Bendis takes over "Avengers," McKeever writes "Mary Jane"

According to Wizard Magazine, Marvel Comics Ultimate go-to-guy Brian Bendis is set to take over the writing chores on "Avengers" and bring it to a close. It all begins this July in issue #500 when Bendis takes over the title with artist David Finch in the four-issue arc "Avengers Disassemble."

"This is the darkest chapter in Avengers history," Bendis told Wizard. "It'll blow up their status quo and create a new one by the end of the arc. Hopefully, it's a Shakespearean-level tragedy that uses the Avengers' history to propel them forward.

Bendis pointed out that in the past the Avengers have made mistakes and controversial decisions and those actions will come back to haunt them during this arc.

The information was supposed to wait until Wizard #151 hit stands, but the information leaked and Wizard decided to run a small portion of the story on their Web site. The full interview can be found in issue #151. More details are expected during Bendis' panel at Wizard World Los Angeles this weekend.

On his official Message Board, Bendis shed a small bit more light on things.

"for those who are in a tizzy over relaunches, i do, in fact, agree with you that they should be only for special story related events. we do believe from top to bottom that this is one of those. i, of course, have to wait months to say nyah nyah i told you so, but i do believe i will be able to."

Taking over "Avengers" meant something had to give, which resulted in Bendis leaving "Ultimate Fantastic Four," which paved the way for Warren Ellis to try his hand on that title.

"for those complaining about me bailing on UFF, i stay put on books like no one in mainstream comics. always have. i just handed in ["Ultimate Spider-Man"]. i think you can cut me some slack on that, but i am sorry we had to bail. warren e's scripts are so good, you won't even notice we're gone.

"joining us on avengers is colorist frank d'armata, who is the colorist on ["Ultimate X-Men"] now. i think he's amazing. i hand picked him for this assignment and he's a big part of the storytelling.

"for long time avengers fans, rest assured you are reading the words of one. i am a huge avengers fan. you don't take a gig like this unless you are a fan. don't let the online crazies convince you otherwise. it is so hard to break in to comics, you HAVE to be fan to get here. everyone who works on these books is a true true life long fan.

"but i am also a fan of the future. and taking the concept of the avengers into it. with the help of avengers editor tom breevort and andy schmidt you can look forward to a real step forward without forgetting where we came from. "

In addition to the "Avengers" news, "Mystique" writer Sean McKeever let the cat out of the bag about an entirely different series coming from the publisher. In an e-mail sent to his newsletter subscribers, McKeever revealed that he'll be writing a brand new teen-drama series beginning in June called "Mary Jane," which will focus on the life of Mary Jane Watson while in High School with friends like Flash Thompson, Liz Allen, Harry Osbon and Peter Parker playing a role. Art for the series will be by "Runaways" artist Takeshi Miyazawa.

"'Mary Jane' will be part of Marvel Age, a sub-imprint of books designed to attract new readers," said McKeever in his e-mail. "It takes place within its own continuity, developed by editor MacKenzie Cadenhead and myself. Every issue will contain a stand-alone tale with ongoing character plotlines, just like a television drama. The potential for this series within and outside of the comicbook-store market is huge, and it's the most proud and jazzed I've been about a project since 'The Waiting Place', and I hope that even those who read comics mostly for superhero action will check it out."

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