Appearing in "Paranoids and Nihilists"
- Adam Warlock
- Moondragon (Heather Douglas)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
- Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)
- Dr. Strange (Stephen Strange)
- Soul Gem
- Cloak of Levitation
- Eye of Agamotto
- Silver Surfer's Surfboard
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
- Thanosi spaceship
- Skrull Research Vessel
Synopsis for "Paranoids and Nihilists"
Warlock continues to recall the recent events that led to his current crisis:
Doctor Strange attempts to call the Defenders to help him deal with the blocks of nothingness, but as soon as they appear, Namor, Surfer, and Hulk are all merged into one of the blocks. Strange has no choice but to continue on his own, and discerns mysterious rays connecting the blocks across space and through other realities. As he follows the trail through multiple layers of mystic planes, Captain Marvel elsewhere spots the rays in his own way and follows the trail back towards Earth. The Earth trail is also picked up by the Thanos doppelgangers, who send a squad of Nihilists to investigate.
Moondragon makes mental contact with Warlock, leading to his emergence from the cocoon in a new form despite his preference for continued isolation. Warlock is angry about this disruption, but "Thanos" (secretly the impostor known as "X") calms him down and questions his recent memories. Warlock recalls that before the trauma that led to his arrival at the asylum two years ago, he was contacted by a desperate alien named Atlez to perform an important task, but he's forgotten the details beyond that. Pip offers to teleport him back to where the journey began, at the old Infinity Watch base on Monster Isle, in attempt to jog his memory. Once Pip and Warlock are gone, "Thanos" offers Moondragon her chance to look into his mind to determine his trustworthiness. This is his trap, as once the mental link is established, he reveals his true form as "X" and uses his own psychic ability to overpower Moondragon's, leaving her a catatonic thrall.
A Skrull recon ship arrives at the site of the black hole bomb a few hours after it consumed Thanos' Sanctuary. The Skrulls get hijacked by an only slightly worse-for-wear Thanos, who uses the ship to return to his hideaway planet and recover, arriving shortly before Gamora, who has come looking for clues about the armored Thanos' behavior and is surprised that who she thinks is the same person managed to beat her there. Starting to figure out what's going on, Thanos explains by showing Gamora something in the next room.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man follows his spider-sense into upstate New York towards an unassuming white house in the countryside. Elsewhere, the mysterious green alien worries about the fate of "the successor."
- The Defenders refer to "Yandroth's curse", a trigger that summons the four of them together in times of crisis. The curse is the subject of the story that runs from Defenders Vol 2 through The Order Vol 1.
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