The following includes major spoilers for Defenders beyond #1, which are now available from Marvel Comics.
When Doctor Strange brought his final line of Defenders together, it was to confront a threat that had brought them to the end of their lives. The world needs the Defenders again, now that a greater threat is emerging. Doctor Strange has passed away and is no longer able to guide them.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Defenders have ended. A whole new team of Defenders has been assembled in the pages Defenders beyond 1 (by Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez) and could even be their most amazing iteration.
First appearing in 2008’s Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel by Kevin Grevioux and Mat Broome, Adam Brashear went from Korean War veteran to the lead scientist behind Project: Pegasus’ Negative Reactor project. Brashear lost his long-time friend, Conner Sims in a tragic accident. Adam became an unstoppable living antimatter reactor. Blue Marvel, one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes has taken on both supervillains as well as cosmic threats in the many years that have followed his transformation. The universe has other plans for Blue Marvel, and being part of the Defenders is the latest fate from which he cannot escape.
America Chavez crashed into the Marvel Universe in the pages of 2011’s Vengeance #1 by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta. America, a Multiversal superhero born from another planet with the ability to tear through reality, has established herself as one of the most dedicated and skilled heroes in the Marvel Universe. America played an important role in many events, including the Second Superhero Civil War and the Reconstitution of the Multiverse. Her adventures with the Young Avengers have had the greatest impact. However, her position on the Defenders will make it difficult for her to continue working with Marvel’s Trickster God, her least favourite person, Loki.
The Trickster God is a Marvel Universe part that has existed for more than anyone. The Loki of today was grieving the loss of Odin at his funeral. However, her past self, Loki, felt the pain of her future self. Loki took a trip across the universe to find that last great adventure. Although America has been irritated by Loki’s inclusion to the Defenders roster, one of her team veterans is well-versed in mediating interpersonal tensions.
Taaia first appeared in 2021’s Defenders #1 by Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez after the eponymous team crashed through time and reality before coming to a stop on her home world of Taa. Taaia, her son Galan and Omnimax, were both busy trying to find a way out of the devastation wrought by Omnimax. The Defenders helped Omnimax to flee, Galan received a gift that could help him reshape the future of Galactus and the team had the most qualified new member. Taaia plays the same role as before, exactly when the universe calls for it. It’s difficult to believe that her past experience will not be valuable to any future mission, however challenging that may be.
Greer Nelson was undercover when a series tragic events forced her to help a doctor who was being investigated. Greer was then given superhuman powers by the evil scientists behind the experiment, and transformed into the Cat. Greer, now the Cat joined Spider-Man as a team to fight the dangers she could not face on her own. Greer, who was magically made into Tigra the guardian of Cat People, became the legendary Tigra. Greer’s origins and their truths have made her life more complicated than others. However, Greer knows her true place in this world better than anyone else. Tigra is a warrior, whether she’s an Avenger or part of the Midnight Mission.
The Second Cosmos
The heroes, as is so often the case when the Tarot of the Secret Flame gathers together nearly any version of the Defenders. The heroes are again thrust through all the Multiverses they have passed before. The Second Cosmos is a massive and glowing figure who greets the team when they arrive at their destination. This iteration of reality was first seen in 2017’s Ultimates #6 by Al Ewing and Travel Foreman fighting alongside its successors against the First Firmament, the original Multiverse as we know it. Both the residents and the fans of Marvel Universe are unaware of the Omega Force and the Second Cosmos, which is an energy and concept that the Second Cosmos created. If the Defenders have traveled to the Second Cosmos in an attempt to discover the truth, then they may be on the right track to understanding how the worlds were created. If so, it could be a sign that there’s more to the story.