The Defenders are back! Except now they're four of Brian Michael Bendis's New Avengers. Which is to say, they're the same four heroes who are starring in the Netflix Defenders franchise: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.

The newly announced ongoing series comes from Bendis and artist David Marquez, who also worked together on Civil War II, and previously worked together on Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man and Invincible Iron Man.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bendis discussed his excitement about these characters:

You will get Jessica Jones looking out her window, street-level, and my return to Daredevil, which will be different than what I and Alex did before. And Luke and Danny, characters that I have a strong affinity for. I spent most of the aughts being mocked for the love of Luke Cage. Now that Luke Cage is a household name, I just sit back in my chair and laugh and laugh.

This is of course a very different team from the Defenders of the past, but most of the characters have been involved with some version of the team before. Formed in 1971 by Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Hulk, the Defenders have had a lot of different lineups. Daredevil, Cage, and Iron Fist all made appearances in that original Defenders run, but were never ongoing members. Cage and Iron Fist were both part of Secret Defenders, the mostly-forgotten 1990s incarnation of the team, and Iron Fist also went on to be a key member of the team during Matt Fraction, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson's short-lived 2011 Defenders relaunch. This is the first time Jessica Jones has been a Defender.

Much as they are on Netflix, this lineup seems well-suited to battle street level crime, which Bendis makes clear is his goal during his THR interview:

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.

Defenders #1 will be out in June of this year.


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