Back in December, Bleeding Cool asked the question: When Will Brian Bendis Write The Defenders Ongoing Comic Then? Today, we have the answer, via an EXXXCLUSIVE on The Hollywood Reporter confirming what you heard here first at Bleeding Cool (pip pip). The answer is: in May, with a Free Comic Book Day preview, followed by an ongoing series in June, with artist and Civil War 2 partner David Marquez.
For no reason we can think of other "because he can," Marvel VP Tom Brevoort seriously tried to claim that the decision to publish the new series, which will launch the same year as the Defenders Netflix show, wasn't solely because of the Defenders Netflix show, but actually planned all along.
"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," Brevoort said, referring to a comic from 2012. "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."
Further proving that the comic isn't meant to capitalize on the Netflix Show, "The Great One" Brian Bendis revealed that his series will star the same characters from that show, saying, "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 oughts 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."
Bendis also promised to stick around on the book and laugh at his detractors for a long time, saying, "I love ongoing titles. I love what happens in the second year of titles…. There's a lot of hit-and-run writers and artists, I get that, but I find the real substance is when you've made a commitment. If you say to yourself, 'I'm only staying for six issues,' you've already kind of left. If you say to yourself, 'I'm staying,' then you really commit to it on a level that is important to the reader."
Of course, there's no guarantee that the "second year" of the title won't also be the sixth issue, if Bendis and Marquez' chronically delayed Civil War 2 is any indication. BOOSH!
Look for The Defenders in June. Below is a page from the FCBD preview.