A time-warp in Secret Defenders #23 found five members of the ever-changing team defending themselves against past versions of Hulk, Prince Namor, and Silver Surfer—transported from a time soon after the original Defenders formed. A misconstrued battle transpired between the two teams in #24.
With impressive strength, Sub-Mariner and Hulk fended off Cadaver, Dagger, Deathlok, and Drax of the Secret Defenders.
But the most telling showdown came between Silver Surfer and Shadowoman/Sepulcre, who imprisoned the cosmic champion in magic tendrils. When he broke free, the former herald of Galactus sensed that, in this era of the Secret Defenders, a cosmic barrier no longer trapped him on Earth. Feeling detached from the conflict, the Silver Surfer flew off into space.
- Silver Surfer: At long last … the freedom which has ever been my heart's desire is attained! But at what price? The Earth sprawls out before me … as lush and green as any sphere I have ever beheld! Though my place of exit, it has also proven a land filled with awe and wonder aplenty! Though its inhabitants are often primitive and barbaric … they nurture within them a spare of greatness which may one day buoy them to heights! How thoughtless, how … human … of me, to place my own personal needs about those of the common good …
With a sense of moral obligation, the Surfer returned to Earth to rejoin the battle—just in time for the Defenders of two eras to discover a common threat at hand.