Despite oaths to the contrary after The Order, at least some of the primary cast of the old Defenders non-team will be reuniting in July for a four-issue mini-series, Fear Itself: The Deep.
The difference this time is that it is the First Mutant, Namor the Sub-Mariner, who will be doing the summoning instead of former Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange.
Announced at Saturday’s Fear Itself panel at C2E2, this leg of Marvel’s Big Event teams Subby and the good Doctor (also members of the recently-ousted Illuminati) with fellow Defender, Silver Surfer, as well as well as new blood Lyra, the Savage She-Hulk (one in a series).
The mini will be written by Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun) and illustrated by former Batgirl artist Lee Garbett (who, incidentally, makes his Marvel U. debut in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 next month).
With all those X-buddies apparently out of commission during a crisis, the Prince of Atlantis summons a team of would-be Defenders – with Lyra pinch-hitting for Bruce Banner’s jade giant. Was this intentional?
“Intentional on the part of the creative team, yes,” Bunn told Newsarama in an interview. “Intentional on Namor's part … sort of … Lyra helps to add some ‘new blood’ to a group of long-standing characters who have worked together many times in the past. She can learn something from these ‘old pros,’ but there's more than a little that they can learn from her too. As the story progresses, she has some keen insights -- the kind of insights that can only come from someone with fresh eyes -- about the way the team works together … and doesn't work together. The interplay between the old guard and the new really livens the scripts up for me, and I hope it will do the same for the reader.”
For the uninitiated (including me), Lyra (this She-Hulk) is from an alternate future and is the daughter of that reality’s Thundra and the Banner Hulk. Created by writer Jeff Parker and artist Mitch Breitweiser, Lyra first appeared in Hulk: Raging Thunder.
“At this point, the villains -- there are several -- must remain a secret," Bunn told
“The primary villain of the piece has direct ties to the greater Fear Itself storyline, but it’s the rising level of fear that opens the doorway, so to speak, for an otherworldly threat to spill into our world. Over the years, Namor has had to contend with all sorts of opponents and obstacles. But this time, his biggest obstacle is his own fear and his most lethal opponent may just be himself.”
As a new incarnation of the Defenders rise again, it will be interesting to see if our favorite old school non-team’s greatest challenge comes from their enemies – or from themselves!
"Fear Itself: The Deep" hits this July!