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Marvel Knights is an imprint of Marvel Comics. Dealing with more mature themes than the regular imprint, it is not intended for children. However, it does not deal with the adult themes touched on by the MAX imprint. The imprint originated in 1998 when Marvel outsourced four titles (Black Panther, Daredevil, The Punisher and The Inhumans) to Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti's company Event Comics; Event hired the creative teams for the Knights line while Marvel published them. The imprint has since been folded back into Marvel's standard methods of publication and is used to single out Marvel's "edgier" titles.
In early 2006, Quesada, who had since become Marvel's editor-in-chief, announced that all ongoing titles under the Marvel Knights banner would move to the Marvel Universe imprint and that Marvel Knights would now contain high profile limited series that are set outside of Marvel continuity. After this change, many of the series which had formerly carried the Marvel Knight's banner had it removed, distinguishing them from the new, non-canon materials. This change began with Daredevil #82, along with Black Panther #14, Moon Knight #1, Squadron Supreme #1 and Wolverine #42. Marvel Knights Spider-Man became The Sensational Spider-Man with issue #23 and Marvel Knights 4 simply became 4 with issue #28.
Fury: Peacemaker by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson was the initial limited series to launch from the redefined imprint in February 2006. Three other projects that are currently scheduled to be released under the Marvel Knights imprint in the coming months include:
- Silver Surfer: Requiem by J. Michael Straczynski & Esad Ribic (2007).
- Spider-Man: Reign by Kaare Andrews (late 2006).
- Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears by Garth Ennis & Clayton Crain (2007).
- Captain America: The Chosen"" (September 2007)
“These stand alone stories won’t just challenge readers to re-think their favorite Marvel legends," said Marvel Knights editor Axel Alonso. "Oftentimes, we’ll focus on characters that are off the beaten path—boiling these archetypes down to their cores. We want to build on the tradition of limited series like Ennis and Crain’s Ghost Rider, Frank Cho’s Shanna, the She-Devil and Robert Rodi and Ribic’s Loki -- each of which offered very distinct visions for Marvel characters, and each of which -- judging by sales numbers -- were embraced by fandom.”
Joe Quesada: “Marvel Knights is the showcase for ‘evergreen events’ -- self-contained limited series that think outside the box, that challenge readers to re-think their favorite Marvel characters and re-evaluate the legends that surround them. In other words, Marvel Knights will be a place for top talent to work without constraints, and deliver the kind of product fans deserve!