It almost seems like all this came to light eons ago, but I thought I should weigh in on the recent news that Brian Michael Bendis has signed an exclusive contract with DC, leaving Marvel behind for now.
I’ve been watching the reaction from fans and fellow creators alike, and it’s been really intriguing!
Let me share my thoughts on all this before we leave this topic behind!
IN COMICS, NOTHING LASTS FOREVER!
When it comes to comic books, nothing lasts forever, not even death! So when DC recently released word of Mr. Bendis’ changing companies, a lot of people – particularly Marvel fans – were astonished and surprised.
I mean, he’s been writing with Marvel for what, 18 years or so? That’s a VERY long time, in comics years (as opposed to dog years)!
He’s been one of those trademark names with the House of Ideas. You say Brian Michael Bendis, you think Marvel.
For a while, anyway, people will associate him with DC since he’s signed that exclusive contract.
Now, does this mean he can never again work at Marvel? Nahhhh, when this contract expires, he could very easily go back to writing any of the Marvel heroes. In fact, his time away from Marvel may give him some new concepts to try out should such a thing happen.
And you have to consider the fact that writing the Marvel heroes for this long might mean he’s actually running out of stories to tell with them for now. It could happen!
IS HE A TRAITOR?
One of the reactions I’ve read online quite a bit is that Mr. Bendis is now a traitor for leaving Marvel.
“How could he jump ship and go to DC when we all know his writing there won’t be half as good as his work at Marvel?” I’ve come across that a lot!
There continues to be this notion that a creator, regardless of which one it is, simply cannot produce storytelling anywhere as powerful for another company, particularly the hated DC. You know, “the worst Marvel book is better than the best DC comic.” That old chestnut.
Some folks have actually used that word traitor when referring to Bendis. I don’t think that’s appropriate, frankly. And he’s not evil now, either!
I mean, I’m not sure of all the reasons Bendis had for signing with DC, but I know many storytellers look around the comics universes and think of stories they’d like to tell for characters they currently don’t have access to. They can’t help that – it just happens!
Some think he just was feeling he needed more attention! Not me!
And I don’t believe Bendis looks on Marvel and that company’s fans with any less reverence than he did before, either.
Personally, I think he just was ready for a change.
Now, some folks refer to DC as “Marvel Lite” because there are several former Marvel stars working there now, such as John Romita, Jr. And again, “they’re not as good as they were when they worked for Marvel,” I hear people say.
See, creators need to create! It’s in their blood! If they start to realize they’ve written just about the very last Spider-Man story they can think of, well, that doesn’t make them a traitor. They just want to play in someone else’s sandbox for now.
WHO WILL BENDIS WORK ON?
The other topic of discussion online that intrigues me is just which hero or heroes Mr. Bendis will take on. And that’s all over the place!
A lot of people are saying Justice League. Some say Superman. Still some others want Batman. Then there are those who are going with Harley Quinn.
On the other hand, there are folks saying it will NOT be Batman or Superman. Those titles are doing reasonably well right now (particularly that Bat Guy). Some don’t think Bendis will be too interested in lower-tier heroes like Superwoman, whose comic is apparently going to be cancelled soon.
Personally, I agree with the folks who think he’ll go with Harley Quinn. The team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner are apparently moving on to other projects after a high-octane run with Joker’s former “puddin’,” so Harley could be high on the radar with Mr. Bendis.
But we’ll see. I’m sure it won’t be long before word comes out about what DC and Bendis have in mind.
MAYBE NEW FANS WILL FIND BENDIS
I’m going to confess something here. I’ve never been much of a Bendis fan. Yes, I’ve read some of his stories now and again, but they didn’t grab me all that much. So my reaction to this announcement was a pronounced meh.
Still, I know a LOT of Bendis fans, some who remain heartbroken, and others who are glad he’s making a change.
Every ending is a jumping on point. It’s also a jumping off point, so it’ll be interesting to see how many Marvel readers, if any, will follow Bendis’ work on DC. I think some will, but the hardcore Marvelites Maximi already have pronounced that the end of his career happened on the day he signed with DC.
From my perspective, this could be a renaissance for Bendis, giving him a chance to tackle new heroes and villains, taking them where no one has thought of taking them before. We’ll see.
What do you think? If you’re already a Bendis fan, will you follow him to DC? Who would you like to see him write there? Or have you bought and read your last Bendis story? Whatever your opinion, please share your thoughts in the space below!