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With Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage busy as part of the publisher’s Digital Originals line, Marvel’s original Defenders are being revived for a new comic book event this December. It’s titled The Best Defense.
Spread across five special issues, The Best Defense will feature the original comic book membership of the Defenders — the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, Namor the Sub-Mariner and Doctor Strange — in one-off issues featuring all-new stories, alongside a fifth release titled The Defenders: The Best Defense. Marvel is describing the five titles as “interconnected specials that tell a unique and captivating story for each original Defender.”
Both the Immortal Hulk: The Best Defense and the Defenders issue will be written by regular Hulk writer Al Ewing, with art by Simone Di Meo on Hulk and Joe Bennett on Defenders; Namor: The Best Defense will be by Chip Zdarsky and Carlos Magno, with Doctor Strange: The Best Defense by Gerry Duggan and Greg Smallwood. Jason Latour will both write and illustrate Silver Surfer: The Best Defense.
The Defenders debuted in comics in 1971’s Marvel Feature No. 1, although the characters had previously joined together in storylines running through issues of their own individual comic book series the previous year. The success of the Marvel Feature issue prompted Marvel to launch The Defenders as a standalone series the next year, which ran through 1986.
As a concept, the Defenders has been regularly resurrected since the original series’ cancellation — including its most recent incarnation as a comic book matching the line-up of the Netflix series of the same name. The last time the original line-up was together was for a 2005 comic book miniseries —although, 2011’s The Defenders featured an almost-reunion, with Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer and the Sub-Mariner teaming up with a character called “Red She-Hulk” to deal with an existential threat to reality.
Full release information for The Immortal Hulk: The Best Defense, Namor: The Best Defense, Doctor Strange: The Best Defense, Silver Surfer: The Best Defense and The Defenders: The Best Defense, will be unveiled in the next few weeks, according to Marvel.
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