Balladeer’s Blog’s “Script Doctoring” of Marvel’s handling of Foolkiller continues with Part Sixteen.
FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE
My alternate treatment of Foolkiller (Greg Salinger) in The Defenders # 90 will deal with the funeral of Hellcat’s (Patsy Walker’s) mother and with Daredevil rejoining the Defenders since Matt Murdock is now part of Nighthawk’s (Kyle Richmond’s) legal defense team. The Mandrill and Fem-Force strike again as part of that mutant villain’s plan to revenge himself upon the Defenders, Daredevil and his own parents: everyone he blames for his setbacks.
THE DEFENDERS Volume 1, Number 90 (December 1980) The Mandrill Comes to Town (Once again I rewrite almost the entire story)
The issue opens up at the funeral of Hellcat’s mother, which I delayed from issue number 89 to 90. In my fictional Defenders Annual # 2, covered last time, the story ended with Patsy getting the telegram informing her of her mother’s death. Our heroes are there in the graveyard as the preacher makes his remarks. Hulk (as Bruce Banner), Valkyrie (in her original costume per Hellcat’s request), Nighthawk and Foolkiller (both in civvies like Bruce and Patsy).
After the service Bruce, Greg and Val accompany Patsy back to the suburban house where she used to live with her mother way back when. While they all comfort Patsy as she reminisces about her troubled relationship with her mother, Kyle is back in New York City for yet another meeting with the newest addition to his legal team – Matt Murdock.
The Defenders did not yet know that Matt is the civilian identity of Daredevil. Anyway Murdock was hired for his expertise in superhero law (a major bit of verisimilitude in Marvel Comics to explain away why a lot of times super types are not sued or arrested for a LOT of things).
He and Kyle are about to enter Kyle’s penthouse apartment with Matt reminiscing to himself about Daredevil long ago serving as a Defender in their battles with the Grandmaster, the Prime Mover, Korvac and the Sons of the Serpent. Down in the lobby the unusual heartbeat of a woman who brushed past Matt and Kyle tugged at Murdock’s memory in a vague way.
The woman is an entranced agent of the Mandrill who has been staking the building out awaiting Kyle’s return. As she leaves the lobby she remotely activates an explosive device that will go off when Kyle opens his penthouse apartment’s door. Matt’s super-senses detect the explosive arming as Kyle turns the key in his door.
He manages to drag Kyle away just as the bomb goes off but the pair are knocked to the floor by the blast. Some of their clothes are torn and Kyle sees part of Matt’s Daredevil costume under the lawyer’s torn suit and shirt. Realizing that Kyle now knows his secret Matt doffs the rest of his civvies to become Daredevil.
He tells Kyle that he just remembered something about the woman in the lobby – her heartbeat was odd in that way particular to the Mandrill’s pheremone-controlled female minions. He hadn’t heard it in years, so he didn’t make the connection at first. He swings off after her while Kyle suits up.
Daredevil catches up with the woman but is attacked by a squadron of Fem-Force. DD is fighting them when Nighthawk comes swooping down to help out. Between Daredevil’s abilities and Nighthawk’s weaponry (his wing-mounted laser cannons, his titanium steel talons) and night-enhanced strength they are beating the women despite all their high-tech weaponry.
The Mandrill comes to the aid of his thralls, with the result that he and the few still-conscious members of Fem-Force escape. Daredevil and Nighthawk then discuss Matt’s enhanced senses and how he has maintained his secret all these years.
The captured members of Fem-Force are – at the recommendation of the Defenders – subjected to electric shocks to free them from the Mandrill’s power. They reveal the location of the Mandrill’s New York area hideout but when Valkyrie, Nighthawk, Daredevil, Hellcat and Foolkiller rush there they find the place was quickly abandoned by their foe.
A few days later Kyle, Matt and the rest of Kyle’s legal team are in court for day one of the trial regarding the financial misdeeds Richmond Enterprises is charged with. Valkyrie is in the courtroom in civvies to help guard against attacks by the Mandrill or any of the Defenders’ other foes since Nighthawk’s secret identity is publicly known.
Bruce Banner – in disguise – is walking the streets near the courthouse, likewise keeping an eye out for trouble. Hellcat and Foolkiller are on the rooftops in costume. All of them are in radio contact with Kyle, who has assured them that Daredevil, back in action as a Defender after the battle the other night, is “somewhere in the courthouse in civvies” to keep Matt’s identity as secret as possible.
Eventually, hours into the trial, as the attention of the heroes is flagging the Mandrill and Fem-Force attack the courtroom. Valkyrie draws her sword, thus switching into costume, and goes into action. Hellcat and Foolkiller join the fight, as do Daredevil and Nighthawk as soon as they get into costume.
Foolkiller is using non-fatal Purification Bursts to subdue Fem-Force members because he knows they are under control and not responsible for their actions. Bruce Banner is trying to get into the courthouse but is nearly crushed by the throng of fleeing, paniced civilians.
This triggers his transformation into the Hulk, who helps drive off the Mandrill and his enthralled female army. The Defenders attempt to give chase but find themselves and the building surrounded by just-arriving SHIELD troops who call on the Defenders to surrender. +++
I left out the part of the “real” comic book story’s part where Hellcat and Valkyrie are AGAIN enthralled into serving the Mandrill. I would substitute a bit where Mandy tries to bring them under his control again, but he, Val and Patsy realize that, having once broken free of his power in the past (thanks to Nighthawk’s use of electrical shocks) they are immune to ever again falling under it.
I WILL ADD THE NEXT INSTALLMENT IN THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS TIME ALLOWS.
FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE: Superheroes
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