Amid Doctor Strange's announcement that he's leaving the group, the new and remaining members try to persuade the Hulk not to follow suit.
Note: Features the Hostess Cup Cakes ad, "The Champ" starring Spider-Man.
Nighthawk is angry at Dr. Strange, who said he must leave the Defenders in order to focus on his mystic studies, which he has been neglecting. Nighthawk says the group will go on without Strange (the last founding member). He asks Luke Cage if he’ll stay, but Cage says he has been meaning to quit for a while; he’s more of a loner. Red Guardian says she must also leave, due to threats from the Soviet government. Hellcat, however, is happy to join the group officially. Valkyrie and Hulk also agree to stay on, and the group decides to use Nighthawk’s Riding Academy as their base again.
Jack Norriss continues to run away from mysterious opponents. Then he is shot in the back with a stun gun by…Nick Fury?!
The remaining Defenders go off to the Riding Academy, where Hulk is happy to be in green land again, but they are shocked to find Scorpio inside, hoping to kidnap Kyle Richmond, millionaire. They fight, with Scorpio’s powerful Key proving to be a dangerous weapon. Hellcat eventually gets it away from him, and Scorpio is forced to turn himself into water to escape from danger. He gets the Key back and teleports away.
In an epilog, completing the infamous “Elf with a Gun” subplot that showed up intermittently during Steve Gerber’s era on the volume, a boy shows up to deliver Kyle’s newspaper. He is watched by an elf (with a gun!) who prepares to shoot him. However, the elf is standing in the middle of a busy road, and he is run down by a moving truck. (The Elf with a Gun storyline is revived much later in the J.M. Dematteis era of Defenders.)