Synopsis for “Countdown!”
The Defenders battle the New Mutants, but Moondragon reveals it to be a simulation created by the Secret Empire in an effort to brainwash them into killing Xavier’s students. The Defenders, particularly Moondragon, continue to resist the programming, which upsets Professor Power. The Professor plans to launch a cloaked satellite into orbit that will beam subliminal messages to both the USA and USSR, heightening tensions between the two nations. This will result in World War III, in which the Earth will be devastated while the Secret Empire hides underground, ready to take over once the planet becomes habitable again. Meanwhile, Nick Fury meets with Colonel Rodian Razuminin of Soviet Intelligence about the problem. Candy Southern worries about the Angel’s whereabouts and is comforted by Dolly Donahue. Seraph is revealed to be a Soviet spy and helps Cloud to escape. The Defenders also escape when Gargoyle transfers their life-energies into Moondragon, who uses it to mentally overload the device keeping them prisoner. The Defenders rush to stop the launch of Power’s satellite and battle Mad Dog and the Mutant Force again, while Valkyrie and Moondragon grab onto the rocket containing the satellite as it launches.