The Tribunal's playback continues. The aliens that abducted Strange turned out to be religious hippies from another world (in a very vague allegory to Jesus). Rather than fight the Defenders, they committed mass suicide. The main hippie was the son of an alien king. Couple hundred years later, a new regime wanted to eradicate all mention of the hippie son, which included Earth. Gas was dropped, killing all life on Earth.
Dr. Strange probes the Tribunal and finds out that they're "anti-bodies" of the timestream, correcting diseases. The Defenders protest, saying that they'll find a way to stop the aliens, but in the end Strange realizes that the collective "bad karma" of the original four will someway lead to disaster. If not this particular disaster, then another. Strange agrees that it's best to disband. Somewhat relevant, because in the first 10 issues or so, it was just all 4 screwing things up and getting into bigger jams.
Back on Earth, Angel arrives to hang out with his old X-men buddies. Moondragon also arrives, under the care of Valkyrie to "learn how to humbly live among humanity".
Hellstrom and Hellcat get married in Ohio. Right on cue, the Mutant Force and Mad-Dog (her ex-husband Buzz Baxter) arrive for the Obligatory Superhero Wedding Brawl. The "new" Defenders are all in attendance and fight them off. Beast likes the way they operate and they officially decide to work as a "real" team. Dr. Strange and friends are late arrivals, but give the new team their blessing and fly off.
So the new team is:
Kinda' sad to see Strange go. If you were to break it down, he's probably the nicest and most helpful "superhero" in Marvel. Everybody goes to him for help and he always responds. He's also the only guy who really took the time to understand the Hulk and make him his "friend". This ends Strange's association in the original Defenders, but my opinion of his character has improved since I began re-reading all these.
The Tribunal was never fully seen. They were just there to serve a purpose, plot-wise. I'm surprised they were never tied into the "Time Variance Authority" of the late 80's. They were eventually rebuked by Strange, sometime in the early 90's. Then again when the Defenders re-grouped in 2001.
New Defenders #126
The new team is called into SHIELD to deliver Mad-Dog and Mutant Force into custody. Turns out, they were also backed by Secret Empire. Cloud, Seraph and Harridan were allowed to escape, which means there's an Empire leak in SHIELD.
A random SHIELD techie is turned into a monster called "Leviathan" and wrecks havoc in Manhattan. With creative dialogue like "yum-yum! Eat 'em up!" (a callback to "Our Gang" serials). The new team puts him down, but Mad-Dog and the Mutant Force also escaped.
Angel and Iceman both have the hots for Moondragon. Beast and Val continue to argue over who should lead, but it's actually Angel who directs the action against Leviathan. In a slip-up, Iceman says that Beast was a valued member of the Avengers and Champions. Yet Beast was never a Champion.
Also interesting that SHIELD is using their old mid-Manhattan base and not the Helicarrier (I think it was destroyed in what would be the first of a thousand times, sometime in the late 70's). It's also interesting that I think this is Nick Fury's first appearance in "Defenders". He's usually the ultimate crossover whore; even more so than Spider-Man or Wolverine.
Notable that JM DeMatteis is still the writer through this transition stuff. He took over circa issue 92 and still has a ways to go. No clue whose idea the "New Defenders" was, though.