Marvel Comics today announced a new The Defenders comic book series. The series will bring together the Marvel Cinematic Universe Defenders featured on Netflix - Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist - as the Defenders of the Marvel Comics Universe for the first time.
The new The Defenders series will come from the same creative team behind Civil War II: writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist David Marquez, and colorist Justin Ponsor.
Bendis, Marquez, and Ponsor included a hint that the new The Defenders series was coming when the quartet of street-level heroes was featured in a panel together in the final issue of Civil War II.
Bendis has a lot fo experience writing these characters. He rose to prominence at Marvel Comics through his critically-acclaimed run writing Daredevil. He created Jessica Jones in the Alias series, where he also established Jones' relationship to Luke Cage. Bendis made Cage, previously a fairly obscure character, into a major player in the Marvel Universe by making him a member of the initial New Avengers lineup. Iron Fist later joined the New Avengers under Bendis' pen.
“You will get Jessica Jones looking out her window, street-level, and my return to Daredevil, which will be different than what I and Alex did before,” Bendis tells The Hollywood Reporter. "And Luke and Danny, characters that I have a strong affinity for. I spent most of the oughts being mocked for the love of Luke Cage. Now that Luke Cage is a household name, I just sit back in my chair and laugh and laugh.”
Historically, the Defenders of the Marvel Comics were an odd grouping of characters - the original lineup was Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Hulk - that handled mystical, cosmic, and other strange threats.
“There are a lot of fans who will say, 'Oh they’re doing a TV show, so of course there’s going to be a comic,' but at least in this case, there’s a comic I can point you to," editor Tom Brevoort says. "Read the last two pages of Brian’s New Avengers! Certainly that there is a big new exciting Netflix TV show coming is a good excuse for us to get to that story that we planted the seed on.”
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Marvel's deal with Netflix redefined the team as a group of street level heroes having more in common with Marvel Knights than with the comic book Defenders. It seems the Marvel Comics Universe is now catching up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.