|Volume 1, Issue 1|
|Date of Release||7th of July, 2018|
|Written by||Jacky 50A|
|Illustrated by||Jacky 50A|
|Synopsis||Here comes the Mighty Defenders! When a catastrophic artifact falls from the skies, the Thing of the F4 takes point! But he's not the only party-goer this night...|
Mighty Defenders 1 2
- Kid, word of advice for ya: If you happen to stumble upon a clan of goddamn ninjas prowlin' through the night to steal whatever the hell THAT is, you gotta wait for back-up. Not saying yer weak, kid, but there ain't no hero strongest alone.
Appearing in "Defensive Maneuvers"
- The Thing (Ben Grimm) (First Appearance)
- Darkhawk (Chris Powell) (First Appearance)
- Hogun the Grim (First Appearance)
- The Hand (First Appearance)
- The Beast (First Appearance) (Image Only)
- Izo (Only in Painting)
- Odin (Mentioned Only)
- Alicia Masters (First Appearance)
- Daredevil (Matthew Murdock) (Cameo)
- Elektra (Indirectly Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- New Warriors (Mentioned)
- The Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Mentioned)
- Fantasticar Mk. I
- Raptor Armor
The world has known an unprecedented amount of peace thanks to the heroes. The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four. They all played their parts, including the Defenders. Though the team is long disbanded, seeds of a new team grow as the Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing goes to investigate a mysterious object that fell from the skies.
In a secret hideout owned by the Hand, Nobu Yoshioka is seen communing with the spirits alongside several Hand priests. In an effort to summon the Beast demon, Nobu orders a blood sacrifice to the priests and they quickly slaughter nearby Hand ninjas with relative ease. After blood flows through the ritual grounds and into the altar, an image of the demon conjures and Nobu begins interacting.
Beast asks his intention and he admits that the organization is at the brink of its destruction. The Demon scolds him for this and asks again of what he wants. Nobu explains their situation. He reveals that the Hand is currently suffering from massive crackdowns from not just the likes of the Devil but from SHIELD itself. The Beast laughs and asks if he's sure an organization that has lasted for centuries is getting torn apart by pathetic white men.
Nobu adds that it's not just SHIELD that's tearing them apart. Internal strife between sects have brewed ever since they lost the Black Sky. The Beast is angered by this, now knowing why he didn't make it to the material realm at the time. Nevertheless, Nobu braves the odds and tells him of the Hand's need of his guidance. Although skeptical at first, Beast eventually agrees to help him unite the Hand clans under his rule since he's the first man he spoke to in many years.
Asking what he requires, Beast informs him that what he needs to do will be difficult. If he succeeds however, the Beast can take on an unstoppable form and demonstrate his might which will later bring back the Hand once again. Nobu practically acts as his herald and after the Beast succeeds in doing his thing, every Hand clans no matter what they think of him will join him due to his position.
Nobu accepts the task and asks him what he needs to do. The Beast reveals that a war in a heaven is brewing as they speak, and a mighty weapon of theirs shall crash to this very Earth. All he needs to do is to recover it and summon him to manifest himself. As for the obstacles, he advises him to be careful of defenders.
In a restaurant somewhere in San Fransisco, the Thing is seen having dinner with Alicia Masters. The Thing is on a vacation thanks to the Fantastic Four also going on a break after defeating Annihilus days before. While conversing and eating, he tries to propose to her until everyone points out to a meteor falling out of the sky. He takes notice of this and hastily leaves her midway through revealing his engagement ring. The confused Alicia reacts by reaching out to the ring box, smiling when she finds out what he's trying to do.
Hopping on the Fantasticar that's in a carpark, he makes his way to the crash site but gets a setback the moment it runs out of fuel. He insults himself for forgetting to refuel it and decides to go on-foot after entrusting it to a nearby gas station. While the Thing is running as fast as he can, slowed down by annoying fans, another hero suddenly flies past his head. He takes them by surprise but he's not aware of the Thing's presence. The Thing decides to ignore the fans altogether and continues to run as he has to make sure that rookie is safe despite his lack of knowledge on his identity.
Later on, the flier is revealed to be Darkhawk of the New Warriors who happened to be in the city. He's far away from the site but he's the first one to spot it. After flying to the crash site's entrance which happens to be a park, Darkhawk is greeted by a string of media reporters asking him various questions from his knowledge of this meteor to an absurd one such as his involvement in the Stamford Incident. The moment he hears the latter, he decides to tell them to leave him to his job and let him handle the situation.
Carefully walking through the park, Darkhawk notes the increasing amount of fog and darkness covering the area. Within minutes, he is suddenly enveloped by all but darkness. He voices his dissatisfaction before narrowly avoiding a strike from the shadows. Realizing he's under attack, Darkhawk quickly gets into battle mode and managed to fight off the attackers who are none other than Hand ninjas.
Upon seeing their outlines thanks to his suit, Darkhawk wonders why these ninjas are here. Despite Darkhawk's superior tech, the Hand ninjas proved to be too capable for him to handle thanks to their magical enhancements. Powell lies on the ground battered with a damaged armor, not believing this will be the end of him. Luckily, the Thing saves him in time and signals his appearance in a car with its headlights on to light up the battlefield.
Joining the battle, the Thing asks the New Warrior why is he attacked by ninjas. He suggests him to not ask anyone since no one knows what ninjas like of meteorites. After beating the Hand operatives wave after wave, the Thing helps Darkhawk out and suggests him to wait for back-up next time. Powell appreciates the advice but says he doesn't need it right now. Ben scoffs at him and smiles, noting his younger nature.
The two walk towards the crash site where the meteorite lies, only to discover two distinct Hand ninjas guarding the crater surrounded by even more Hand ninjas. One of them, garbed in light grey, is alarmed by their presence and orders the others in Japanese to hold them off. The Thing asks if he knows what he meant and Darkhawk says the answer's obvious. Indeed, moments later they come face to face with tons of Hand ninjas armed with magically-enhanced traditional weapons.
Thanks to the Thing's ingenuity of utilizing a tree to bash incoming ninjas and Darkhawk setting it on fire, the duo finally come face to face with the grey ninja. Ben tries to reason with him, politely asking him to step away from the meteorite. The ninja, named Inochi, subtly hints that the "meteorite" is no meteorite at all by informing them that the Hand is in great need of this artifact.
The moment "artifact" pings into their minds alongside the Hand reference, the duo look at each other. Darkhawk states that the Hand has never been up to good things and whatever that artifact is, they're taking it away. The Thing agrees although he never agrees on being a "them". In response to this, Inochi mutters a name: Shibou. In an instance, a skull-masked ninja with kusarigama jumps on the two and strangles the Thing with his chains while kicking Darkhawk away.
The Thing is surprised by the ninja's strength as he brings him down to his knees, but scolds him for not watching his leagues. The Thing uses the chain to throw him away but he lands in grace. Darkhawk decides to fight him and successfully defeats him by unintentionally cutting off his arm using his wings. Shibou falls flat to the ground without a motion. The Thing asks him if he really kills people and Darkhawk claims that it's an accident.
Either way, Inochi seems unfazed by this and has apparently completed his task while they're fighting. Darkhawk quickly spots his attempt to teleport but the Thing managed to cancel her out by throwing a nearby bench at breakneck speeds, knocking him out. Powell is surprised by his act and Ben teases him by saying he's faster now. Darkhawk simply shrugs off and walks towards the crater, still smoking from the crash.
When the two take a look at the artifact, both of them look soundly surprised. The Thing tells of his experience in travelling to other dimensions and all, but he has never seen this thing before. Darkhawk also agrees and says his Raptor Armor can't even get a read on what this is. The artifact is soon revealed to be the Asgardian Destroyer, an empty shell of Uru taking form of an armor. Ben suggests them to take it to either Reed or SHIELD and Powell agrees.
After examining it, the Thing tries to lift it up only to find out that even his Hulk-rivaling strength can't lift up this piece of metal. Even with Darkhawk's assistance, they can't lift it. Fortunately, they do not need to lift it as a voice orders them to drop it. Instinctively they drop it. When the Thing calls out who is there, the voice identifies himself as Hogun the Grim, asking them to stay away from the Destroyer in the All-Father's name while brandishing his mace.