Sometime soon, the Marvel Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will merge for The Defenders, a team-up series that's easily one the most anticipated superhero events of the year. We still don't know exactly when the series will premiere, but now we know that the four heroes will band together a bit earlier ... in comic book form.
Today, Marvel announced a new Defenders series from writer Brian Michael Bendis (Alias, New Avengers) and artist David Marquez (Civil War II). The Defenders name has been around since 1971 and members have included everyone from Doctor Strange to Namor to Ant-Man, but this series will focus on the comic book versions of Marvel's four Netflix heroes as they take on New York City's criminal empires.
"I wanted to do a sprawling, Godfather-like epic at the street level of the Marvel Universe, really putting our hooks down and creating a modern, elaborate organized crime story that is different than what has gone before but builds on everything that has happened to these characters, as individuals or as a team, and putting them in the hardest battle for the street that anyone can imagine," Bendis said.
Marvel's had a lot of success in recent years with comics timed to capitalize on film and TV releases (Guardians of the Galaxy might be the best example), and though the timing of this series is fortuitous, senior VP and executive editor Tom Breevort notes that this team-up actually stems from Bendis' massive five-year run on New Avengers.
"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," Brevoort said. "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."
The ongoing new Defenders series will be previewed in Marvel's Free Comic Book Day releases in May, followed by a first issue debut in June. Check out a cover and preview page below.