All clickbaity headlines aside, you had to figure it wouldn’t be long before Marvel traded on their upcoming Netflix miniseries Defenders to market a comic book spinoff.
June, the comic counterparts of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will group up in the latest incarnation of Marvel’s long-used but little remembered hero team. A preview of the upcoming comic is expected to drop on National Free Comic Book Day in May.
The new book will be written by Jessica Jones creator Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez. The duo recently collaborated on the big Marvel event Civil War II.
It’s not the first time the four have appeared together nor the first time that Bendis has written them as a group. All four characters featured in Bendis’ run on New Avengers a few years back, potentially seeding the threads for this latest team-up.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog, Bendis says that the group will take a page from the streaming service analogues and face street-level threats from the various criminal empires that malign New York City.
“I wanted to do a sprawling, Godfather-like epic at the street level of the Marvel Universe, really putting out 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.”
The Defenders began as a group in the early 1970s, originally featuring Doctor Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Hulk, with Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, and Nighthawk eventually joining. The group featured a large assortment of “associate members” throughout the ’70s, including Clea, Black Night, Namorita, Hawkeye, Professor X, Son of Satan, The Thing, and Hank Pym as Yellowjacket. Luke Cage and Daredevil put in stints with the group in the mid-’70s.
Many Marvel heroes put in time with the group over the last few decades, including various X-Men (specifically Beast), assorted Avengers, Hellcat, Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, and even Spider-Man, Captain America, and members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, amongst many others. It’s been kind of a catch-all group.
The last group to bear the name was in 2012. The Netflix miniseries is currently filming and expected to debut on Netflix at some point this year.