Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Steve Gerber's Defenders: #28
“My Mother, the Badoon!”
(My Mother, the Car, was just a bit before my time)
It’s 3015 A.D.: we have Val and Vance Astro stranded with Starhawk on a weird swampworld; Hulk and Yondu marooned “on a planet of drunkards and robot slaves” and Doc trying to find them again so they can resume their liberation mission, just as
they’re boarded by the Badoon. Between Marti’s fire and ice projection powers, Charlie-27’s ramrod approach (“with eleven times the mass of his Terran ancestors”) and Nighthawk’s darkness-doubled strength they show well against the Badoon and their mindless “Zoms,” human slaves, which is why the Guardians hold back their full force.
But Nighthawk’s stunned and taken hostage; now the Badoon wish to be led to the power source, as Doc probes the likely planets, judging by suns and potentially-habitated planets. He detects a “solar-powered entity” and his friends, in the Capella system, second from the sun.
The “One Who Knows” tells her to put away her sword or suffer further nausea, for he knows her weakness towards fighting others of her gender. He’s incredulous that Major Astro never thought that the Brotherhood naturally requires a Sisterhood, which harbors a secret to be revealed within their city, Venesia. They send a friendly contingent to greet them.
Aboard the “Captain America” Doc is mistaken for dead, while nearby he hovers in his astral form. He uses the “same distance at precisely the opposite angle from the course which will lead to Valkyrie and Vance Astro.” Dressed as a gladiator, the enthralled Hulk and Yondu are groomed for Emperor Groozot’s deadly game show. One of his courtesans stops to admire Hulk, one of the only healthy, muscular physical specimens she’s ever encountered.
One trumpet flourish later, Mon-Tee introduces Super-Death Sweepstakes!! Mister Green and Mister Blue are the subject of wagers, and then Yondu, aka Mr. Blue is teleported into the presence of three spear-handed robots on a 45 degree tilted floor. He agilely evades one attacker, which earns him a mace...which doesn’t hold up after he skillfully smashes another foe. The last attack pins robot and Yondu to the wall and then an alloy blade comes out of its “mouth” to much cheering. The mace chain is effective in popping the robot’s head off, and “he’s won the Super-Death Sweepstakes!” The guards take him into custody.
Starhawk greets Queen Tolaria at the Sisterhood’s Royal Palace, and she returns the gesture with courtesy, shocking Major Astro. She now explains the females that attacked them were in a breeding frenzy, part of millions of years of their existence, predating Kree and Skull. The hatred between male and female held the race back a long time; the mating, which occurs once a lifetime, “reduces male---and female alike---to animals.” By cunning the males enslaved the females, and by segregation, they evolved greater technology, leading to the males creating ships for exploring the stars, and returning to the Capella system for mating only. Then the males collect the eggs and assume responsibility for childbirth. Females are returned to Swampworld.
Major Astro and Valkyrie drop the bad news on Tolaria: the males are conquering scum. Starhawk assents. Have they ever, Val asks, considered revolting? Now Starhawk departs upon solar sails “to cast my lot with the cold and dark.” Astral Dr. Strange observes his departure, even feels sure it was in reaction to Strange’s detection...but no matter. For now, Strange teleports the heroes to Earth, where the Guardians (and ‘Hawk) stand shackled, to be executed before the world. “Brothers of the Empire---take aim!!”
Next : Let my Planet Go!