Synopsis for “The Vampire Strikes Back!”
It is near dawn by the time that the Defenders return to Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum following their battle with Avarrish of the Six-Fingered Hand. There they find that the front door is open, and upon entering they are startled to find that Kyle Richmond has somehow regained his mobility. Deciding to examine Kyle further he has determined that it is the serum that increases his natural abilities three fold that has allowed him to regain his mobility. However, Strange’s explanation is cut short as Nighthawk is gotten up to speed regarding the threat posed by the Six-Fingered Hand and the newest edition to their team: The Gargoyle. When sun comes up Kyle suddenly loses his strength and becomes a cripple again. Strange finishes explaining what has happened: Although he is crippled due to the severing of his life force, the serum in his body revives his mobility at nightfall. Kyle is angered at this fate, but is still determined not to get up.
When a phone call comes from the hospital for Patsy telling her that Dolly is dying she lashes out at the Gargoyle for his part in her current condition, however she stops when the broken and beaten Gargoyle breaks down into tears of repentance for his actions. Later, Daimon Hellstrom takes Patricia to her mothers grave to learn if the claims that her mother offered her to the Six-Fingered Hand were true. Using his Satanic powers, Son of Satan learns that Dorothy Walker indeed offered the soul of her daughter in exchange for being returned to life. With this revelation, Patsy breaks into tears once more and gets comforted by Daimon.
Back at the Sanctum, Valkyrie is summoned by her fellow Valkyrior and asked to return to Asgard to help them, but she refuses. Reuniting with her fellow Defenders, Dr. Strange tells them that according to the Book of Demonicus, Avarrish was a lesser demon and expresses his surprise at the creatures power despite that fact. Before they can investigate things further the Sanctum is invaded by the presence of Dracula, lord of the Vampires. He attacks the Defenders, catching them off guard until Son of Satan can use his powers to exorcise demons that have taken possession of the vampires body. Furious, Dracula explains that he was sleeping in his home in Transylvania when he was attacked and possessed by demons under the power of the Six-Fingered Hand. Suddenly, he overhears a lesser vampire named Grodski make a deal with the demon known as Puishannt to grant him mastery over all vampires over Dracula.
Since aiding Dracula would aid in their mission to stopping the Six-Fingered Hand, the Defenders reluctantly agree to help Dracula retake his kingdom and promise their word they will not betray him after. Strange then uses a spell of teleportation to transport himself, Nighthawk (able to walk because it is night in Transylvania), Hellcat, Valkyrie, Son of Satan and the Gargoyle to Dracula’s castle. There they are assaulted by an army of vampires under Grodski’s control. They are over powered, and lead the vampire horde to the upper towers where the battle continues. There, Son of Satan orders Dracula to seek cover. When the ousted lord of the vampires complies, Daimon uses his Satanic powers to speed up time to dawn, letting the morning sun destroy all the vampires, defeating Puishannt in the process. With the battle over, Kyle loses his mobility due to the sun, and the Defenders are left with no further answers as to what the Six-Fingered Hand is up to. When they asked how he could let Dracula go free, Son of Satan said that Dracula was a man of his honor, and he was honor bound as well, wanting to test his lineage and know if there is such thing as honor for those spawned in Hell.
This story is continued next issue..