This week the net went nuts when a Tweet from DC Comics announcing that Brian Michael Bendis after seventeen years would be leaving Marvel Comics and coming to the DC Universe. The news became a trending topic within an hour with Bendis confirming the news in his own Tweet. Since then the Twitterverse has been blowing up with tweets from creators to fans congratulating Bendis and even some suggestions on titles he should write. That is what we are going to unite to do here!
A lot of the news so far have been looking back on Bendis time at Marvel, which Kat and I participated in at The Marvel Report, but here we are on the Frontlines, so we are looking to the future. We decided to give pitches for our top 5 books we think Bendis could/should write at DC given his past work. So far neither DC or Bendis has announced any title that Bendis could be heading towards so these are not official in anyway, they are just our speculation, and are in no particular order.
Brian Michael Bendis has written every major character in the Marvel Universe in one shape or form. He has taken the reigns of Spider-Man, The Avengers, X-Men, Daredevil, and everything in between. But he’s also proven that he can take new and forgotten characters, like Jessica Jones and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) respectively, and not only make them relevant, but make them stand out from the pack.
Now that Bendis has made the jump to the other massive shared universe with DC it’s only fitting that he would land on one of the key titles in the DCU, Justice League.
When Bendis took over The Avengers, he redefined what it meant to be an Avenger. He weeded out all the chaff and made the team matter again. Whether you love or hate his run with Marvel’s elite, he shaped the entire universe by breaking down and rebuilding that team, focusing on character growth, dramatic situations, larger than life obstacles, and major superhero action.
When you think of the Justice League, you think of the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the elite. They are the All-Star team of DC Comics. Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern… the list goes on and on. But one thing we’ve seen in recent years is a lot of shake-up in that main roster. New faces have come on board, whether it be in Pre-New 52, during New 52 or now in Rebirth. The old guard is still present, but there’s room to play around.
What the Justice League title has suffered from for a while now is a sense of stale repetitiveness. What should be one of the central books in the DCU, impacting story lines and making lasting waves feels at times like nothing more than one-off adventures that just happen to last multiple issues. Bendis could fix that and break the monotony.
I wouldn’t want to see him just come in and do what he did with The Avengers, breaking the team down in such an epic way. But I could see Bendis chipping away at the team to restructure it in a way that provides more interesting stories. Exit a character or two with good cause and introduce a favorite C-Level character putting on that Bendis charm to bring them into that upper echelon. What DC has attempted to do with Cyborg and other characters before him I could see Bendis doing successfully with another character, perhaps a female character as that is definitely one of his known strengths.
Some might point out that Bendis is great with street level characters, and I can’t argue that. But he’s also good with the Omega Level characters in that he grounds them and makes them relatable. Seeing him handle the likes of the Justice League members would be a treat.
As for which artist I’d like to see work with him on the book, you have to go big, bold and detailed for a title like Justice League. And while I’m tempted to just say I want Ivan Reis back on the book, playing more to Bendis’ strengths and looking at the artists currently at DC, I’d like to see Clayton Henry get the call. His close-ups and expressions play well to Bendis’ talking-heads style, and his detailed art and explosive paneling give the proper intensity to the League’s adventures. His style is also just a tad playful lending to a much needed injection of occasional subtle humor, which I think Bendis is also good at.
Bendis has proven time and time again he can write teams well AND he can write teens well. Right now the TEEN Titans are a street based, diverse, group of teens in San Francisco. This team is right up Bendis’ alley. I would love to see Bendis team with Tony S. Daniels for this book I feel like the writing and art would work perfectly hand in hand with one another.
The Teen Titans right now are the next generation of teens put together and lead by Robin (Damian). The team at the moment is Robin, Beast Boy, Wally West (New 52), Starfire, Aqualad, and Raven. I wish I could pick one or two characters from the team that I’d really like to see him write but truth is for me it’s the whole team. Wally is the second in the universe now that the original Wally is back, so he is a clean slate for Bendis, and like Miles is biracial. Robin‘s personality and background I’d love to see Bendis’ voice with Damian. Beast Boy, I think his personality is right up Bendis’ alley especially after writing Spidey for so long. Starfire I’d really like to see what Bendis would do with her character since we’ve had so many versions of her up until this point, will he go with a preexisting version or go completely new. There’s so much for Bendis to work with, with Aqualad; I’d love to see how he deals with Aqualad and his dad (Black Manta), this reminds me a lot of Miles and his uncle. We also have Aqualad coming out as gay, I’d like to see how Bendis works with this as well. Raven being a darker character, I’d really like to see how Bendis would go about writing her as well.
One thing I would like to see Bendis do is bring in a few other characters, I mean we’re already had a tease to Superboy (Jon) joining the team at some point. There are other teens floating around the DCU plus I’m sure there will be plenty of others after Metal. I can absolutely see Bendis creating a completely new character at some point for the team as well. Thing is right now DC is about to conclude their Rebirth Universe event so I really can’t see Bendis coming on board until either towards the very end or as a new creative team after the finale of Rebirth. Which will give him a lot to work with I’m sure.
Tony S. Daniel would be perfect for this team, he’s very passionate about his work just like Bendis and I feel like this team would work perfectly together. I also feel Tony S. Daniel would also make a good partner for Bendis as they work through this book together, maybe give him a few ideas or pointers. I think if this was to happen Teen Titans would shoot up into a lot of peoples Top 5 comics for sure.
This title will allow Bendis a great voice to talk about many topics that Green Arrow is known to tackle over the years. Everything from sexual assault, to race, sexual orientation, and gender identity can be tackled here without it feeling forced. Green Arrow will allow Bendis a voice to affect social change while telling a superhero story.
With the announcement of Bendis moving to DC Comics, Young Justice was the first title that came to mind that I wanted him to write. Bendis has such a great handle on young voices and coming of age stories. I can’t think of a better writer to handle the return of Cassie Sandsmark, Bart Allen, and Conner Kent.
One of my least favorite aspects of the New 52 was the representation of the Teen Titans. All my favorites were acting so out of character, that I had to drop the title.
Bendis has proven with his long time run and launch of Ultimate Spider-Man that he can put a modern spin on classic characters, and that’s exactly what Young Justice needs. The team, a property from the 90’s, grew popular again with their graduation to Geoff John’s Teen Titans and the Young Justice television show. They need a revision in DC Rebirth – embrace the old with the new.
Let’s see old team members like Cassie, Tim, Bart, and Conner with maybe some new team members. I would love to see the inclusion of Stephanie Brown and Arrowette with their upcoming appearances in Young Justice Season 3. It would be nice to see Bendis take inspiration from the television show.
As for an artist, speaking of Ultimate Spider-Man, Mark Bagley would be a good pick. But my dream artist would be Francis Manapul, I love his take on these characters.
So just like everyone else in the comic world, I was shocked to here that Brian Michael Bendis was leaving MARVEL after 17 years, I was completely in shock. After taking sometime and digesting the information, I thought for Brian Michael Bendis to leave: #1 He has written every MARVEL character under the sun and experiencing some burn out, also maybe some issues with MARVEL as well. #2 DC had to have promised him he could write some pretty big characters in the DC Universe. I mean why would you leave a company to go to another company to write lesser characters or a different Earth?
So what do I think he is going write? Well I think he is going to write Batman, wait Superman no no Wonder Woman. I just can’t decide….. I got it! How about all 3 characters. Not individually but together in one book. There you have it, Brian Michael Bendis should write Trinity. This would be a wonderful book for him to get his feet wet with DC‘s top 3 characters. He can have them do their own adventures together while getting more comfortable with the DC Universe. I would have Tony S. Daniel accompany him on the art because of his beautiful detail. Then when the time comes he can cross over Trinity with the Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman books with larger stories so then he can establish closer relationships with the other writers. So don’t worry DC fans I think Bendis will fit right in. I think he will be re-energized knowing that he is writing in a brand new universe for him.