We knew Brian Michael Bendis (Jessica Jones) had a busy slate of books coming as the writer acknowledged a new batch of upcoming series as his reasoning for wanting to make a sudden Guardians of the Galaxy departure. This busy Marvel week of brand new ongoing series just got busier with The Hollywood Reporter announcing a new ongoing series for The Defenders. As expected, this new team has the Netflix line-up heroes including Daredevil, Iron First, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. In the past, The Defenders have had a rotating line-up in Marvel publishing but have mostly included Dr. Strange, Hulk and Silver Surfer. To see how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is influencing publishing, look no further than this series, boasting a new roster of heroes and top Marvel creative talent.
The full creative team includes penciller David Marquez (Civil War II) and colorist Justin Ponsor (Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man). Bendis, Marquez and Ponsor have lots of creative experience together starting with Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man followed by Invincible Iron Man and the huge event series, Civil War II. The Defenders #1 is coming this June, but you can get a first taste of the new ongoing series in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day preview in May. Marvel’s Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort chimed in on THR to negate some of the Netflix cynicism about the new series;
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, 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.
Bendis teased that he has plans to be writing the series as an ongoing, with THR citing his tenure as something that could possibly last longer than a half-year or year. The last thing you need to know about this series is that Bendis teased that the comic is going to have a big scope and will feature some form of street-level crime;
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.
Starting in 2005 on New Avengers, Bendis began to explore classic Avengers alongside street-level-heroes, integrating Luke Cage onto the premiere Avengers team. Along the way, the writer picked up the rest of The Defenders as well with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones living together to help raise their baby in an Avengers household as well as Iron Fist coming into the series for a few arcs. A later issue of New Avengers brought Daredevil into the team for a short appearance. Bendis had a lengthy, celebrated run writing Daredevil in 2001 with artist Alex Maleev and created Jessica Jones for Alias with artist Michael Gaydos that same year.