Bendis Brings Secret Projects & "Secret Wars" To Special Edition: NYC

This fall, comic and pop culture aficionados will flock to the Big Apple for ReedPOP's New York Comic Con, a show that celebrates fun and fantastic stories from all different mediums. This weekend, though, ReedPop is giving comic fans a show completely dedicated to them in the form of Special Edition: NYC. From June 6 to 7, fans will be able to meet and interact with many big name and prolific creators like Charles Soule, Alex Maleev, Greg Pak, Joe Quinones, Marguerite Bennett, Annie Wu and Brian Michael Bendis.

Bendis is particularly excited to be attending the show, which will give him a chance to directly interact with the fans he gained through lengthy stints on books like "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "New Avengers" as well as his more recent work on "All-New X-Men."

But Bendis also has a very specific reason for dropping by SENYC: he's making a big announcement about one of the post-"Secret Wars" titles he's working on for Marvel. With his announcement fast approaching, CBR News spoke with Bendis about his convention plans, his current "Secret Wars" titles and the challenge of writing for lightning fast artists.

CBR News: Brian, you're a very busy guy these days, which means you don't get a chance to do a lot of conventions. What was it about Special Edition: NYC that made you want to attend?

Brian Michael Bendis: We debuted the "Powers" TV show at New York Comic Con last fall and they could not have been cooler and more generous to us. They gave us the big stage and the big rooms to debut our stuff and it was just such a lovely experience from top to bottom, so I was excited when they invited me to this show [which is] so comics forward. I have a TV show now so I do appreciate the conventions that are multi-platform, but I do like to focus on comics. Putting my time and effort into supporting that was an easy thing to do.

So I was happy to take the invitation; and it really wasn't the plan, but it just so happens that with "Secret Wars" and the way everything is shaking out, we were ready to announce the first of my big new post "Secret Wars" projects for Marvel. This seemed like the perfect place to make that announcement.

So people going to the convention will get a chance to both meet and interact with you, and they will also get the inside scoop on what's coming next from Marvel?

Absolutely. I'm told that this is the first big, "Here's what's happening after 'Secret Wars'" announcement. I'm excited about that, but number two -- my most important reason for coming is that these other shows that I've done over the last year have kind of been circuses where I'm running around, trying to do several things at once, but with this one I'm going to sit, sign stuff and I'm going to talk and say hello to everybody. That's really something I haven't been able to do in awhile, so I'm very happy to be doing this.

One of the things you're bound to be talking about is your "Secret Wars" series "Ultimate End." How does it feel to be putting the Ultimate Universe, a universe that you spent so much of your career working on, to rest with this story?

I have many emotions about it. I'm ending on such a fun collaboration with Mr. [Mark] Bagley who just this morning handed in some pages, which were absolutely Mark at his best. So I'm feeling very good about the project and we're still working on it even though we're close to the end of it.

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So it feels good, and issue #5 answers all of the questions people had about issue #1. Like, "What universe is this? What's going on? Who are all of these characters? Why is it happening?" All of that gets duly resolved, and you also find out the true fate of the Ultimate Universe inside the pages of "Ultimate End."

So people will discover it there and see what the real legacy of the universe is, but I don't miss it yet -- just because I'm still working on it. Overall, though, I feel very good about having a job that was given to me that was only supposed to last six issues and I pulled it into a 15-year gig. It feels pretty good. It feels like maybe the biggest heist in comic freelancer history. [Laughs]

This series also allows you to play with pretty much anybody from the Marvel or the Ultimate Universes, like the Punisher -- who we saw on the first pages of "Ultimate End" #1.

Yes we did, and he may have been dead at one point. And why is Cyclops not a Phoenix? And where the hell is Miles [Morales]? There's a lot going on in the book that people will eventually have answers to within the pages of this book, so it's really the best of both worlds here for me.

How does it feel to take this final journey in the Ultimate Universe with your original "Ultimate Spider-Man" collaborator and friend Mark Bagley? As always, he appears to be at the top of his game.

Yeah it's tremendous work and issue #4 is the best of the group. That's always a good feeling when it's better than the first issue, which was beautiful.

So I love working with Mark, but I feel like it's 2005 all over again for me because I'm working with Mark, Mike Deodato [on "Guardians of Knowhere"] and Mike Oeming [on "Powers"] all at the same time and they are the fastest artists on the planet. So everyday I feel like I'm being chased. [Laughs]

So much art work came in this morning that it was like, "Come on! Let me catch up!" I really feel like I'm being chased by the deadline demons like nobody's business. You have no idea just how much artwork these guys put out alone, and when you're working with them all together you could literally write 150 pages and feel like, "Whew! I'm ahead of the curve." Then the next morning, "I'm behind the curve!"

Let's talk a little bit about the work you're doing with Mike Deodato on "Guardians of Knowhere." We've talked quite a bit about the book before, but we can talk a little more about how Knowhere ties into Doctor Doom's Battleworld now that "Secret Wars" is underway. I know you don't want to spoil too much, but how tied to Doom and the events on Battleworld is "Guardians of Knowhere?"

All of my books are pretty tight on the Doom stuff. Some of that will be a slow reveal throughout the series, and others will be very obvious right away. Knowhere is a very interesting thing because this is Doom's hand in the cosmic. There are elements of the cosmic that he is trying to control or mold into his image. Some of it works and some of it is like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. It just doesn't totally fit.

So that's something that the Guardians are wrestling with. Some of them feel this is where they are and this is their reality, while others have a more cosmic tinge to them and it feels like something is way off. We've got a character like Gamora whose entire being is wrapped around Thanos and now they're in a world that doesn't have Thanos. That means she's having some freaky dreams.

Do the Thors -- Battleworld's police force -- have any sort of jurisdiction or presence on Knowhere?

Yes, you find out right away [in the first issue] in the being of Angela.

Let's move to another project currently keeping you busy: "Powers." The PlayStation Network's television adaptation of "Powers" recently got renewed for a second season.

We are renewed for season two! I will literally be flying Sunday from the show right to L.A. to start the "Powers" writers' room on Monday, so we are up and running. It is a done deal. I can't thank you and everybody enough for supporting this new endeavor! It's TV on a new platform but we got the numbers and they renewed us. It's a huge relief and very exciting, especially since it took so many years to get the show on the air and now we're able to do something very special with it.

In terms of creator-owned projects with Mike Oeming, you also have the "United States of Murder Inc. Annual" coming later this summer.

Yes, and right at the show [this weekend] we'll be announcing a new very big project on Saturday, so that's really exciting. So it's a very cool time because I'm very excited about all of the projects coming out this summer. They're all very beautiful: "Old Man Logan," "Ultimate End," and "Guardians of Knowhere" are all gorgeous. Plus we have my X-Men run making it's slow trot to the finish line. Coming right after that, though, are all these brand new projects that we're super excited about. So it's a very good and exciting time.

Brian Michael Bendis will appear at Special Edition: NYC from June 6 to June 7.

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