Heroes for Hire: Back Open for Business

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning mesh Marvel’s street level heroes into the wildest gang you’ll ever see

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By Ben Morse

With the changes wrought to the streets of New York City and beyond during Shadowland, the Marvel Universe's harried citizens need heroes now more than ever-fortunately for them, they're once again for hire.

Elektra
The writing duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, fresh off concluding their years-long cosmic opus in THE THANOS IMPERATIVE, will reunite with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY artist Brad Walker on HEROES FOR HIRE, a new ongoing series beginning this December, which assembles the likes of Elektra, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Black Widow, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, The Falcon and several other urban fighters to cope with the aftermath of Daredevil's enforced martial law.

"It's a treat for us to be playing with some of the all-time classic street-level Marvel characters, and it makes a very refreshing change of pace for us-about as far away from the big scale cosmic stuff as you can get," says Lanning. "We were very keen to exercise some different areas of our imagination, and this is the ideal place."

While HEROES FOR HIRE marks a dramatic shift from recent work on titles like NOVA and events such as War of Kings for Abnett and Lanning, they will continue using the skills and tools that have put them among the pantheon of Marvel's most popular creators.

Falcon
"[HEROES FOR HIRE is] gritty, hard-paced and treacherous 'vigilante' action thriller stuff, but it never forgets its Marvel Universe setting," promises Abnett of the book's mission statement. "If you dug what we did with the Guardians as a team, then you'll find plenty to love here, especially in terms of strong character-driven plots, interlocking relationships, sassy dialogue, and the combination of unlikely characters."

Don't expect the Heroes to operate like the Avengers or X-Men though, as trying to get loners like Ghost Rider and Elektra functioning in a team environment would likely prove a losing endeavor for all involved.

"It's not a team, at least not in the traditional sense," explains Lanning of the sprawling cast. "[There is] a structure that allows mission-specific teams to be 'hired' depending on the type of problem that's got to be solved. So there will be some really fun and often unexpected guest star combos, depending on what the threat is. Characters often get 'hired' without realizing how or why they're being used."

Heroes for Hire
"However, we don't want the book to feel like a disjointed team-up title," chimes in Abnett. "There is also a very strong, intriguing ongoing story driving the series along underneath the missions in each issue."

Given that their GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY run helped elevate previously forgotten characters like Rocket Raccoon and Groot into unprecedented popularity, the writers have high hopes for the characters now coming into their care, and hope to vault several to forefront of the Marvel Universe.

"We're only picking heroes on the basis we like them and we think it's going to be really fun to play with them," says Abnett. "So far, Moon Knight, Falcon and Ghost Rider have exceeded our expectations in fun-factor. So has Black Widow."

"If anybody's going to emerge from this as unexpectedly cool and more interesting than people realize, it's Paladin," forecasts Lanning. "We like to play with neglected or underappreciated characters from the Marvel Handbook. Paladin is about to break out and kick ass."

Misty Knight
However, if one player in the HEROES FOR HIRE set-up stands out immediately from among the pack, it has to be The Punisher, who always represents the most dangerous wildcard around. Abnett and Lanning have significant history with Frank Castle, who they first penned during 1992's "Eurohit" storyline and revisited with artist Dale Eaglesham in the acclaimed PUNISHER: YEAR ONE limited series.

"Punisher won't play anyone's game, so he's going to be a bit of an 'in case of emergency, unleash Frank' option," notes Abnett. "It's great fun to be writing him again."

Finally, for fans that associate the Heroes for Hire name with the classic adventures of Power Man, Iron Fist and friends, have no fear, as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning number among your ranks.

"We fought to get the title for the book, and we wanted it because it's iconic and there are fundamental aspects of this [series] that connect to

Paladin
previous Heroes for Hire continuity," reveals Lanning.

"This is, organically, the next stage of development," adds Abnett. "It relates to the previous Heroes stories the way our GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY related to-and respected-previous incarnations of the Guardians.

"Read it-you'll find out just how much fun it is."

 

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      Comments

      16 comments
      Juxst
      Juxst

      This looks sweet. I wonder if it will live up to my expectations. I hope it does.

      DemonTrainXVIII
      DemonTrainXVIII

      I really hope this series can make a long run, seeing as how this lineup of heroes is the best the team has ever included. I hope the title adds a steady dose of Luke Cage and that Iron Fist is still a regular in New Avengers. A bit of a rotating lineup like the late '90s series is not a bad idea either..Cloak & Dagger, Satana, Deadpool perhaps?

      thehulkster94
      thehulkster94

      We don't know that nova and gotg are canceled. it has not been confirmed either way, there is more evidence that we will get nova back then there is that it might be canceled

      grkpektis
      grkpektis

      They canceled nova and GoTG for this?

      thehulkster94
      thehulkster94

      well, they did say this relates to the original the same way the new guardians relate to the old ones, which means very little characters in common, maybe occasional guest appearances from some old school members. So Luke Cage is not needed imo.

      marvelnerdking
      marvelnerdking

      how are you going to have a hero-for-hire without Luke Cage he started it

      Miles_Warren
      Miles_Warren

      I just want to echo forebushboy and Novadragon's comments. Also really looking forward to this.

      biko7
      biko7

      glad the street level heroes are getting some love. Its time to bring back the Iron fist books too marvel!

      thehulkster94
      thehulkster94

      hope this doesn't mean DnA are off cosmic titles, but I would like too see them on more titles, this book is looking interesting, I just hope they don't have to get a fill in artist constantly like they did with gotg

      shuto1976
      shuto1976

      This is fantastic news... D&A will be able to focus on a different mix of characters depending on what is required, this will keep it feeling fresh and exciting. If you people want a full on standard team book get one of the other thousand off the shelf... this will be top of my list... go Ironfist!!

      forebushboy
      forebushboy

      MARVEL, I know you have to pay two writers on this. But PLEASE make this book $2.99. I really, really want to see this - and to see it succeed. But I don't know if it'll get that chance if its another $4, 22 page title. Prolong your ca$h in, and let two great guys breathe life back into what could be a great launching pad. PLEASE.

      jc1569
      jc1569

      Meh... I'd rather have Abnett and Lanning do a cosmic title...

      wildasparagus
      wildasparagus

      very good news, i too love the use of unexpected characters...always thought paladin isn't seen enough..i've nothing against brad walker as the artist, my guess is people like tom cokker and laurence campbell would be more appropriate, hope to see them anytime soon...this rooster and the authors approach interest me a lot anyway, thanks a lot marvel

      ArchangelDRMRS
      ArchangelDRMRS

      Wow... Suprising line-up! Iron Fist made it. Punisher and Ghost Rider too!?!? Nice!!! I can see Elektra, Misty Knight, Paladin and Moon Knight fitting with this bunch, but Falcon???? eh... hope he quits by issue #2. Now if only they threw in a mutant like Gambit or someone, that'd be cool.

      NovaDragon
      NovaDragon

      God I hope this means that DnA are leaving Nova and the GotG or worse yet that those books are being canceled. DnA's Nova and GotG is what got me back into Marvel and now I'm reading a steady diet of Marvel. Losing them to this though would push me to that other company with their green guys :(