Marvel is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their Marvel Knights line of comics by bringing it back, with Venom and Thanos writer Donny Cates as the line's new "showrunner."
Cates will be personally choosing the writers for the new Marvel Knights, with Tini Howard (Assassinistas, Euthanauts), Matthew Rosenberg (Phoenix: Resurrection, Punisher), and Vita Ayala (The Wilds, Batman Beyond) tabbed as the initial writers for the relaunched line. The relaunch will feature many of the same characters as the original Marvel Knights, which included Daredevil, Punisher, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Elektra and more.
Marvel Knights is an iconic part of Marvel's history. It was a follow-up to a similar line of comics that Marvel launched in 1996 where Jim Lee's Wildstorm studio and Rob Liefeld's Extreme studio were given control of Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Avengers and Captain America in a line of comics dubbed "Heroes Reborn." When that line ended in 1997, Marvel tried again in 1998, giving Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti's Event Comics its own line of comics dubbed "Marvel Knights." Unlike Heroes Reborn, though, Marvel Knights was set as part of Marvel continuity. The line did so well that Joe Quesada was hired to become the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics period in 2000. The line continued for a number of years under the direction of Axel Alonso, until he, too, became Marvel's Editor-in-Chief when Quesada left the position in 2011 to become Marvel's Chief Creative Officer. The line became defunct in 2013, but it is now back for the 20th anniversary of the line!
Not only did Marvel Knights change Marvel as a company, but Quesada correctly noted to CBR its strong influence on Marvel's Netflix programs a couple of years back, as he explained, ""...it's incredibly gratifying as well to see stories that I group up with, from the Miller stuff and beyond. Even the stuff that I had the opportunity to work on, with Kevin Smith and David Mack, and so many other people, and see parts of that portrayed in the series. And Jessica Jones, I was lucky enough to bring Brian Michael Bendis to Marvel and help usher Jessica Jones, he created the character with Michael Gaydos. It's great to see that stuff actually happening."
Cates will be extending his current Marvel Exclusive contract as part of his new role as the showrunner of the relaunched line. It is still unclear which books each of the creators will be working on (although presumably Rosenberg who will be involved with the Punisher, which he has been writing since Marvel Legacy), but the line will debut with a one-shot called MK20 #1 that will debut in November, written by Cates and illustrated by Mike Deodato.