Yo yo yo!

this is Brian Bendis. Humble award winning comics creator, New York Times bestseller.

SONY’s live action series based on our book POWERS, the Eisner award-winning comic series by myself and Mike Avon Oeming, debuts on Playstation tomorrow. The show stars Sharlto Copley, Eddie Izzard, Susan Heyward, Noah Taylor and Michelle Forbes. Showrunners Charlie Huston and Remi Aubuchon are at the helm.

For Marvel you might know my work on ALL NEW X-MEN and UNCANNY X-MEN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, Miles Morales, which made the front page of USA Today and went on to become an international hotbed political topic featured on Fox News, CNN, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Howard Stern and many others…

i also just released WORDS FOR PICTURES an intricate look at the creation of comic books and graphic novels based on the college level Graphic Novel class I teach at Portland State University.

I am also on Marvel studios’ creative committee, which consults on their numerous ongoing film projects. Which means I have consulted on THE IRON-MAN TRILOGY, CAPTAIN AMERICA 1 & 2, THOR 1 & 2, THE AVENGERS and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Currently he is consulting on the second wave of Marvel movies including ANT MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 and AVENGERS 2.

Before that, I completed 9 years helming Marvel’s AVENGERS franchise by writing every issue of the NEW AVENGERS plus debuting AVENGERS, MIGHTY AVENGERS and DARK AVENGERS along with the ‘event’ projects AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN, HOUSE OF M, SECRET WAR, SECRET INVASION, AGE OF ULTRON, and SIEGE.

My creator owned projects include SCARLET (w/ Alex Maleev), BRILLIANT (w/ Mark Bagley), the Eisner award winning “POWERS,” “UNITED STATES OF MURDER INC.” and “TAKIO” (w/ Mike Oeming) and the Hollywood tell all “FORTUNE AND GLORY’. All published through the Marvel ICON line.

official site: jinxworld.com


Comments: 263 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

RyanMHolt32 karma

Cannot wait for Powers!!!

What ever happened to Peter trying to track down 616-Miles that was teased at the end of Spider-Men? Has that been shelved or will it be explored in the future?

Do you think Spider-Gwen will eventually have the legacy that Ultimate Spider-Man has now?

BrianMichaelBendis52 karma

spider-men 2 is still very much a thing. keep an eye in the sky. its a big year for reveals with marvel's secret war coming.

as far as spider-gwen, only time will tell. but i wish every creator the complete joy we have has with USM. sincerely.

Mastercheese27430 karma

Hey Mr. Bendis! I doubt you'll even see this, but I have been waiting for an opportunity to say it since I was 11. Today I am an avid comic reader and collector, my favorite day of the week is every Wednesday when I get to buy all my new issues. Nothing excites me more and I owe it all to you. Ultimate Spider-Man is the reason I read comics, it's the reason almost everything in my dorm has the wall-crawler's face plastered on it. For years I got to read stories of my hero, of characters I had only heard about but experience for myself. The book was funny and exciting with its share of heartwarming and heart wrenching moments as well. The character you wrote meant the world to me as I grew up with him and when you killed off Pete it felt like I was losing an actual friend. Even today after I have amassed quite the collection my prized possession is still my Ultimate Spider-Man #1. From the bottom of my heart I just want to say thank you for the incredible work you do, as I have grown up I have come to read and love many more titles but none of them will ever be able to replace Ultimate Spider-Man. As for my question, is there any villain you never got to use that you wish you could go back and give the full Ultimate treatment? Also which Ultimate story line was your favorite?

BrianMichaelBendis31 karma

notes like this are so much more than I ever thought I would get out of doing this for a living. you have no idea what an amazing experience it is interacting with people who have been on this journey with us. so I did see this and thank you. and for others who have written similar notes to me you have no idea what it means. thank you so much

as far as the ultimate villains I may not have gotten to... can't think of any off the top of my head. the good thing about the ultimate universe lasting as long as it did is that we got to look at things from so many different angles.

but it's not over... I'm working on the ultimate end series right now. a lot is going to happen.

carletonseth17 karma

Hey Brian! Who came up with the idea for Wolverine and Spider-Man to switch bodies in Ultimate Spider-Man?

BrianMichaelBendis26 karma

editor Nick Lowe.

in the book we show a cartoon of him telling me this idea and me saying to him: I'm not tell anybody else you just said this embarrassing thing out loud.

that really did happen.

and I was overwhelmed with ideas and jokes for this and once that happens you're compelled to do it no matter what.

YeahGrant14 karma

Hey Brian, long time listener, first time caller. In regards to both the daily routine or ritual around writing, and your technical focus versus creative expression of the work itself, how has your approach to and engagement of writing changed over the years?

BrianMichaelBendis12 karma

In a lot of ways.

I've always prided myself on not having a set way of doing things. I think once you have a set way or a formula that you plug-in you completely can lose all sense of surprise and invention.

plus as you get older you get more experience and you learn more and you learn what does and doesn't work.

you try things and fail and don't try them again or try that again from another angle.

but one of the joys of being a teacher is that I'm constantly going over the basics and the fundamentals of storytelling with my students which makes means I'm going over them with myself.

so the constant reminder of the basics has been a very good thing for me. you can out clever yourself sometimes. it's nice to keep a balance.

carletonseth14 karma

What are your favourite books you are currently reading?

BrianMichaelBendis27 karma

Lazarus, bitch planet, demon, sex criminals, Casanova, the wicked and the divine, trees, shaft.

Johnny_Stooge8 karma

Considering that you're a pretty fucking busy guy with your Marvel and creator-owned books, the various other projects you work on like the Powers adaptation, and your family - how do you find the time?

BrianMichaelBendis17 karma

It's all stuff I want in my life so I make the time

ev646413 karma

Hi Brian,

Could you go into your process for how you approach a book focused on a singular character vs a team book that has numerous main characters darting from page to page?

BrianMichaelBendis16 karma

When writing a singular character the book becomes more or less from their point of view. it is a singular vision of the world around them. that doesn't mean it has to be a first-person narrative but we are following that person's actions and choices.

with a team book or a book with multiple leads the point of view of the book can bounce between characters or take a more omniscient viewpoint.

the process just comes down to deciding what's best for the story. what's best for the characters. what's the most interesting perspective for this story

Sibbo9412 karma

Hi, thanks for being here loved Words with Pictures, Daredevil, Alias and am about to start Ultimate Spiderman.

The question I would like to ask is: The most recognisable thing about your comics is your ability to write dialogue and how snappy it is, akin to a Whedon show. Did this come naturally as an extension of your voice in real life, or if not, how did you develop this style of writing?

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day and time hear. Bring on Powers

BrianMichaelBendis7 karma

It developed because the kind of writers that I admire the most were attempting similar things.

it just came from the philosophy of characters actually listening to each other instead of talking at each other to further a plot along. conversation is musical. what people don't say is always more interesting than what they do say.

read the work of Richard Price. probably the most influential writer on me. also Howard Chaykin does not get enough credit for his dialogue work. nor does Alan Moore. people always talk concert with them but on his best day his voices are really fantastic.

Zthe27th9 karma

Love X-Men and Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man. How does it feel having people want Miles over Peter in the MCU?

BrianMichaelBendis28 karma

I will not lie to you. having miles trend worldwide after the announcement for a day and a half was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me.

we love him so much and creating a new Spider-man is a very dicey proposition, so the fact that he has found his place is really something special to us,

TheSupremeQueen9 karma

What do you think has been the coolest moment of your career so far? Not necessarily most important or sucess-defining, just straight up coolest.

BrianMichaelBendis19 karma

not to be braggy but I've had a lot of very cool things happen. you get to meet a lot of your heroes as a peer. having lunch with Stan, shaking will Eisner's hand, working with my heroes like Walt Simonson, Art Adams, Howard Chaykin.

I got to go to Howard Stern's house and talk comics for a day.

Sony made a television show for Powers!

I met my best friends in the world through comics.

Mr_The_Captain9 karma

Hello! Some people may not think it's very "cool" to praise someone's most popular work, but Ultimate Spider-Man is seriously my favorite run of anything, ever, amen. It's the definitive Spider-Man story and you quite literally defined that character for me.

My question, if you were to feel so gracious as to answer, is this:

Many comics industry veterans say that in order to break into the industry, you need to write and write often. However, do you have any ADDITIONAL advice for people who want to write specifically for Marvel or DC?

Also, in a nod to your tumblr antics, if you were to describe the new Powers show in a gif, what would that gif be?

Thanks for your time! You're the best!

BrianMichaelBendis16 karma

My advice is to make your own comic. everyone you know who broke in to comics did so because they made their own comics.

it's the only way to break in and if it doesn't work you're still in comics because you made one.

Ianras8 karma

What makes Portland such a hot spot for comics? Without even seeking them out I'm friends with people from dark horse and a whole bunch of creatives just hanging about. You can't throw a rock without hitting some writer, illustrator, or colorist in the city.

Also: Thanks for teaching at Portland State, i'm currently on campus admitting applicants who might be your future students.

BrianMichaelBendis10 karma

Portland is a foreword thinking town full of creative people. everywhere you go there is story inspiration. everyone is just doing their own thing and doing it to the beat of their own drum.

for me it is inspiring. it's what you wish the whole world was like.

moving to Portland was the best decision we made as adults.

bserum8 karma

I know that direct adaptations from one medium to another aren't necessarily advised, due to the storytelling opportunities/constraints unique to each medium, but do you have any opinions on how much a work can be changed from its source material before it can't really be considered an adaptation?

BrianMichaelBendis12 karma

I think it's all about spirit. I think as long as whatever the adaptation is fully embraces the spirit and theme of the source material while at the same time making the most of its own medium, it will be in a very good place.

'faithful' adaptations are at best interesting but most of the times fall flat while things like, let's say, Iron Man are completely winning but not based on any one piece of material that you can point to.

notacute8 karma

Hi, Mr. Bendis!

I really just want to thank you for Miles Morales. As someone who grew up loving comic books, there were never many heroes who looked like me, and I'm glad that there's another hero now that I can show to my own kids one day. I've been reading Ultimate Spider-Man since the very beginning and I'm really going to miss your collaboration with David Marquez on those books.

BrianMichaelBendis13 karma

Thank you. but I'm happy to report that you will not miss my collaborations with David Marquez. more to come

cylons_R_people_27 karma

Hi I just want to say that I'm a huge fan. Alias is my all time favorite comic which I recommend to all my friends. I'm super excited about Jessica Jones getting her own show! You are a brilliant writer.

My question is- have you ever used any friends or family members as inspiration for your characters?

Thank you so much for doing this ama. I love your work.

BrianMichaelBendis10 karma

All the time. everybody does. sometimes you are consciously aware of using your family members like when I used the spirit and voice of my mother to create ultimate aunt may.

other times you're not aware of it until later, after it's done, and you look back and say to yourself: boy, I have some issues with that person. good thing I have an outlet.

ACRyudo7 karma

Can there ever be enough edge?

BrianMichaelBendis9 karma

No. but there can be enough sarcasm. :-)

liamquane7 karma

What is your favorite film of the Marvel Universe and Why?

BrianMichaelBendis15 karma

I really like Capt. America Winter soldier.

it just hits my soft spots.

dbane136 karma

Your run on Ultime Spider-Man is amazing, keep up the great work. I plan on picking up your run on Daredevil and Powers when I have the funds, struggling college student.

My question is, if you can answer, what factors into signing an exclusive agreement with Marvel? Creative control? Health insurance?

BrianMichaelBendis9 karma

It's nice to not have to look for work especially when the work I want to do is at Marvel.

we have a lot of trust between us. trust that we have both earned. also, years ago, Joe Q and Marvel hired me off of a book that was selling 2000 copies and put me on daredevil and Spider-man.

loyalty should be rewarded with loyalty.

popfg5 karma

Hey Brian! Big fan!

How do you feel about powers exclusively debuting on a game console?

BrianMichaelBendis6 karma

You mean: an entertainment center

getsmall5 karma

Good afternoon Mr. Bendis...

1) Can you prove that this is you? There are far too few typos for the Brian Michael Bendis I'm familiar with.

2) Are Callista's question from issue one of Powers and the Luke Cage/Jessica Jones encounter from issue one of Alias BOTH going to be well-represented on screen in 2015? Did you ever imagine that would be a possibility?

Feel free to respond in GIF if that works best.

BrianMichaelBendis8 karma

But my lack of capitalization has to be enough proof that this is me :-)

2- no spoilers :-)

and I don't know how to put a GIF on this. Gif work will resume on tumbler shortly :-)

enguarde225 karma

Can you give us any teases of any upcoming books you'll be writing?

BrianMichaelBendis7 karma

I really want to. I really do.

dayofthedead2044 karma

Hi Brian,

Thanks for doing this ama, I’m a huge fan! I have three questions:

I’ve heard you’re a fan of Alan Moore’s work – what are your top three favorite titles he’s written?

When will we find out who is Miles Morales in the main Marvel Universe that was hinted at the end of “Spider-Men?”

This is a little off topic but what do you think about The Transformers franchise? Do you have a favorite Transformer?

Thanks Brian!

BrianMichaelBendis7 karma

Promethea, the league of extraordinary gentlemen century books, and the last Superman story


never been much of a Transformers person. that has eluded me. and the movies don't help, do they? :)

but if you get a chance to watch the Transformers movies with RiffTrax... perfection

Aurram4 karma

What's your favorite thing about writing for Marvel and superheroes in general?

BrianMichaelBendis10 karma

First of all, It's an honor to be the custodian for characters that are so beloved. when people find out what I do for a living you should see the smile that washes over their faces. every time.

and, that feeling you get reading a really good superhero comic, trying to create them is 50 times more powerful a feeling than that

erikalovestodd4 karma

who is your idol ? your inspiration in the comic book world ?

BrianMichaelBendis7 karma

I have dozens really but the most inspiring on numerous levels is...

Howard Chaykin and Walter Simonson

I talk about Walter a great deal in my ted talk which is on YouTube


Ianras4 karma

Are you going to revise Fortune and Glory now that you have seen what a completed movie/tv project looks like from beginning to end?

BrianMichaelBendis5 karma

I don't think I would ever revise it but the sequel may be in order.

ElPwno4 karma

Simple question, what was the most relevant thing you added to a movie? Also, do you have a favorite X-man?

BrianMichaelBendis8 karma

I told them Thor should be a really attractive dude. that was me :-)

and I literally can't bring myself to pick a favorite

lvest4 karma

Hi, Brian. I'm a huge fan of Spider-Man, both Ultimate and Amazing. This character has been going strong for more than 50 years. Thousands of stories have been written about him, yet he is still around for us to read about and admire. Do you think he will still be here in the next 50 years? Or will a character like this eventually be written about so much that there's nothing else left to say?

BrianMichaelBendis11 karma

it's one of the greatest characters ever invented in the history of characters. as long as the right creators with the right passion and mindset are involved I can't imagine it ever not being with us.

and thank you.

lvest4 karma

Could you describe your typical workday?

BrianMichaelBendis4 karma

I'll let you know when I have one. :-)

mostly it involves business work and family during the day and writing until the very early morning hours after the kids go to bed.

but every project has its own needs and every day has its own problems and fires to put out. sometimes I wake up and immediately start writing and blow off emails until later in the night.

it's about getting work done every day but making sure that when brain lightning strikes you are there to write it down

Frajer4 karma

do you think that the conic community is doing any better with sexism and racism?

BrianMichaelBendis6 karma

It would have to be :-)

I think that the absolute worst part of sexism in the comics community comes from anonymous online cowardly behavior. will it ever stop? I don't know. I wish that many websites would create a zero tolerance attitude towards hate speech.

I know some people think that free speech is free speech. I think a person's right to hop online and talk about Dr. who without the fear of threat is more important.

to me free speech is an earned right. you have to earn your place in society.

RonFett4 karma

Has the forthcoming Secret Wars altered your original direction for Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man or is everything unfolding the way you intended? I'm asking because Secret Wars is going to be starting soon yet there are lots of plot points in Ultimate Spider-Man that haven't even been touched on yet (like the Spider-Man twins).

LOVE your work by the way. :)

BrianMichaelBendis5 karma

We have a few more issues to go so stay tuned

and I've known about secret wars for years. literally. you just heard about it but we've been planning for a long time.

Recklesshavoc3 karma

Mr. Bendis, it seems people are avoiding the important questions so I'll get right to it..

Spider-Ham.. will it happen?

BrianMichaelBendis3 karma

It's already happened.

and I find this question anti-sematic :-)

MrWorld3 karma

How long were you doing research based on the Torso Killer before you felt comfortable really writing your take on it? How did you know when to break away from Eliot Ness' take on the events?

BrianMichaelBendis3 karma

I was very fortunate to be working at the Cleveland plain dealer at the time. I had access to a lot of material that was sort of locked away.

I think I did about six months of hard-core research. but I know I had to have been writing while I was doing it because I tend to get an idea in my head and dive in.

magicalgiant3 karma

Hello Mr. Bendis,

First off, let me say that I love your comics and especially the way they're written. I'm in film school now, studying to be a screenwriter.

I have always heard that writing every day is the key to being a great writer. What one piece of writing advice would you give?


BrianMichaelBendis7 karma

Finish what you start.

A lot of people start and then peter out or rip it up halfway through and start over again. you have to get all the way to the end and then start over again. you have to find out what kind of writer you are and the only way to do that is to take things all the way.

this is a big topic of discussion in my book words for pictures from Random House/10 speed press

Ameht3 karma

Hi Mr. Bendis.

Every time I read an article with you attached to it and the topic of X-Men/Fox arises you are quick to call me and my peers nuts/yahoo's because the X-men comics are not getting canceled and there is no merit to the rumor. BUT The rumor spoke about License , Toys , Manufacturing , etc , nothing about the books just everything else so I feel like you attribute to the negative discussion by trying to manipulate the conversation.

My question is: If you are so confident in your company not axing the X-line to only just comics and you not lying to us your fans , can you with a certainty say that we will be having , Goldballs, Eva Bell , Hijack , etc , Toys , Merchandise , figurines , soon?

BrianMichaelBendis8 karma

here is the thing: I can't speak to the licensing. I am not in charge of what Marvel or Fox licenses or doesn't. I don't make the toys. I make the comics. I can talk about the comics. because that's all I know about.

except that I have in my possession, for example, a Cyclops figure with our new costume on it. it's a new toy. I have a box set of all new X-Men figures from our run

my reaction was completely based on the fact that people accused marvel of not creating anything new in the X-Men line. except I helped create a bunch of of new characters. so it was insulting to me and my collaborators that people were ignoring what was actually happening and instead wrapping themselves around half-baked conspiracy web stories.

usaokay3 karma

Hey Peter (edit: Brian, actually), I've been writing and making comics for about ten years now (still going), and I am wondering how do I break into the comic industry?

If anything, tell me how you first stepped into the industry. It could help be a stepping stone for me.

**Edit: I meant Brian! Huge mistake right there lol

BrianMichaelBendis5 karma

I'll tell Peter you said hello :-)

how I broke in?


ACRyudo3 karma

What was your reasoning in transforming Retro Girl from a relatively young lady in the comics to a war-grizzled former Bajoran in your television show?

BrianMichaelBendis2 karma

Charlie's idea and one I quite loved.

retro girl was not a young lady in the book. as described she has been around one way or another for very long time

the idea of retro girl and her place and power and age has not changed from the book. she's being represented by a really fantastic actress. there's something really great about an actress her age and experience playing the part.

liamquane3 karma

What is it like working with Joss Whedon? what is he like as a director?

BrianMichaelBendis3 karma

I've never worked with him directly. and I've never acted in one of his projects :-)

I consult on the movies. I wouldn't consider that working with him.

funkyterrahawk3 karma

How much did the industry change due to the fallout of those high caliber artists that formed image comics? Is there any bad blood over there at marvel?

BrianMichaelBendis6 karma

It was 25 years ago. I don't think anybody at Marvel thinks about it.

I love image. they were a very good home to me for very long time. and they are a very good home to many of my closest friends best work.

Whippingboy923 karma


Long time fan and with all the books you write, movies you consult on and having a big family... When do you have time for it all?

Also, how far ahead are you on your books?

Was it hard to leave the X-Men books?

Thanks for your time and keep up with the wordballon podcast. They are always fun to listen to.

BrianMichaelBendis5 karma

Time management. family first. I'm never bored. I like having my day feeling like I did a lot of things.

I am not as far ahead on my books as I would like to but with secret wars underway it's hard to write past it just yet. plus, I keep adding issues and annuals and specials and that eats up a lot of time. also transitioning off books while launching others is time-consuming. I'm not behind but I'm not in my optimum place.

but my goal for the end of the year is to be back where I was.

Jackxfr0sr2 karma

Hey Mr. Bendis, I love your Guardians run, some of the first books I've ever read. If you had the opportunity to write a book from either Marvel or DC about any character(s) you wanted, who or what would it be?

BrianMichaelBendis3 karma

thank you.

I have been very fortunate that I actually do get to write the books that I have always wanted to write. that includes some of the new projects I have coming out all year long.

I was a marvel kid. I followed creators to DC and still do. but my deep love for the Marvel universe is pure.

JLazarus2 karma

Hey Mr. Bendis, thanks for hangin' around and answering questions.

Congratulations to you, Mr. Oeming, Mr. Huston and the rest of team Powers on tomorrow's release.

With a new volume of Powers (the comic) having just started up, is there anything you can say regarding the future publication of some of your other creator-owned titles?

BrianMichaelBendis3 karma

Thank you

Scarlet is being illustrated as we speak!!

United States of murder Inc. just wrapped its first storyline and that hardcover will be out very soon. we will go back to that book as soon as this volume of powers is over

brilliant will start up production on book 2 this summer. we have some exciting news in the brilliant department.

and some new deliciousness is coming this year.

FadingShadowz2 karma

Hello Mr. Bendis,

Any updates regarding Torso? I've read my copy so much that it fell out of the binding and would love to see it in theaters!

Thanks for doing this AMA!

BrianMichaelBendis2 karma

Nothing at the moment. but sometimes this stuff just takes a long time

example: powers :-)