All good things — especially in the case of comic book runs — must come to an end. Brian Michael Bendis has announced that after over two years spent writing two concurrent X-Men ongoing series — “All-New X-Men” and “Uncanny X-Men” — he will be stepping down as the chronicler of Marvel’s mutants’ adventures. The change arrives this spring with the oversized “Uncanny X-Men” #600, an issue that Bendis revealed in an exclusive interview with CBR comes right before the universe-changing “Secret Wars” event.
“Last year, we were planning everything out, and boy, ‘Uncanny’ #600 came like two weeks before ‘Secret Wars,'” said Bendis. “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!'”
With epic runs on “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Daredevil” and “Avengers” on his resume and a new exclusive agreement signed with Marvel, there are only a few new areas in the Marvel Universe left for Bendis to explore. Here are the five comics we’d like to see Bendis tackle next.
Bendis may have logged in a record-breaking 15 years as the writer of “Ultimate Spider-Man,” but he’s yet to get hold of the main Marvel Universe’s Peter Parker. In fact, very few writers not named Dan Slott have had that honor over the past five years. If there’s still a character named Peter Parker with all — or at least some — of his history intact in the aftermath of “Secret Wars,” it would be great to see Bendis chart the course for Marvel’s flagship hero. We’re suggesting a “Spider-Men” series, though, because we still hope Miles Morales — the Ultimate Universe Spider-Man — will stick around after the potential deck-clearing. If that’s the case, Marvel could solve the problem of having two competing Spider-Man ongoing series by launching an ongoing team-up series focusing on both Spider-Men.
Following the multiverse-smashing “Secret Wars,” Bendis could decide to stick with “Guardians of the Galaxy” and launch a second Marvel Cosmic series. The writer has often written two series starring characters in the same character family at the same time; he did that with “New Avengers” and “Avengers” and again with “Uncanny” and “All-New X-Men.” Following the success of the big screen “Guardians,” Marvel’s cosmic brand is bigger than it has been in years. The line, though, doesn’t really feel cohesive; having two Bendis-written books at the forefront of a new cohesive line of cosmic comics would give them a sense of purpose and — as often happens with Bendis books — prominence. Could we see a new “Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch” series, or the return of the “Annihilators?” Fingers crossed.
Brian Michael Bendis has made his love for Luke Cage known since his earliest days at Marvel. Bendis gave Cage supporting roles in all of his early books, making him Jessica Jones’ love interest in “Alias” and “The Pulse” and Matt Murdock’s bodyguard in “Daredevil.” He then took the D-List holdover from the ’70s and positioned him as the heart of his big “New Avengers” launch and quickly elevated Cage’s profile higher than it had ever been before. One could read the massive “New Avengers” run as a Luke Cage series — but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see what Bendis would do on an ongoing fully devoted to the character. It would make sense, too, because Luke’s going to play a role in Netflix’s “A.K.A. Jessica Jones,” which launches later this year. Plus, Cage hasn’t had a real ongoing series in 22 years. He’s way overdue.
Similar to Luke Cage, Stephen Strange is a character that’s about to get major exposure thanks to a live-action adaptation. Benedict Cumberbatch is set to star as the Sorcerer Supreme in 2016’s “Doctor Strange” feature film, and Marvel’s going to want to have a trade or two of new “Strange” tales on the shelves when that film hits. Like Cage, Strange also hasn’t had an ongoing series in a very long time — almost 19 years. To round out the similarity hat trick, Bendis has also devoted attention to Strange in the pages of his team books, from having him join the Avengers to him instructing Magik in “Uncanny X-Men.” The writer has an affinity for the character, and if Marvel’s going to launch a new “Doctor Strange” ongoing to prep audiences for the feature film, odds are they’d give it to Bendis.
If Bendis is going to go in a totally new direction, there’s only one way for him to travel after writing the Avengers and X-Men: to the Baxter Building and “Fantastic Four.” The team that started the modern Marvel Universe back in 1961 has fallen on relatively hard times as of late; following this April’s “Fantastic Four” #645, they will be without an ongoing series for the first time since their debut fifty years ago. If Marvel wants to give the Four a big push back into the spotlight, they could do so with a new ongoing series written by Bendis. This move would also go a long way toward assuaging conspiracy-driven fears fans have that any move involving “Fantastic Four” is in some way reflective of Marvel Studios not owning their film rights. Putting their most prominent writer on a “Fantastic Four” series could go a long way toward pleasing fans and making that series more relevant than ever.
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