Brian Michael Bendis is one of the biggest writers in comics. He's been writing comics since 1991 and for Marvel Comics since 2000. He has worked on titles such as The Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man (Miles Morales series), Guardians of the Galaxy, Invincible Iron Man and more. He's one of the most respected writers in all of comics and one of my favorite writers of all time. Hopefully he'll be one of yours after you're done reading this article.
You can't talk about Bendis without talking about the characters he's made. Bendis, in my personal opinion, has created some of the best recent characters in #Marvel. He has created versions of characters like the Ultimate Universe version of Aunt May, along with others. The most successful of his original creations has to be Miles Morales (Spider-Man), and Jessica Jones. Both characters are loved by fans, popular, have appeared in other media outside of the comics, and have well-known storylines.
Characters created by Bendis are praised for their likability, relatability, and being three-dimmesional. Characters created by Bendis feel like people you could meet in real life. They have flaws and personal issues that just makes them feel like real people rather than just superheroes, which makes them really unique.
When creating characters, Bendis "[Begins] with someone [he] knows and builds upon that inspiration, allowing the character to eventually evolve naturally."
Ultimate Spider-Man is the first series Brian Micheal Bendis wrote for Marvel. It followed Peter Parker in the Ultimate Marvel Universe and ran for 200 issues. The series eventually followed Miles Morales, and ran for 12 issues. Both runs were praised for their great writing by Bendis and fantastic art.
The Peter Parker run of Ultimate Spider-Man written by Bendis was called by The Ultimate Spin podcast (a podcast dedicated to Miles Morales (Spider-Man), Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen):
Bendis's Miles Morales run of Ultimate Spider-Man was met with hesitation at first by some of the Spider-Man fan base for introducing Miles Morales. Miles was a new character taking over the Spider-Man helm. The run was eventually praised, with a average score of 8.2 on ComicBookRoundup.com by critics. The Ultimate Spin Podcast called the Miles Morales run:
The series was also praised by creators, with editor Mark Paniccia commenting:
"This is some of the best work that Brian has done in his career. He knows how to get into the characters’ minds. He knows them intimately so that when a situation presents itself the reactions feel true and believable, as if the book is writing itself. That’s a skill. That’s a gift. And that’s really cool."
Brian Micheal Bendis says the series means a lot to him,
"What 'Ultimate Spider-Man' means to me versus everyone else in the world will always be very different and very large. This is a career-defining book and it defines my relationship with Marvel Comics. Everything about it is super, super, super important to me. Things that have happened along the way have been some of the greatest things that have ever happened to me in my career, number one being set up on a blind date with Mark Bagley to do this book and then end up doing one of the longest runs in comics, and then the come out of it such good friends and partners on other things. And then every single collaboration that I've had, including up to David Marquez, who literally just moved to Portland so we could work closer together."
Bendis reinvigorated and redefined several runs of The Avengers. The state of The Avengers before Bendis took over the title wasn't the best. The team was made up of B and C-list heroes at the time, such as Jack of Hearts, She-Hulk, Vision, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Hawkeye. Before you start saying "But, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon and Hawkeye are A-list characters," prior to the movies and some great comic book runs like Matt Fraction's Hawkeye, Nick Spencers's Ant-Man, and Tom King's Vision, these characters were B and C-listers at best.
Brian Michael Bendis started his revamp of the Avengers with Avengers Disassembled. Avengers Disassembled was a crossover event that spanned the main Avengers title and several others. Bendis's goal with Avengers Disassembled was to disassemble the pre-existing team of Avengers so he could bring in his own team of Avengers with more A-list heroes.
After the events of Avengers Disassembled, Bendis started New Avengers. This Avengers team had A-list heroes such as Wolverine and Spider-Man (Peter Parker); new characters like The Sentry and Ronin; classic Avengers like Iron Man and Captain America (Steve Rogers); street-level heroes like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Echo; and finally B and C-list heroes (at the time) including Spider-Woman, MockingBird, Jessica Jones and Dr. Strange.
Bendis would eventually relaunch The Avengers title, bringing in heroes such as the Thing, Storm and Daredevil. Bendis's run on New Avengers and Avengers was received well by fans and critics alike. It's credited as the series that brought back the Avengers. With CBR saying:
"Over the course of 8 years and approximately 232 issues, Brian Michael Bendis revolutionized the Avengers, ushering in the era of their current popularity."
Bendis made the Avengers prominent again in the Marvel Universe. They're one of the few teams in the Marvel Universe that can combine mutants, magic users, inhumans, street-level heroes, cosmic heroes, etc. The Avengers can have all those aspects of the Marvel Universe on one team, and Bendis really used that to his advantage.
Brian Michael Bendis's Powers is a mix between a police procedural and superheroes, and it's brilliant. Powers follows Christian Walker, a former superhero turned detective, and his partner, Deena Pilgrim, as they solve crimes. That's all I'm going to say about the plot of the series because I don't want to spoil anything.
I will say Powers is a brilliant series that combines police procedural and superheroes perfectly. Bendis created a unique tone, and universe in Powers that keeps the reader intrigued. I know this article is about Brian Micheal Bendis but I have to say Michael Avon Oeming's art is fantastic in Powers; it reminds me a lot of cartoons like Samurai Jack, and Sym-Bionic Titan.
Friend and reviewer LiamSDCC said Powers was:
The series won an Eisner Award in 2001 for Best New Series, and Brian Michael Bendis won the Best Writer Eisner Award in 2002 and 2003 for this series. Powers was adapted into a TV series for Sony's Playstation network — it lasted two seasons.
Powers gives a unique perspective at a superhero universe — from the eyes of cops, civilians and former superheroes. We get to see how they feel about heroes in their world. It's a concept we don't see a lot in comics, but is always interesting when we do.
'Jessica Jones' And 'Alias'
Alias is a psychological thriller mystery set in the Marvel Universe written by Brian Michael Bendis. Alias follows Brian Michael Bendis's creation, Jessica Jones — a hardened, foul-mouthed former superhero turned private investigator with PTSD from her experience with the Purple Man. Alias is praised for how it tackled issues such as sexual violence, PTSD and how Bendis wrote its main protagonist (also his creation) Jessica Jones. The series won the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for "Favorite Comic Series" in 2003 and the Harvey Award for "Best New Series" in 2002. The series was the main base for the hit Netflix show #JessicaJones. The Netflix series kept what made Jessica Jones great as a character
Jessica Jones feels natural and real to audiences because of what she represents: Overcoming trauma in life. Trauma never goes away but it is possible to overcome it and progress in life. Jessica overcomes her trauma, but it's still something she has to deal with.
Miles Morales A.K.A. Spider-Man
Miles Morales has to be the jewel in Brian Michael Bendis's crown, as it's his most popular creation. First appearing in Ultimate Fallout #4 (2011) in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Miles Morales has since become a hit, appearing in other media outside of comics such as the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and will also be getting a Sony animated film by the creators of the Lego Movie.
Miles Morales embodies what makes comics great — that anybody can be a hero (or character) regardless of flaws, disability, race, sexuality or gender. He also represents what makes the original Spider-Man (Peter Parker) great, while being his own character, which makes him a great successor and perfect for the Spider-Man mantle.
Sara Pichelli says she was honored to be apart of the creation of Miles Morales:
"I had the chance to be on this series before and after the death of Peter, and to have the honor to be part of the creation of Miles Morales. 'Ultimate Spider-Man' always had the power to speak to the the heart of old and new readers and make them fall in love with an icon like Spider-Man."
Brian Michael Bendis is a legend in the comics industry. He had a critical hit run on Ultimate Spider-Man, reinvigorated the Avengers, and created some of the most popular recent characters in comics.
What Brian Michael Bendis comic is your favorite?