For as long as I can remember, Brian Michael Bendis has been one of the most hard-working people in comics. After two of the longest runs in American comic book history on ‘Avengers’ and ‘Ultimate Spider-Man,’ the legendary writer moved on to be the franchise player for ‘X-Men’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in 2012. But recently rumors began to circulate that Bendis would be leaving Marvel Comics to pursue other creative endeavors like the upcoming ‘Powers’ television series on the Playstation Network. Though it would be perfectly understandable to see him jump ship in light of his recent success elsewhere in the world of entertainment, it looks like he’s staying put at Marvel Comics for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this week, Bendis and Marvel announced that the writer had re-signed an exclusive deal with the House of Ideas. While he will continue his work on ‘Powers’ with Michael Avon Oeming under Marvel’s ICON imprint, the writer will also participate in ‘Secret Wars’ by ending a world that he had such a big part in creating when he takes on ‘Secret Wars: Ultimate End’ in addition to another mystery ‘Secret Wars’ project. But before he looks to the future, he reflected on his past and present with the company that he has become synonymous with:
“There’s been some speculation that I will be leaving comics because of other cool things going on in my life but I wanted to let everyone know that isn’t the case. I get it, sometimes when people have something going on in other media they tend to drift away from comics. But that is the opposite of what my life’s goals are.
I want to bring people into comics so they can see the original wonderful magic we have to offer every single week. My partnership with Marvel, since the first day they hired me, has been a continuous dream come true and I’m honored that I get to continue this partnership for many years to come.”
However, with all the change going on at Marvel thanks to ‘Secret Wars,’ Bendis’ new deal also comes with a huge shake up that see him leaving the X-Men as their monthly writer following May’s giant-sized and renumbered ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #600 in May. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, he revealed why the time was right for this big move:
“I’ve become known for doing the longest Avengers run ever and the longest Spider-Man run ever, so I had to tell myself, ‘I don’t have to do that every time! I don’t have to stay on every book forever.’
Over the course of the last few years, I will have written almost 90 issues of X-Men. That’s a good run! One of the best parts about being on X-Men was that I knew I was never going to hit Chris Claremont’s X-Men record, so I was free of whatever that is that drives such a thing.
Last year, we were planning everything out, and boy, ‘Uncanny’ #600 came like two weeks before ‘Secret Wars’. So I thought, ‘That’s interesting! Let’s make the most out of that!’ I can’t say too much other than what a perfect thing for the X-Men to have an anniversary issue just before ‘Secret Wars’!
Then at the same time, we were putting together a plan for things. I had gone up to the Marvel offices separate from the usual Marvel retreats. I sat in a room with everybody and went over some stuff. There were a couple of things that had been offered to me over the years that I couldn’t do because I didn’t have time or it wasn’t the right time. These couple of other things, though, are really starting to cook in my head creatively. I really want to do them, but I can’t do everything.”
After some specific questions about his run, the interview turns to his final issue with the X-Men as a regular contributor. Though he can’t say much about it at this time because pieces are still moving into place, Bendis shares a small preview of what’s to come when he assembles an epic team of collaborators from his run and from X-Men history for ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #600:
“The premise of ‘Uncanny’ #600, for lack of a better term — it’s not similar to ‘The Trial of Jean Grey’, but this is the trial of Hank McCoy. It doesn’t involve a judge and jury trial. Hank was the inciting incident of my run. There are big goings on for Hank coming up in ‘The Black Vortex’ crossover and leading up to #600. Even when it was focused on Jean, Scott and other elements, this whole story was about Hank McCoy, in a way.”
Even though he’s departing ‘X-Men,’ Brian Michael Bendis is sure to have some new and exciting things in the works besides ‘Secret Wars: Ultimate End.’ For instance, these announcements never mentioned anything about ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ so it’s very possible that he refocuses the majority of his efforts to Star-Lord and the gang.
What else do you hope Bendis gets to write during his new term at Marvel Comics? Are there any heroes or teams that you’d like to see him write for? Let us know in the comments below.