The Defenders – The Worlds That Hunger, Part II: I Feel The Earth Move



Inside his Sanctum Sanctorum, DR. STEPHEN STRANGE floats, cross-legged, alone with a cup of black coffee. With a wave of his finger, he levitates a small container of cream and pours it into his coffee.


WONG, Strange’s partner and former disciple, enters.

STRANGE: Coffee, Wong?


WONG: You know it gives me jitters, Stephen.

STRANGE: Why did you think I offered?


WONG smiles slyly.


Suddenly, ripples begin to form in Strange’s drink…and the room begins to shake uncontrollably. Strange reaches for his cloak, which whizzes onto his back.




Wong and Strange rush outside. In the streets, people are panicking – cars have crashed into street lights as their drivers dash into the throngs of terrified New Yorkers.


Strange looks up.

STRANGE: By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth…


There, in the sky, is a planet…with a face on it. It lets out a low roar…




The once-quiet ocean is now roaring, as tides roll across the Atlantic.


In the middle of the boat is a small fishing vessel – the FISHERMAN and his young SON are holding on for dear life as they’re buffeted around. And then…CRACK! A wave splits the boat in two, and the two figures disappear into the ocean…


But at that moment, NAMOR the Submariner shoots from the ocean, carrying a fisherman in each hand.


FISHERMAN (gasping for air): You saved us!


Namor looks upward and sees the living planet in the sky.

NAMOR: Perhaps. Or perhaps I’ve just delayed the inevitable.


A whale rises from the ocean’s depths. Namor tosses the two fishermen on the whale’s surface and flies off.



BRUCE BANNER slowly wanders the isolated desert. He’s the only person for miles – it’s so quiet he can hear the click-clack of a wandering scorpion.


He takes a deep breath—and slowly releases. Whatever he’s been running from, he’s found peace.


And then, a rumbling, and Banner looks at the sky to see the emerging planet.


He breathes a heavy sigh – he knows what he has to do.


STRANGE (offscreen): Hi, Bruce.


Bruce turns around to see an astral projection of Strange.


BRUCE BANNER: Stephen, I told you I wanted to be left alone.

STRANGE: I wouldn’t be calling unless we needed you, Bruce.

BRUCE BANNER: You don’t need me.

STRANGE: But we will, Bruce.

BRUCE BANNER: Isn’t there anyone else you can call? I’ve earned my safe haven.

STRANGE: If you don’t help me, there won’t be a safe haven to have.


Bruce silently picks up a pebble and hurls it through Strange’s astral form.


BRUCE BANNER: Damn you, Stephen.


A beat.


BRUCE BANNER: Just open the damn portal.


Strange’s astral form disappears. A portal opens, and Bruce enters…




DR STRANGE, NAMOR, and BRUCE BANNER stand together atop the roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum.

STRANGE: Bruce, do you know what this is?

BRUCE BANNER: It’s a planet with a face.




BRUCE BANNER: Astronomy isn’t my specialty, Stephen. You know that.


NAMOR: Why are we twiddling our thumbs? We must shoot it out of the sky!


Namor begins to fly off. Strange grabs his leg.


STRANGE: We don’t know what it is yet, Namor. It could be friendly.

BRUCE BANNER: So why did you even bring me here, Stephen?

STRANGE: Bruce, I pray we won’t need you.

NAMOR: Whatever this is, it is no ally!

BRUCE BANNER: Namor, Jesus, don’t get your sequined speedo in a bunch…


Namor lifts Bruce up by the lapel.


NAMOR: Big words from a coward.


Bruce starts to turn green. Strange gets in the middle of the two.


STRANGE: Calm down. Both of you. For now, we stay here and learn what—


At that moment, a horde of bug-looking creatures burst from the planet’s mouth, cascading toward the ground.




He takes off his glasses.


STRANGE: Namor, you and I will deal with the threats on the ground. Bruce, are you—


Strange turns to see that both Namor and Bruce—now the HULK– are gone, both charging for the mass of insectoid creatures that have landed in Midtown Manhattan.


STRANGE: We’re doomed.



The bugs are burrowing into the street, almost ignoring the people and buildings around them. But they’ve torn a hole into the street the size of a city block—and they’re digging deeper.


A SMASH as the Hulk lands in the middle of the street and begins to toss around the bugs as if they were ragdolls.


Namor flies into the fray and begins to stab the bugs with his trident.


NAMOR: These disgusting creatures just keep digging!


Strange flies down and begins casting spells, hurling the bugs out of their hole.


STRANGE: But…to where?


One bug is still digging deeper now – Strange sees it approaching an orange light.


STRANGE: My god, the Earth’s core!


He looks up to see more and more bugs pour out of the planet’s mouth. He casts a spell, levitating the Hulk.


STRANGE: Bruce, I’m going to need you to do what you do best.

HULK: Hulk understand.

Strange tosses the Hulk as hard as he can—and the Hulk, in the distance, lands on the planet.



The Hulk begins to punch the ground as hard as he can – sending chunks of the planet flying into space.

But the planet’s bug-like creatures surround him – the Hulk tries to swat them away, but more and more emerge. They begin to subsume him, pinning the Hulk to the ground.



The bugs continue to land in waves as Namor and Strange attempt to prevent them from reaching the core. But, like the Hulk, the bugs pour over them, pulling them down to the ground.


In immense pain, Strange attempts to cast one last spell. He fails.


STRANGE: Namor! Can you—


He sees Namor is suffering the same fate. Strange shuts his eyes, ready to accept his demise—


And then, a furred figure pops in, tearing the bugs off Strange. It’s THE BEAST!


BEAST: You know, if you wanted to see me again, you could have just called, Stephen.


Beast flashes a toothy grin and starts bouncing over to Namor. ABIGAIL BRAND rushes in and starts shooting the rest of the bugs around Strange.


BRAND: I leave Earth for three days and it all goes to shit.


Strange and Namor, now free, return to swatting the bugs away from the hole in the core.

Brand’s SWORD TROOPERS pour in, shooting at as many of them as they can.



Hulk is plastered against the planet’s surface as the bugs start scratching at him.

A blast of energy vaporizes most of them – it’s CAPTAIN MARVEL, with the SILVER SURFER in tow.

The Surfer joins the Hulk in destroying the planet’s surface as Marvel flies toward the planet’s open mouth.


CAPTAIN MARVEL: God, I hope this works.


With that, she flies into the planet’s mouth. The Surfer and the Hulk look on, shocked.

For a moment, nothing happens. Did Captain Marvel sacrifice herself for nothing?

And then – the bugs stop pouring out of the planet’s mouth.



The SWORD troopers have managed to round up most of the remaining bugs as Strange, Beast, Brand and Namor finish off the ones still digging toward the Earth’s core.


BEAST: Seems like we’re not getting any more visitors.


And with that – the planet begins to crumble. Pieces fall away – some float into space, others begin to fall toward Earth.


BRAND: Ah, nuts.



Captain Marvel rockets through the living planet’s surface, emerging on the other side covered in a purplish soil. She sees the pieces of planet tumbling toward Earth.



SILVER SURFER: I see, Captain.

The two of them begin to vaporize as many of the pieces of planet as they can.


CAPTAIN MARVEL: Where’s the Hulk?

Suddenly, the Hulk flies past – he’s rocketing toward the ground.


SILVER SURFER: Leave him. He will be fine.

They continue to vaporize bits of planet.



Strange, Beast, Brand and Namor examine what’s happening from the Brooklyn Bridge.


STRANGE: It seems the situation is contained.

At this moment, the Hulk hits the bridge – smashing through and landing in the water.



Inside Strange’s Sanctum, Beast has set up a makeshift lab. RONAN and the KREE CAPTAIN from the previous issue are asleep inside medical pods.


Bruce Banner is on a small medical gurney, hooked up to machines.


BRUCE BANNER: I’m fine, Stephen. Hank. Really.

BEAST: I’m sure you are, Bruce. But falling through the Brooklyn Bridge generally requires some kind of examination.


The Surfer and Captain Marvel approach Strange for a sidebar.


CAPTAIN MARVEL: Stephen, what the hell are we going to do about this?

STRANGE: “This?” Is this not the end of things?

SILVER: No, Stephen. We were lucky to keep this at bay…but others weren’t so lucky.


He beckons toward RONAN.


STRANGE: Are you saying –

CAPTAIN: Hala. It’s gone.


Strange is speechless. Namor, who has been eavesdropping, barges into the middle of the conversation.


NAMOR: Well, then, we strike! Have there been more incursions?

CAPTAIN MARVEL: Hank. What have you been able to find?


The Beast pulls out a small tablet and reveals a map of the universe.


BEAST: Tracking the energy signatures of the two known attacks, the source…it’s Counter-Earth.

STRANGE: Wyndham.

BEAST: But Counter-Earth is gone. Its core destabilized a week ago. No sign that Wyndham even survived.

BRUCE BANNER: So what the hell do we do?

SILVER SURFER: What we can. We strike wherever we can save lives.

STRANGE: So, Hank…how many more planetoids can you locate?

BEAST: Sixteen.


A pause.


BEAST: And counting.