Enthralled by the Enchantress! The Asgardian sorceress uses the Defenders to steal the Rose of Purity for herself! How can the team save Valkyrie's soul if they can't even save themselves?
The Enchantress confronts the Defenders (and friends), saying that she has the Valkyrie's original body hidden away with Barbara Norriss' mind in it. (Meanwhile Val's mind is in her sword, Dragonfang.) She will destroy Val's body, dooming both it and Norriss's mind, if they do not get the mystic Rose of Purity for her. But if they get it, she will put Val's mind back in her real body (since her previous host body, belonging to Norriss, was recently killed).
The Defenders debate what to do, since returning Val's mind to her body would dissipate Norriss's mind, effectively killing her. In the end Hellcat, Namor, Hellstrom, and Hulk go off on the Enchantress's quest. However, Strange, Spider-Man, Gargoyle, and Beast receive a mysterious telepathic communication, and go off elsewhere.
It turns out that the Enchantress is in love with the god of Love, and she believes needs the Rose of Purity to be worthy of him.
While in the sword, Val's previously-blocked memories of her old life, before her time in Norriss's body, start to return. Here she, and we, learn of her origin. She sees that she first started working with the Enchantress out of a desire for action, but soon found that Amora's missions were evil. She tried to leave Amora, but the Enchantress captures her and steals her spirit, which is how she was put in Norriss's body in the first place, back in the beginning of this volume.
Hellcat and her group find the Rose, but it is guarded by two aliens, who dance blissfully around it. They are castaways, and have worshiped the Rose for hundreds of thousands of years, and it in return has created a paradise for them. The Defenders feel terrible, but battle the aliens over the Rose anyway, in order to save Val. Ultimately, they realize that it would be wrong to take it, and resign themselves to the consequences.
Meanwhile, Dr. Strange's team shows up at Amora's hidden castle. The telepathic summons they received before actually came from the God of Love, who didn't approve of Amora's methods. Love removes Norriss' spirit from Val's body, and brings it to his realm where it can be happy forever (at least in theory; actually she eventually returns to Earth). Val's spirit then automatically returns to her body, and she wants vengeance against the Enchantress!
Log in to comment