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Marvel Comics to Revive the Classics Defenders, Netflix-Inspired Team Out

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Marvel Comics is bringing back the classic version of The Defenders this summer, pivoting away from the Netflix-inspired roster introduced in the 2017 Defenders comic. The “New Defenders” team looks to feature mostly classic members, with Doctor Strange rallying his allies to battle a new threat to the Marvel timeline.Marvel hasn’t yet revealed a creative team or details on this new project, but they have released a new teaser image drawn by The History of the Marvel Universe artist Javier Rodriguez. Check it out below:

Art by Javier Rodriguez. (Image Credit: Marvel)

The teaser was accompanied by the tagline, “Who will answer Doctor Strange’s call to be… the New Defenders!” and promising a Summer 2021 release date.

Strange is accompanied by The Masked Raider, a relatively new addition to the Marvel Universe who exists as an update to an obscure Golden Age hero. The Masked Raider wears a cosmic artifact known as the Eternity Mask and was at the heart of Marvel Comics #1000, an oversized anniversary special that laid the groundwork for a number of future storylines. Given that Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing has been the Marvel creator most associated with the Masked Raider so far, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Ewing is the writer of New Defenders, possibly with Rodriguez as artist.

For those keeping track, here are the heroes featured on the tarot cards in this teaser:

  • Beast
  • Cloud
  • Daimon Hellstrom
  • Harpy (Betty Ross)
  • Hulk
  • Moondragon
  • Namor
  • Silver Surfer
  • Valkyrie (Brunnhilde)

While the original Defenders lineup featured Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor and Silver Surfer, both the team roster and the series itself have undergone many changes over the decades. Most recently, Marvel’s 2017 Defenders comic broke with tradition to feature an all-new lineup modeled directly on the Netflix series – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. But with Netflix and Marvel ending their partnership, it would seem this MCU-inspired team is no more. It’s just as well, as Daredevil has plenty of other problems to deal with these days always.

What’s your ideal Defenders lineup? Do you prefer the classic team or modern overhauls like the Netflix version? Let us know in the comments below.

For more on what’s coming in 2021, see everything you can expect from Marvel this year and our 21 most anticipated comics of 2021.

Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.

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