Brian Michael Bendis Heads for DC; What He Should Do There
The comic book industry was rocked awake this morning by news that comic book superstar Brian Michael Bendis has signed a multi-year multifaceted deal with Marvel competitor DC Comics.
Bendis started his run at Marvel in 2000 with Ultimate Spider-Man, which ran for 111-issues. In his 17 years at the company, he’s had multi-arc runs that reignited franchises for Avengers, New Avengers, Daredevil, All-New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and more, along with the event series House of M, Secret Invasion and Civil War II. He also co-created a number of major characters, including Jessica Jones, Riri Williams and Miles Morales. Which is a long-winded way of saying he's had a huge impact on the Marvel universe. This raises the question of what a “multi-year” run at DC would look like and which of their properties could use a “Bendis Boost.”
The most obvious choice is a Captain Marvel run. No, not Carol Danvers; the other Captain Marvel. The guy most folks call Shazam, except that's not his name -- it's the magic word that's said to transform him from a little kid into a square-jawed caped crusader. This would be a smart move for DC because there is a movie coming out starring Zachary Levi and DC could stand to up the character’s comic book profile. Bendis would actually be a great fit for this character because he's adept at writing kids and teens. Young Billy Bastion’s wide-eyed view of the world when he's in the Captain Marvel persona can be quippy, which is the writer's comfort zone. He's also skilled at building up mythology and streamlining it so that it makes sense for new readers.
In the past, Bendis has made mention of his love of Batman and even once teased working with Avengers: Disassembled collaborator David Finch on the character. His run on Daredevil proves that he can handle a darker character and really put them through the ringer. Plus, his early days as a crime fiction writer would be put to the test. The thing with Batman though is that the character is in the hands of some incredible writers already. It would be a shame for Tom King or James Tynion IV to lose their spots on their respective Batman titles in favor of Bendis. There is always the option of giving him the All Star Batman title, but that tends to exist outside of current continuity and it would be a waste of the former Marvel architect to not put him to work contributing to the main DC universe.
Whatever your current opinion on the creator might be, there is certainly no denying he knows how to write and he loves comic books. His vibrant passion for the industry and specifically the characters helped reshape Marvel comics over the last couple decades. DC is in desperate need of that kind of shake-up and putting Bendis on an unexpected title that he can build from the ground up might be the best way to go. Either way, this is a fantastic move for everyone involved, including Marvel, which is now in a position to promote some of their newer talent to higher profile books. As for Bendis, no matter what title he ends up on it will be interesting to see if this massive career change is enough to reignite his creative fire.
IMAGES: DC Comics, Marvel