportation spell, which would weaken the fabric of reality and allow them to carry on their plot. With his plans explained, Mephisto takes them to what appears to be New York City, having been turned into a blazing inferno. Among the chaos are Hellcat and Nighthawk who are side by side with Mephisto's allies: Satan, Satannish and Thog.

This story is continued next issue....

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