The GeeksverseDefenders Cancelled as Marvel Showcases Fantastic Four and FF

Defenders Cancelled as Marvel Showcases Fantastic Four and FF
Published on Thursday, August 9, 2012 by

Fraction and Aldred and Bagley fans will be happy to see what is Marvel Next from Fantastic Four and FF. Sadly, Defenders fans will be disheartened by the announcement that the title has been cancelled.USA Today seems to be where Marvel is breaking news lately and they had the story and pictures.

Starting in November, Matt Fraction has one more thing in common with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? Matt Fraction has risen to the status of “one of Marvel Comics’ brightest stars” and takes over the original Marvel Universe book becoming the writer on the relaunched Fantastic Four in the fall.Fraction also takes over writing duties on the spinoff series FF even though it appears to be changing directions slightly. The new titles are part of the company’s Marvel Now! initiative. Like the .1 initiative, these relaunches and Now! comics should be ideal jumping on points for old and new readers alike.

Fraction and artist Mark Bagley will take the original Marvel family of superheroes on a journey through time and space. The characters in the title have a familiar feel to anyone casually reading Fantastic Four recently: Reed and Sue Richards, their two kids Franklin and Valerie and Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm providing the main six characters for the series.

Fraction will also be starting FF with Mike Allred. Allred is best known for his series Madman and has a trademark pop-art style that is unconventional in the Marvel family.  The FF will get  the new look as they take on new team members. FF will be a replacement Fantastic Four squad spinning off from the main heroes.  Reed Richards started a Future Foundation as a quasi training academy.  The new FF team will be headed by Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and Mis Thing. Miss Thing is apparently an all-new female character clad in a suit of armor patterned after the Thing’s smilin’ mug.

The story line to kick off both of his new books, which share a definite road map, is actually inspired by, of all people, Gov. Angus King of Maine. When he left office in 2003, he, his wife and his two kids hopped in a 40-foot RV and for six months, saw America by driving 15,000 miles over 34 states. “It was this intensive road-trip home-school experience,” Fraction says. “I don’t really know any parent who wouldn’t want to do that with the time and money available.”

The story stuck with Fraction, and it became the root of his idea for the Richards clan: Reed builds a ship that will take his team and his children across time and space for an epic historical lesson, the writer says. “If they’re studying ancient Rome, then by God let’s go have lunch with Caesar on the Ides of March. If they’re looking at the Big Bang, they’re going to watch it from the front row.”

They’ll be gone for a year — which will only be four minutes in regular Earth time — and while there will be continuing plot threads, each issue will be a new adventure and new situation.

While all of this may be great news for fans of Fantastic Four, FF, and potentially Inhumans fans, Marvel confirmed worse news for Defenders fans. The USA Today  article also confirms that Fraction’s Defenders – which had a massive decline in sales figures – will be concluding with issue #12 in November. Sad to see the book go, but it’ll be interesting to see what this means for Marvel’s lineup next year. Will Dr Strange or Iron Fist show up somewhere else, now? Is this the last time we’ll get to see a Defenders title?  Since an Inhuman team member is now in FF as a replacement Fantastic Four member being penned by Fraction will the Defenders team come around for a little action as needed over the next year?

4 Responses
    • Defenders has gone downhill.  Still an interesting book, but starting to get a bit muddled.

    • Defenders started out great, but there were two things I could see from the start that led me to believe this would get cancelled before #20:
      1. The writing was quirky – too funny. And they made Silver Surfer look like a chump. Big no-no.
      2. What’s with the strange captions at the bottom of each page? I know some tie into storylines and such, but come on! How distracting! And stupid.

      But I will say other than some of the quirky humor (example – Iron Fist reading comics during a mission briefing? Please.) overall I’ve enjoyed this book. I’m always happy to see Iron Fist and Namor on the same page together, and it’s cool to see Black Cat get some screen time as well. We’ll see what happens with John Aman in the final issues!

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