Two decades after Marvel Knights changed the game for Marvel Comics, the publisher is bringing it back.
During an event for retailers at San Deigo Comic-Con on Friday, Marvel announced MK20 #1, which Newsarama reports is the first part of "a project to commenemorate the 20th anniversary of Marvel Knights." We don't know yet exactly how big this commemorative project will end up being, but it's big enough to merit a "showrunner" in the form of writer Donny Cates (Venom, Death of the Inhumans), who broke the news to fans via his Twitter page.
Cates will be joined on the project by the writing team of Tini Howard (Assassinistas), Vita Ayala (Supergirl), and Matthew Rosenberg (Multiple Man), though it's not clear at this time what each member of the team will be scripting. Artists for the project have also not yet been announced, but Marvel did reveal this amazing promotional art by the great Mike Deodato.
Launched in 1998 as Marvel was trying to battle back from bankruptcy, Marvel Knights focused on what were, at the time, lower-profile characters like Daredevil, Black Panther, The Punisher, and The Inhumans. The imprint was originally outsourced to Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti's Event Comics, with the goal of telling more self-contained stories with top talent and high production value. The line ultimately brought in numerous high-profile creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Kevin Smith (who wrote the inaugural run of Daredevil for the imprint, with Quesada on art), Garth Ennis, and Steve Dillon. The line has been retired since 2013.
Two decades later, the influence of Marvel Knights is still felt. It helped save Marvel, led to Quesada's promotion to editor-in-chief at Marvel (a position he held from 2000-2010 before leaving to take the job of Chief Creative Officer), and had a tremendous stylistic impact on how we view various Marvel heroes now. Look at any of Marvel's Netflix series, for example, and you feel the power of Marvel Knights.
Now, it's coming back, and while we don't know for exactly how long or what precise form that'll take, that's exciting news.
MK20 is expected to launch in November.
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