Synopsis for “Renewal!”
The Defenders have returned to Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum following their victory against the Six-Finger Hand and Satan’s conspiracy to make Hell on Earth, however despite their victory, the moral of the group has been deeply shaken following the conflict. When the Hulk angrily asks his fellow Defenders what’s wrong, Hellcat lashes out at him, and the Hulk ultimately gets fed up and leaves the group not wanting to be around a group of miserable people. The Sub-Mariner also takes this as a cue to leave as well opting to return to Atlantis to deal with his royal affairs and flies off. Once more feeling useless now that he is crippled again, Nighthawk once more quits the Defenders and leaves with his caretaker Luann. Devil-Slayer decides to stay with the group, having nothing to turn to since his wife Cory decided to stay in Israel. The Silver Surfer speaks up and tells the group that they shouldn’t be so melancholy, however Dr. Strange feels this way after losing Son of Satan to his father and his arrogance and pride almost causing the Six-Fingered Hand their victory.
The group decides to do whatever it takes to cheer themselves up, and so Hellcat, Valkyrie and Gargoyle decide to go visit Dolly Donohue in the hospital, Hellcat giving the Shadow Cloak back to Devil-Slayer and opting to take the bus. Dr. Strange, Clea and the Surfer decide to go flying and see the world in order to relax and get a renewed sense of self. Devil-Slayer opts to stay behind and begins walking the rainy streets of New York City, using his powers to appear as a normal person. He happens upon a strung out former hippie named “Sunshine” Gross, who for some reason can see through Payne’s disguise. Thinking the burnt out hippie to be a demon, Devil-Slayer attacks and chases him down the street until Sunshine trips over his own feet and Devil-Slayer realizes that Sunshine is simply just a scared, strung out, shell of a human being.
Meanwhile, Patsy, Val, and Gargoyle pay a visit to Dolly Donohue in the hospital as she is making a quick recovery thanks to the healing magics of Daimon Hellstrom and she has taken up reading to the sick children in the hospital. When the children pull off the Gargoyles disguise, there is a brief moment where Isaac fears they will react in fear, but is surprised to find that Dolly and the children are very accepting of his grotesque form. Hellcat is especially touched when she meets a young cancer patient named Serina who is undergoing chemotherapy.
The Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, and Clea arrive in Africa, where the Surfer shows them an indigenous tribe and they are invited with open arms. The three weary heroes participate in the tribes regular festivities and find that the change of pace rejuvenating. With renewed spirits, Strange and Clea are taken around the world by the Surfer, who reintroduces them to the wonderment and beauty of the world around them.
While back in New York City, Devil-Slayer follows Sunshine to his home where he finds that the man lives in absolute squaller , surrounded by posters of a foregone era that his drug addled mind still wishes to stay in. When Devil-Slayer realizes that Sunshine destroys his mind with drugs, he becomes angry and lashes out at him again, but stops when Sunshine tells him that he help his addiction and cries for help. Devil-Slayer, seeing something in common with Sunshine and agrees to help the poor junkie, after he first helps himself. Leaving Sunshine, Devil-Slayer returns to Sanctum at 5 am to find his fellow Defenders outside enjoying the dawn. They invite him to join them in their rejuvenation, a offer that he takes up with his newfound friends.
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