The Vampire Strikes Back! last edited by Owie on 08/02/19 07:36AM View full history

Daimon Hellstrom uses his satanic powers at the grave of Patsy Walker's mother and discovers a horrifying truth about the Six-Fingered Hand! Plus- the Defenders team up with Dracula in Transylvania to battle the demon known as Puishannt!

The Defenders return to Dr. Strange’s mansion, to find the door open. They go in to find out who has invaded the Sanctum Sanctorum. A flying figure hits Hellcat but Valkyrie grabs him. They turn on the light to find that it is—Nighthawk!

When last seen by the Defenders, he was paralyzed, but now he can move, as he joyfully explains. Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to discover that while the Defenders had once (back in issue 14) merged their life-forces to save him from near-death, that power was recently nearly ended, paralyzing him. However, the serum that gives him his night-powers partially healed him so that now he can move at night. At first he is upset to learn he will still be paralyzed during the day, but then he comes to accept it.

Patsy gets a phone call that Dolly, her mom’s housekeeper, is possibly dying, and she attacks Gargoyle, blaming him—which he accepts.

Later, Patsy has Hellstrom use his powers to interrogate the spirits about her mother’s story. It turns out that when her mother was dying, she was visited by a demon, and promised the demon her daughter Patsy’s soul in return for her own health. Learning that her mother was willing to sacrifice her to hell in order to save herself crushes Patsy.

Valkyrie receives a mystic vision from the other valkyries in Asgard, asking her to return and help fight a menace there. However, she says she must stay with the Defenders and asks them to choose a new leader.

Dr. Strange convenes the Defenders to discuss the Six-Fingered Hand group of demons. Avarrish, who tried to merge with Patsy, should not be as powerful as he seemed, Strange says. They are interrupted by Dracula, who breaks in the mansion in bat form and attacks wildly. Hellstrom uses his powers to determine that he is possessed, and removes the possession. Dracula is now angry to have been used.

They determine that the Hand was behind his possession. One of Dracula’s underlings, Gordski, made an agreement with one of the Hand demons, Puishannt, to overthrow him. Dracula agrees to work with the Defenders to defeat Gordski and the Hand.

The Defenders and Dracula teleport to outside his castle; Strange remains to study the Hand in the world of mysticism. They battle an enormous horde of vampires, including Gordski, who is now empowered by Puishannt. Vastly outnumbered, the heroes and the lord of the vampires run outside to a turret.

Hellstrom casts a spell, manipulating time in the area, and the sun rises, destroying all the vampires except Dracula, whom Hellstrom warned to leave. Puishannt, his host destroyed, is defeated. Hellstrom explains that he could have killed Dracula too, but he felt that he had to keep his word of allyship, thus proving that he (Hellstrom) was good, and that his ancestry as a son of Satan did not define him.

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