Marvel Announces the Return of the Defenders

The Defenders will return to action. Marvel Comics confirmed a new Defenders project is in the works via a teaser included at the end of Defenders #5, released on Wednesday. The teaser offers no hint as to which characters will comprise this version of the ever-shifting Defenders roster or which creators will contribute to the series. Defenders #5 concludes the current Defenders miniseries from writer Al Ewing and artist Javier Rodriguez. The miniseries expanded on plot seeds Ewing planted elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, including Marvel Comics #1000 and following up on Harpy's whereabouts after leaving Bruce Banner's orbit in The Immortal Hulk.

In addition to Harpy (Betty Ross), the Defenders roster of this series also includes founding Defenders Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange along with the living nebula Cloud, Galactus' mother Taaia, and the mysterious Masked Raider, whom Ewing introduced in Marvel Comics #1000. Defenders #5 finally reveals his identity.

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Roy Thomas conceived of the Defenders, debuting them in 1971's Marvel Feature #1. They've long been the slightly sillier, comparatively ragtag counterparts to Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the Avengers. Various incarnations of the group formed and dissolved over the years.

Marvel Television created a street vigilante version of the Defenders bearing little in common with the team's original premise. It brought together the main characters of Marvel's four Netflix shows: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Daredevil. This version of the Defenders later made it into the comics for a 10-issue series by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. The Defenders reverted to its original premise in Defenders: The Best Defense, a series of one-shots spotlighting the team's founding members (Hulk, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, and Namor) that preceded Ewing and Rodriguez's miniseries. Before the Netflix Defenders, the Fearless Defenders series focused on a team serving as members of the Asgardian Valkyrior.

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What do you think of the Defenders returning to action? Did you enjoy the most recent series? Let us know in the comments. Defenders #5 is on sale now.

  • Defenders #5
  • OCT211026
  • (W) Al Ewing (A/CA) Javier Rodriguez
  • Doctor Strange's ragtag Defenders face their final trial in the Third Cosmos, where the concepts of good and evil are locked in primal, eternal conflict. When the Masked Raider's identity is finally revealed, will the truth be their salvation...or their undoing?
  • In Shops: Jan 19, 2022
  • SRP: $3.99