Brian Michael Bendis teases a story set to shock the Marvel Universe!

On October 11, the start of Marvel Legacy sees writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez add more fuel to the fire burning in the streets of New York.

With a power vacuum left in the wake of Wilson Fisk’s quest to go legit and Diamondback now on the loose—and on a rampage—defending New York City has never been more complicated. In response, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Daredevil join forces with someone who’s happy to shoot, slice, and bomb a path to justice. Someone with big guns and an even bigger mouth.

In DEFENDERS #6, the Defenders team up with Deadpool.

We spoke with Brian to learn more about this unlikely collaboration ahead of the new issue.

Marvel.com: Where do we pick up the story in DEFENDERS #6?

Brian Michael Bendis: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil have joined forces as the city’s defenders. They have done so because lifelong criminal and ex-Luke Cage best friend Diamondback has returned to become the new Kingpin of crime. But there are so many other players vying for the title…Black Cat and Hammerhead among them.

Meanwhile, The Punisher ventures to hunt all of them, Elektra sneaks around, Blade hovers nearby…and Jessica enlists Deadpool. You heard me: Deadpool.

Mavel.com: Can the team manage the streets considering the deadly race to become Kingpin’s criminal successor?

Brian Michael Bendis: Its chaos. It’s the Wild West. People are being gunned down in the street. Crazy new drugs are out there. The Defenders are fighting back with everything they have.

Marvel.com: What brings Deadpool into the picture?

Brian Michael Bendis: Turns out Deadpool and Jessica Jones have a secret history! Who knew!? Well, okay, I did. The streets are getting so crazy that she calls in a favor and unleashes him into the wild.

Marvel.com: Does Deadpool present trouble or a welcome addition to the fight?

Brian Michael Bendis: Both. It’s Deadpool.

[DEADPOOL writer] Gerry Duggan and so many other amazing writers have already established the dynamic set to take place. I will be piggy backing on that. But, yeah, Luke can’t stand him.

Marvel.com: What kind of Deadpool antics can we expect?

Brian Michael Bendis: I got 11 jokes in on his first page. Good jokes? We’ll see. I love the Deadpool that knows he’s in a comic book. So get ready…

Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite scene from issue #6?

Brian Michael Bendis: There’s such a unique and intense fight scene between Elektra and Iron Fist. Also, to my shock, Iron Fist and Elektra have never done battle before! That’ll change!

Marvel.com: What might be in store for the team moving forward?

Brian Michael Bendis: The new Kingpin—behind all of the chaos on the streets—will send shockwaves across the Marvel Universe. Not just on the streets—everywhere.

We set the stage for a massive battle for the streets. I have been dying to tell this story for years and I am so thrilled that all the pieces finally came together.

And not all the players have revealed themselves yet.

Marvel.com: Anything else you can tease?

Brian Michael Bendis: The reaction to the DEFENDERS comic has been everything I’ve ever wanted in comics. The readers have been rabid and passionate and we’re all just having the best time. The story will continue to unfold. Cameos galore! And a huge surprise coming soon!

DEFENDERS #6, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, drops on October 11!

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Brian Michael Bendis pits the Punisher against the Defenders!

Vigilantes don’t play well with others—especially when one of them happens to be a murderer with only bloody revenge on his mind.

That sums up the relationship between the Defenders and The Punisher in DEFENDERS, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez. And on September 13, issue #5 sees Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist meet up again with Frank Castle—with tensions running high. Both parties may be fighting on the same side, but their disparate methods lead them on an inevitable collision course.

But before these beloved characters clash, we caught up with Brian Michael Bendis to discuss the oncoming showdown of heroes, his thoughts on “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix, and more!

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Frank’s motivations as prepares to take on the Defenders? Aren’t they all on the same side?

Brian Michael Bendis: They are on the same side, but Frank seems to know something the others don’t. Frank seems more focused on who could be pulling Diamondback’s strings—and the Defenders are just figuring out that there might be someone pulling the strings. Frank wants the bigger picture and Luke and company just want to shut down Diamondback immediately.

Marvel.com: The guy with no powers takes on a group with three super powered heroes. How does he pose a threat to them?

Brian Michael Bendis: He is a very smart strategist. Now that he knows what he’s up against, you can look forward to some interesting Punisher problem-solving.

Defenders (2017) #5

Defenders (2017) #5

Marvel.com: Can you summarize each Defender’s relationship with The Punisher? and what they might have done to get on his bad side?

Brian Michael Bendis: Danny, Luke, and Matt all have a similar relationship to The Punisher. They’ve all worked the streets for the same amount of time and they’ve all had run-ins. The moral debate between Matt and Frank is one for the ages and will never be solved. Jessica Jones has not found herself up against The Punisher before—and she’s not impressed.

Marvel.com: What your favorite part about pitting all these street-level characters against one another?

Brian Michael Bendis: They all have something very clear that they’re trying to accomplish. They have something that they want. And they all have something that they want that the audience can relate to on some level. Everything I’m writing in DEFENDERS is at least loosely based on real life mafia, organized crime, or true crime drama that I’ve studied over the years. This stuff really happens. This might be the Marvel version of it, but these are loosely based on the stories that have built the foundation of organized crime in this country.

Marvel.com: How would you describe Frank’s armed-approach to fighting the team?

Brian Michael Bendis: He’s not trying to fight the team. He’s trying to immobilize the team so he can finish his task. He has no interest in hurting Daredevil—but he has even less interest in Daredevil getting in his way.

Marvel.com: What’s it like to write this comic after the Netflix series just dropped?

Brian Michael Bendis: Surreal doesn’t seem to really capture the feeling. There were many years where I sat alone at my computer writing scripts, creating a team dynamic that I always wanted to see. And now millions of people are seeing it. It’s crazy. Did I mention that surreal doesn’t quite cover it?

Heroes clash in DEFENDERS #5, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez, on September 13!

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Get ready to defend!

The Guardians flew back down, Spidey swung through again, and now the Defenders of Hell’s Kitchen return to Avengers Academy to battle a new threat in their neighborhood. Kingpin’s been imprisoned for nearly a year, and in that time Madame Gao stepped in to fill the power vacuum left in the criminal underworld of Hell’s Kitchen. The Defenders and the rest of the Academy students – with the help of a few new friends – need to dispatch Madame Gao and take back the neighborhood once more.

We grabbed a few minutes with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to see what The Hand has in store for us at the “Marvel Avengers Academy”.

Marvel.com: The Defenders are making their way back to Avengers Academy! What’s bringing the team to campus once more?

Allen Warner: With the Kingpin imprisoned, Madame Gao has seized control of the Hand, and conquered Hell’s Kitchen.  The Defenders held her off as long as they could, but she countered by kidnapping some of their closest friends and allies, forcing them to regroup and call in reinforcements.  With a firm hold on Hell’s Kitchen, and the combined resources of both the Hand and Kingpin’s entire operation, Madame Gao sets her sights on retrieving a powerful artifact that Director Fury has locked away in one of his secret vaults, launching a full-scale assault on Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: Will players be returning to Hell’s Kitchen with the new event district?

Allen Warner: Yes, we’ll be revisiting Hell’s Kitchen and all of its iconic locales like Alias Investigations, Josie’s, and the law offices of Nelson and Murdock.  We’ll also be bringing back the Academy Courthouse from our Daredevil event, and giving some new recruits fun courtroom animations.

Marvel.com: How will the Avengers battle Madame Gao and her Hand minions?

Allen Warner: The Defenders and Avengers will team up to battle Madame Gao and her special henchmen on campus, as well as traveling away from the school to stop the Hand ninjas from attempting to take over the world.

Marvel.com: As with the Guardians and Spidey events before this, will players once again be able to recruit Defenders heroes from the previous event?

Allen Warner: Yes, this is a similar structure where players will be given another opportunity to get characters from the original Daredevil event, as well as some other characters who weren’t part of that event, but make sense to be involved with the Defenders.  Players will have a chance to get Iron Fist, Daredevil, Hellcat, Elektra, Misty Knight, Punisher, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones.  They may also have an opportunity to get some characters who you wouldn’t associate with the Defenders TV show, but who have been part of various Defenders teams in the comics.  We’ll also be resurfacing all of the outfits from the Daredevil event, including what might be my personal favorite Avengers Academy outfit of all time, Lawyer Loki.  We learned in the original Daredevil event that Loki has a gift for lawyering, and a fondness for lawyers and the profession, and that will continue in this event with some fun results.

Marvel.com: While those who missed out will be excited to try for all those returning favorites, what new faces join the mix?

Allen Warner: A cool and diverse group of characters who are often thought of as supporting players, but who will take center stage and show their heroic sides during this event: Foggy Nelson, Colleen Wing, Stick, and Claire Temple.  They each bring a really unique and fresh perspective to not only the events at hand, but the Avengers heroes and Avengers Academy traditions.  Our awesome art team did some really great and brand-new things with their various visual levels, and their animations are really fun, and play to their unique occupations, personalities, and talents.  I’m really excited about this group from a narrative perspective because there is so much unexplored territory.  These characters typically only interact with the characters in their respective spheres, so there’s a ton of opportunity to do things that no one has ever seen before.  Foggy will form relationships and go on adventures with Loki and Captain America.  Claire Temple will go on an intergalactic rescue mission with Cosmo the Spacedog.  Stick will butt heads with J. Jonah Jameson.  Madame Gao will match wits with Mephisto, and so on.  One of my favorite things about the world we’ve built in this game is having the opportunity to reimagine and expand upon existing characters and Marvel lore, and this event and this group of recruits provided an awesome opportunity to do a lot of things that have never been done before.

Marvel.com: What new ways will our heroes suit up to dispatch the Hand threat?

Allen Warner: In addition to the resurfaced outfits from the previous Daredevil event, there will be new outfits and stories for Hulk, Punisher, Elektra, Iron Fist, and Misty Knight.  We love coming up with new looks for our characters that are unique to the world of Avengers Academy, but we decided to take a different approach this time around and only include outfits that have appeared in the comics.  Some are very recent looks that fans may not even be aware of, while others are iconic looks that have been around for decades.  They all look incredible, are completely different from the characters’ usual outfits, and add a new angle to their personalities and powers that make for some really fun animations and stories.

Marvel.com: As excited as we are to dive back into Hell’s Kitchen and dispatch Madame Gao, there’s always one eye on the horizon. Can you tease anything coming down the line for the Academy and its heroes?

Allen Warner: One of our frequently teased schools will finally have to come out of hiding, and they’ll be bringing more recruitable characters with them than ever before.

For all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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A closed beta of Marvel Heroes Omega has been confirmed for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One!

Earth’s mightiest heroes will unite for Marvel Heroes Omega on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this spring! Gazillion Entertainment and Marvel announced today the action-packed RPG/MMO, a spin-off of Marvel Heroes 2016, will bring together the Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, the Avengers, the Defenders and more. Play as your favorite hero from the Marvel Universe across the nine-chapter story campaign and take on some of our most infamous super villains, including Doctor Doom and Loki.

Lovers of lore can also expect a fantastic tour through famous locations, from the dark streets of Hell’s Kitchen to the mystical realm of Asgard. Players can look forward to joining forces with fellow Super Heroes in the game’s many Headquarter areas to tackle the game’s most challenging end-game content. Other modes available include Operations, Midtown Patrol, and Danger Room. For loot seekers, tackle the Legendary Missions and Heroic/Superheroic/Cosmic Trials.

Take a look at the announce trailer and photo gallery above.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Heroes Omega” news.

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The Defenders reunite with a new mystery for the Master of the Mystic Arts to dig into!

The original Defenders formed when Doctor Strange realized he needed some muscle in the form of Hulk and Namor to take on a threat. Since then, the founders—plus Silver Surfer who joined not long after—have infrequently called on one another for aid.

As the new DEFENDERS title debuted in 2012, writer Matt Fraction utilized The Hulk and the Fear Itself event to set Doctor Strange, Namor, Silver Surfer, Red She-Hulk, and Iron Fist on a mission to stop Nul, a threat even more dangerous than a berserk Jade Giant. But that proved just the opening salvo of a year long journey that not only threatened all life on Earth, but also explained what makes the planet such a special place filled with amazing heroes.

To tell the story, Fraction teamed up with artists Terry Dodson, Michael Lark, Mitch Breitweiser, Victor Ibanez, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton and Mirco Pierfederici. After taking care of Nul, the Defenders discovered a strange, reality-altering device dubbed the Concordance Engine that fueled the rest of their adventures in the 12-issue series.

Defenders (2011) #1

Defenders (2011) #1

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Along the way, the group lost Namor for a time but picked up Black Cat, Scott “Ant Man” Lang, and an alternate dimension Nick Fury from the 60’s. Doctor Strange accidentally brought an old flame back to life, Iron Fist fought his fellow Immortal Weapon John Aman, and reality bent as they dug further into the truth behind the Engines.

As Silver Surfer discovered and John Aman later explained, a group of incredibly powerful beings seeded Earth with the potential to defend against those who seek to destroy worlds in search of the new, otherwise known as the Death Celestials. The engines actually bent physics and probability in the favor of the heroes who would fend off destruction at the hands of the Death Celestials.

Before long the truth came to light: in moving one of the Concordance Engines, the Defenders screwed up the whole plan, allowing the Death Celestials to more easily overtake the planet. To combat the problem, Doctor Strange used the Concordance Engine itself to travel back in time in his cosmic form to alter the day Hulk asked him for help in the first issue. Not only did Past Stephen make good on a previously bad choice, but Future Stephen saved the world by essentially erasing all their meddling.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

While still important to the overall story, DEFENDERS #4 acted as a Doctor Strange solo story. In the first issue he slept with a college student named Molly interested in the arcane and didn’t treat her too well afterwards. At the time he didn’t realize how lonely he had had been, but that changed when an old flame named Martha appeared out of nowhere. The problem? She was supposed to be dead. Stephen posited that he accidentally conjured her up not through magic but thanks to his proximity to the Concordance Engine.

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Clarkson Will Direct the First Two Episodes of the Highly Anticipated Series

Marvel Television and Netflix announced today that acclaimed film and television director S.J. Clarkson (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Vinyl, “Orange is the New Black”), will return to the Marvel universe to direct the first two episodes of the Netflix original series “Marvel’s The Defenders.” Clarkson will also serve as an Executive Producer on the premiere episode. The 8-episode limited series is slated to debut in 2017.

“Marvel’s The Defenders” follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

“S.J.’s take on the material is outstanding. We loved her work on “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” and couldn’t think of a more talented and accomplished person to helm the first two episodes of “Marvel’s The Defenders,” said Marvel’s Head of Television and Executive Producer, Jeph Loeb.


The series stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand. It was recently announced that Academy Award and Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner, Sigourney Weaver will also join the cast. Marco Ramirez (Marvel’s Daredevil”) and Doug Petrie (Marvel’s Daredevil”) are executive producers along with Drew Goddard (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “The Martian”), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage).

“Marvel’s The Defenders” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

Clarkson is repped by WME and Curtis Brown.

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The Master of the Mystic Arts joins forces with Namor and The Hulk to create Marvel's most unusual team!

Some threats require more than just a few spells and incantations. Sometimes, you need a couple of bruisers who can really knock heads together! For Doctor Strange, that’s where his Defenders teammates Namor and the Hulk come into play. Though there had previously been some interactions between the characters, this trio—and later Silver Surfer—first officially came together as the Defenders in the pages of MARVEL FEATURE #1 from 1971 by Roy Thomas and Ross Andru.

Doctor Strange had previously hung up the Cloak of Levitation, but returned in a back-up story in this very issue just in time to thwart a nefarious plot by Yandroth to destroy the Earth. Realizing he needed a little extra muscle, Strange approached Namor and Hulk to back him up in an attempt to stop the apocalypse machine called Omega-Tron.

Marvel Feature (1971) #1

Marvel Feature (1971) #1

  • Published: December 10, 1971
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 13, 2010
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Though the trio begrudgingly agreed to work together—Silver Surfer would have been there had he not been knocked unconscious after smashing into an invisible barrier—they almost caused the destruction of the world when they discovered that the vibrations from any attack or battle would actually kick-off the atomic explosion! Luckily, Doctor Strange succeeded in stopping his compatriots from fighting one another and also placed a spell on machine so that one moment would last for an eternity and thus not explode.

Even though Namor realized the wannabe Defenders of the Earth almost destroyed it and Hulk claimed to have no interest in joining another team after his bad experience with the Avengers, they joined back up in MARVEL FEATURE #23 before launching into their own team book in 1972. The classic line-up would not solidify until Silver Surfer officially joined the team in DEFENDERS #2. The team still appears from time to time in various incarnations like the Secret Defenders in the 90’s and the Fearless Defenders from just a few years ago.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

The seeds for the Defenders first started sprouting in a three-part crossover starting with 1969’s DOCTOR STRANGE #183 that continued on into SUB-MARINER #22 and INCREDIBLE HULK #126. The three heroes joined together to stop The Nameless One and the Undying Ones from invading Earth. This story also led to Strange quitting his role as Sorcerer Supreme for a time—until the back-up story mentioned above in MARVEL FEATURE #1. Interestingly, this crossover also introduced us to Barbara Norriss, the woman who would eventually go on to play host to future Defenders stalwart Valkyrie for a time.

Next time, Stephen Strange works with the Avengers to find his replacement as the Sorcerer Supreme in NEW AVENGERS #51-54.

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The infamous non-team brings together Hulk, Namor, Doctor Strange and more for offbeat adventures in the 1970's!

Each Marvel decade of history has a super hero or super team that helps define its era. For the 1970’s, DEFENDERS—a team that considered itself a “non-team”—typifies the quirky times the series debuted during as reflecting the distinctive voices of inimitable writers like Steve Gerber and David Anthony Kraft.

Originally, Doctor Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Hulk banded together to thwart the evil plans of the Nameless One and his minions, the Undying Ones. They established themselves as distinct from other teams because they did not always necessarily want to work together; instead events conspired to make them join forces. A case in point: DEFENDERS #10, when team founder Hulk said: “Hulk was Avenger once…didn’t like it! Hulk doesn’t like Defenders, either.” The green behemoth’s assessment of his plight doesn’t exactly serve up a rallying battle cry on par with “Avengers Assemble!”

Defenders (1972) #4

Defenders (1972) #4

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The arrival of writer Steve Gerber on DEFENDERS with issue #20 came after he laid the groundwork for a larger story in MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #6 and #7, where Ben Grimm first teamed with Dr. Strange, then Valkyrie, who joined the team in DEFENDERS #4. Gerber capitalized upon Val’s quest to find out who she possessed as a human host—Barbara Norriss—to reveal a connection to the Harmonica of Destiny and a return of classic Defenders villain the Mindless One. 

That’s right: Gerber introduced a harmonica of destiny into the Marvel Universe. That just scratches the zaniness that the writer imbued into DEFENDERS.

Gerber wasted no time setting his tone with issue #21 by immediately introducing a villainous team, the Headmen. Partially a revival of Marvel 1950’s horror characters—which the company reprinted at the time in an example of 1970’s-style corporate synergy—the group included Jerry Morgan—who would later become known as Shrunken Bones—and Arthur Nagan—who would opt for the moniker Gorilla-Man—aligning themselves with Chondu the Mystic. An excerpt from issue #21’s narration reveals a glimpse of Gerber’s ambitious scripts in 1975:

Defenders (1972) #21 cover

Defenders (1972) #21 cover

“Employing a strange diamond-tipped hypodermic drill, Nagan injects the Morgan serum directly into Chondu’s skull. Almost at once, the mystic’s brain cells react. Impulses race from neuron to neuron at shorter and shorter intervals…and he enters a trance that is more than a trance. And, according to plan, he probes further than he ever dared beyond our universe…for a weapon! The fingers of his consciousness reach out…clutch… pull…drawing a nightmare into our world…a sinister dream that dissolves into black rain and seeps into sleeping minds throughout the city.”

All of that happened in only four Sal Buscema-drawn panels. As with most Gerber scripts, a great deal of action took place in only one issue.

Later Gerber would bring Chondu back to transfer his brain into the body of a deer that the Hulk had saved and nicknamed Bambi. Also the Headman added a new member, a woman called Ruby Thursday—with a ruby for a head—who would later go on to run for President of the United States. But that did not occur until later. A lot of brain switching went on in this period, as the mind of Jack Norriss—the husband of Valkyrie’s human host—ended up in the body of another Defender stalwart, Nighthawk.  This swap occurred while the team battled Nebulon and his horde of Bozo forces. All of this provides just the tip of the fun that ran through the series during Gerber’s run, which ended in issue #41.

Defenders (1972) #25 cover

Defenders (1972) #25 cover

When Gerber left, sadly so did any chance for closure on the writer’s plan for the elf packing a gun who appeared throughout his run, starting with issue #25. To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, I guess it best to say in this instance: sometimes an elf with a gun is nothing more than an elf with a gun. With his departure, the offbeat nature of the series did not go away however.

If anything, the wackiness factor to DEFENDERS got bolstered by the arrival of writer David Kraft with issue #46. Kraft’s start marked the end of the elf with a gun as he got run over by a truck in that very issue. Given all the other plots and subplots being juggled in an average DEFENDERS issue, no one had much time to question scenes like that. Before long the heroes and readers focus centered on the Scorpio saga, which opened with a prelude in DEFENDERS #46 and ran through to the series’ milestone 50th issue.

Defenders (1972) #46 cover

Defenders (1972) #46 cover

In this classic arc, Jake Fury, Nick’s younger brother, turned 52 and tried to make something of his life by wielding the power of the Zodiac Key. Holding Jack Norriss hostage for a ransom, he hoped to build a new Zodiac team. Kraft has Scorpio explain his machinations while he and Norriss drink beers. Despite being a villain, Jake would not be so as rude as to not offer his captive a refreshing beverage.

While a non-team with a heavy rotating level of guest stars, DEFENDERS eventually settled upon an additional core membership of Hellcat—who became a member in DEFENDERS #46—Valkyrie—who joined the team in DEFENDERS #4—and Nighthawk, aka Kyle Richmond. Thanks to Richmond, the heroes set up their own base of operations at the Richmond Riding Center, the perfect spot for Valkyrie’s winged horse Aragon, if nothing else.

Defenders (1972) #62 cover

Defenders (1972) #62 cover

Kraft’s run also shows off the writer’s knack to give interesting names to supporting characters. A prime example would be Dollar Bill, who joined the cast along with his pal, Ledge, when Valkyrie enrolled at Empire State University in DEFENDERS #51. Dollar Bill proved critical as the catalyst for the legendary “Defenders for a Day” saga, fancying himself a documentary maker and producing one about the group. Up until this point in the series, the existence of the non-team had been kept secret.

That all ended at the close of the documentary when Dollar Bill took it upon himself to invite anyone to join the Defenders. Before team leader Nighthawk could explain the finer points of what “secret” meant to Dollar Bill, the Defenders were met by an onslaught of heroes wishing to join in DEFENDERS #62. The list represents an impressive roll call of Marvel’s then second-tier 1970’s characters, including Black Goliath, Captain Ultra, Falcon, Hercules, Iron Fist, Jack of Hearts, Paladin, Prowler, Tagak, Torpedo and White Tiger. Dollar Bill’s actions opened up a can of worms for the Defenders, as throughout issues #63 and #64, the cavalcade of new members have to take on villains posing as other additions and committing crimes. The slew of faux evil Defenders ranged from Pecos Bill to Batroc the Leaper. Many of the new Defenders departed immediately after this less than positive experience and the non-team returned to the relative status quo by DEFENDERS #65.

Defenders (1972) #1

Defenders (1972) #1

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No matter who wrote DEFENDERS, it seemed that every writer relished the chance to seize on the opportunity to write the Hulk’s dialogue, given the character’s penchant for saddling his fellow heroes with nicknames. Hulk would rechristen Dr. Strange as “Dumb Magician,” Sub-Mariner as “Fish-Man,” Nighthawk as “Bird-Nose,” Yellowjacket as “Bug-Man,” the Guardians of the Galaxy’s Yondu as “Flag-Head,” Hellcat as “Cat-Girl,” and Valkyrie as “Sword-Girl.”

Looking over DEFENDERS adventures in the 1970’s, the heroes reflected the era in myriad ways and serves as a great time capsule for this period in Marvel history.

For more on the 75th anniversary of Marvel, visit marvel.com/75 and join the conversation on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75

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Bruce Banner's monstrous alter ego doesn't always go it alone, so relive some of his greatest partnerships!

Super heroes can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, but every now and then even they need a helping hand.

The same goes for the Hulk, even if the jade giant would never admit it. Granted, nearly every interaction the green behemoth has with other Marvel heroes begins with an earth shaking skirmish. Heck, a lot of those interactions don’t even go past the introductory face punches; Bruce Banner’s made enemies out of quite a few heroes over the years. In the spirit of the Hulk’s upcoming team up with Tony Stark in the pages of ORIGINAL SIN: IRON MAN VS. HULK, we’ve assembled a list of five incredible Hulk team-ups presented in chronological order – and only a few of them involve bruised egos/bodies.

1. Hulk and the Avengers

Avengers (1963) #1

Avengers (1963) #1

  • Published: September 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Just a few months after tearing his way onto the scene, the Hulk found himself assembled along the rest of Marvel’s heavy-hitters in a battle against Loki, a manipulative Norse god. Yeah, Iron Man spent a good portion of this issue trying to convince the Hulk of his good intentions, and yes, the Green Goliath would hit the road one issue later in a huff, but for a few pages at the end of this milestone event, the Hulk could call four other heroes his allies.

2. Hulk and the Defenders

Defenders (1972) #1

Defenders (1972) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Hulk stuck it out a bit longer with his next super team, the Defenders. Banner found an unlikely home alongside Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Silver Surfer as that core quartet fought together to protect the world from strange threats. On their first mission, the team went up against Necrodamus, a sorcerer that sought to ascend to godhood through the use his black magic powers.

3. Hulk and Captain Universe

Incredible Hulk Annual (1968) #10

Incredible Hulk Annual (1968) #10

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Following a missile strike from an attacking jet, the Hulk and Bruce Banner found themselves temporarily separated. The split also came at the behest of the Uni-Power, a cosmic force that bestows the powers and title of Captain Universe upon those it deems necessary, as it merged with the freed Banner persona. The rampaging Hulk wasn’t exactly amicable toward Bruce in his Captain Universe form, but the two still managed to stop a nuclear missile from detonating.

4. Hulk and the new Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four (1961) #348

Fantastic Four (1961) #348

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As part of an elaborate Skrull plot, an alien posing as the Invisible Woman recruited the Hulk, then in his slightly more reasonable gray form, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, and Wolverine to avenge the deaths of the allegedly deceased Fantastic Four. The group went on a mission that put them up against the Mole Man and his subterranean monsters and, eventually, against the manipulative imposter in their midst.

5. Hulk and Red She-Hulk

Incredible Hulks (2009) #628

Incredible Hulks (2009) #628

  • Published: May 11, 2011
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 13, 2012
  • Rating: A
  • Writer: Greg Pak
  • Penciller: Tom Grummett
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Recently, Banner teamed up with his newly hulked-out ex-wife Betty Ross for an espionage-tinged mission against the immortal villain Tyrannus. After years separated by a galaxy, death, and misunderstandings, these two reconciled by including something not included in any other Hulk team-up on this list: some passionate lip locking.

Check out the science bros when they team-up again in ORIGINAL SIN: IRON MAN VS. HULK!

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The cosmic creator guides the Mad Titan against the Avengers, the Silver Surfer and more!

Jim Starlin, king of all things creatively cosmic, and Thanos will be reunited once again in the THANOS: THE INFINITY REVELATION original graphic novel later this year. To celebrate, Unlimited Highlights brings you five issues starring the devilish conqueror in all his godlike glory via Marvel Unlimited!

Avengers Annual (1967) #7

Avengers Annual (1967) #7

What is Marvel Unlimited?

AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #7

The Mad Titan Thanos and his vast fleet approach Earth with extinction on their agenda. The Avengers must stop the fearsome dictator, and take to the stars for a battle that will shake the very pillars of the galaxy! But, if this heroic interstellar assemblage fails and they fall to Thanos’ mighty hand, the entire universe may simply cease to exist.

Thanos Quest (1990) #1

Thanos Quest (1990) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

THANOS QUEST #1

Thanos once again threatens all of existence in his insane bid for Death’s affection. He now seeks the six Infinity Gems, with which he will be nigh omnipotent. Yet before he claims infinite power, he must wrest the stones from their current owners, demigods one and all. Will Thanos best the In-Betweener, Champion, and the Gardener and win his prize?

Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #4

Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

INFINITY GAUNTLET #4

Nothing can stop Thanos now that he wields the Infinity Gauntlet. One by one the Titan trounces Earth’s heroes in open combat. He batters the Hulk, suffocates Cyclops, turns Wolverine’s bones to rubber, and obliterates the Scarlet Witch without breaking a sweat. The only beings who stand the slimmest sliver of a chance hang just outside the killing field: Adam Warlock and the Silver Surfer. They have a plan, but what chance does it stand against the Infinity Gems?

Marvel Universe: The End (2003) #1

Marvel Universe: The End (2003) #1

  • Published: April 02, 2003
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

MARVEL UNIVERSE: THE END #1

Pharaoh Akhenaten returns to Earth, reviving his 4,000 year-old reign. He represents the Celestial Order, and those that worship and obey will find themselves rewarded. Those that challenge him face obliteration. The X-Men suffer Akhenaten’s wrath, and the rest of the world’s heroes soon follow. Now the fate of the planet rests in the hands of Doctor Doom, the Defenders, and–Thanos?!

Thanos (2003) #1

Thanos (2003) #1

  • Published: October 01, 2003
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Rating: MARVEL PSR
  • Writer: Jim Starlin
  • Cover Artist: Jim Starlin
What is Marvel Unlimited?

THANOS (2003) #1

Have you ever wondered how Thanos, the maniacal purple alien obsessed with death, started on his path of destruction? The son of Titan’s king, he emerged flawed, deviant, and different. He worshipped power and dabbled in black arts long forgotten, and ended up exiled for his cruelty. When Thanos finally returned to Titan, he did so as a conqueror, bringing only fire and death to his home world. It all starts here folks!

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