Marvel has announced at their Fear Itself Panel (where all the images can be viewed) that we will see a new ongoing series, The Defenders, debuting in December from Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson (Uncanny X-Men).
The new team will consists of Doctor Strange, Red She-Hulk, Iron Fist, Silver Surfer, Namor and others to be revealed depending on the situation. Update: With the first villain being Ebony Hulk.
The book is said to be a "cosmic conspiracy" by writer Matt Fraction (see below).
The FI Live Panel stated the following:
"These are the heroes that handle, investigate and tackle all kinds of threats. Super human, metaphysical, cosmic and much more, these are the heroes that will defend and save those who need it."
"This isn't just "the Avengers' magic team." This is bigger and crucial to the Marvel U."
The new Defenders comes about as a result of Fear Itself, and Fraction tells CBR the reason they get together is:
"The Hulk needs a favor and he goes to people he feels owe him. That happens to be the some of the people you and I know as the Defenders. It's not necessarily a pleasant reunion. It's not a comfortable one. There are a lot of grudges because of some recent history, but the awkward truth of it all is Hulk needs help, which is never an easy thing to ask for especially if you're him."
Regarding the plot, Fraction offered the following:
"...there's something very otherworldly and reality bending about the nature of the catastrophe that the Defenders discover, which literally keeps them from being able to speak about it. A mystery that perpetuates itself is part of the plot they discover. So these guys can't tell you where they're going or where they were last week. It causes all kinds of trouble throughout their lives. They're obsessed with this secret and can only speak about with each other."
On the character of Doctor Strange, Fraction said:
"My take on him has always been, as hinted at in Iron Man, William S. Burroughs, Man of Occult Mystery, with Steve Ditko Kung Fu grip."
And on artist Terry Dodson, Fraction stated he needed someone able to do stories which require a change in style and tone:
"There may be a heavy Ditko Doctor Strange issue followed by a cosmic Jim Starlin style Warlock issue. So Terry is going to be using every tool in his tool box on a monthly basis."
Fraction even compares this new The Defenders to a cross-between 'Fringe' and 'X-Files' which you can read more about at CBR.
Sounds exciting, I have been loving how Fraction has handled the Surfer in the pages of Mighty Thor, as well.
Update: The FI Panel stated the following on the Surfer:
"Will the Defenders explore what's going on with Silver Surfer and what his allegiances are?"
"Yes, Fraction is paying attention to everything that has been going on with Surfer."
Look for The Defenders #1 in December.