|BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Brian Michael Bendis (born August 18, 1967) is an American comic book writer and erstwhile artist. He has also won critical acclaim (including five Eisner Awards) and is one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics; for over the last seven years, Bendis's books have consistently sat in the top five best sellers on the nationwide comic sales chart.
Though he started as a writer and artist of independent noir fiction series, he shot to stardom as a writer of Marvel Comics' superhero books, particularly Ultimate Spider-Man.
Bendis first entered the comic world with the "Jinx" line of crime comics in 1995. This line has spawned the graphic novels Goldfish, Fire, Jinx, Torso (with Marc Andreyko), and Total Sell Out. Bendis is writing the film version of Jinx for Universal Pictures with Oscar-winner Charlize Theron attached to star and produce.
Bendis's other projects include the Harvey, Eisner, and Eagle Award-nominated Powers (with Michael Avon Oeming) originally from Image Comics, now published by Marvel's new creator-owned imprint ICON Comics, and the Hollywood tell-all Fortune and Glory from Oni Press, both of which received an "A" from Entertainment Weekly.
Bendis is one of the premiere architects of Marvel's "Ultimate" line of comics, a line of comics specifically created for the new generation of comic readers. He has written every issue of Ultimate Spider-Man since its best-selling launch, and has also written Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, and Ultimate Six.
He is also known for his work on Daredevil, Alias/The Pulse, Avengers/New Avengers, and the upcoming Mighty Avengers.
Bendis was the co-executive producer and series pilot writer for MTV's recent CGI animated Spider-Man show, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. Bendis is the recipient of the Cleveland Press "Excellence in Journalism" Award and was named "Best Writer of the Year" by Wizard Magazine and Comic Buyer's Guide for three consecutive years. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Alisa, his daughter Olivia and his dogs Shroeder and Buster.
Brian Michael Bendis was born to a Jewish-American family on August 18, 1967, in Cleveland, Ohio where he attended the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland and the Cleveland Institute of Art. In the 1990s, following art school, Bendis entered the comic book industry. His early works were in the genre of noir fiction, and he both wrote and drew the artwork for his early works.
Jinx.Joining Caliber Comics in the early 1990s, Bendis created the titles A.K.A. Goldfish and Jinx, both creator-owned. During this time, he worked as an artist for the Champions of the Galaxy wrestling card game, and in fact one of his characters from Goldfish was used as the inspiration for game character Nefarus. Later, Bendis moved his work to Image Comics, where in addition to republishing A.K.A. Goldfish and Jinx, he created Torso, based on the story of Eliot Ness's hunt for the Cleveland Torso Murderer. In 1999, he won his first Eisner Award, "Talent Deserving of Higher Recognition". He also worked on two properties owned by Todd McFarlane: Sam and Twitch and Hellspawn but left under a cloud of controversy after trying to quit the latter in order to concentrate all his energies on the former. In 2000, Bendis began writing Powers, published by Image Comics with art by Michael Avon Oeming. Powers would serve as sort of a bridge between two periods of work: it was noir fiction, but noir fiction in a world of superheroes.
2000s: Superhero work and Marvel Comics
While working for Caliber Comics, Bendis met and became best friends with fellow comic book creator David Mack before either had become famous. The two became friends and in 2000, Mack helped Bendis to land a position at Marvel Comics, recommending him to Joe Quesada, then editor of the Marvel Knights line (and soon to be Marvel's editor-in-chief).
Ultimate Spider-Man.Bendis, Quesada, Marvel's then-publisher Bill Jemas, and Scottish writer Mark Millar then worked together to create the Ultimate Marvel imprint, which featured new, updated versions of Marvel's characters. Bendis himself wrote Ultimate Spider-Man, which launched in 2000 and became a huge hit, exposing Bendis to a much larger audience.
Bendis next took over as writer of Daredevil in 2001. The run garnered favorable comparisons to Frank Miller's legendary run in the early 1980s and received two Eisner Awards in 2003 (Best Continuing Series and Best Writer). The main storyline of his run dealt with the Kingpin being overthrown and Matt Murdock's identity being outed by a tabloid. The storyline culminated with Matt finally becoming the Kingpin in an attempt to rid Hell's Kitchen of its crime and getting arrested and imprisoned on Riker's Island. Bendis also introduced Milla Donovan, Matt's blind girlfriend, and Alexander Bont, an aging crimelord who had faced Daredevil in his early days as superhero.
Bendis continued to work in the Ultimate Marvel universe, not only writing Ultimate Spider-Man but also doing runs on Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four as well as writing the entirety of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up and Ultimate Six.
Bendis created a stand-in character in the form of Jessica Jones, a private investigator/washed-up super-heroine who was retroactively introduced as an honorary Avenger circa the period of Avengers #181-200.
Marvel launched the MAX imprint in 2001, with Bendis' Alias being the first title of the new imprint. The first issue drew a large amount of controversy for its prolific use of the word "fuck" and a controversial scene where Jones solicits and receives sex from her on-again/off-again boyfriend Luke Cage. The sex scene became a running joke amongst comic fandom; perceived as the most identifying moment of the series.
Relaunched as The Pulse, it moved Jessica Jones to the staff of the Daily Bugle where she worked as a freelance writer for the paper. Its first arc had the Green Goblin's identity exposed as his sanity decreases and he murders several people in his office. In the end, it was Jessica Jones and Luke Cage who not only brought Osborn to justice but also unmasked him in front of the world.
In 2004, Bendis took over Avengers. His first story arc was Avengers Disassembled, a crossover which sold very well but was highly controversial among the Avengers fanbase as Bendis killed off many fan favorites such as Vision and Hawkeye. It dealt with the growing mutual distrust among the Avengers and the beginning of the New Avengers.
Bendis also wrote a fourth installment of Secret War in 2004. It set up one of the New Avengers' main arcs in terms of the installation of a new anti-superhero SHIELD commander in the wake of Nick Fury being forced to go into hiding at the end of Secret Wars IV.
Daredevil.In 2004, Bendis moved Powers from Image Comics over to Marvel Comics. Powers could not be published as part of the regular Marvel Comics imprint, due to being creator-owned. To address this need for an imprint for creator-owned comics (necessitated primarily by Powers and David Mack's Kabuki), Marvel created the ICON Comics imprint.
In 2005, Bendis wrote the major company-wide Marvel Comics crossover House of M which dealt with the fallout from Avengers Disassembled in which the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver create a utopia for mutants in which mutants are the dominant species and Magneto is ruler. It ended with Scarlet Witch severely reducing the number of mutants from millions to a mere 198.
In 2007, Bendis is reinvigorating the Avengers franchise again with two monthly Avengers titles New Avengers with artist Leinil Francis Yu and Mighty Avengers with award winning artist Frank Cho.
Bendis is frequently reuniting with his Daredevil collaborator Alex Maleev, first on a special issue of New Avengers (issue 26), then on a Marvel Civil War epilogue entitled "The Confession," and then for an ongoing Spider-Woman comic book starring Jessica Drew, which is slated for release sometime in 2007. Marvel has recently announced that the two will also be collaborating on a Halo comic book series.
He is writing a screenplay for a Jinx movie which is set to star Charlize Theron.
Bendis' writing style is characterized by an emphasis on dialogue and character and protracted story buildup. He is known for having his characters talk in rapid fire "ping-pong" word-exchanges. He often uses up whole pages with relatively few words, and repeats identical panels throughout a page. When the viewpoint character is alone, Bendis also often uses long monologues. He is also known for the subdued pace of his story arcs, especially when writing a longer story arc (i.e. six or seven issues).
Bendis has revitalized several relatively obscure old characters and brought them to prominence. Examples include Luke Cage and Spider-Woman. He has also been criticized for killing characters, such as Hawkeye, Scott Lang, and the Vision. It should be noted though that since killing Lang, Vision and Hawkeye in "Avengers Disassembled", Hawkeye and Vision have returned.
Bendis is known for extremely sarcastic and profanity-filled responses (which many readers thoroughly enjoy) to comments from fans in the letters column of his comic books and on his internet message boards.
Bendis has won five prestigious Eisner Awards, including "Best Writer of the Year" two years in a row.
Bendis has recently entered the world of video games with the successful launch of Activision's Ultimate Spider-Man which won the E3's people's choice award.
Bendis has been mentioned at least twice on The O.C. and is close friends with show writer Allen Heinberg, helping him land work at Marvel.
Bendis had been known to offer readers their money back if they disliked any comic he wrote (on the condition that the comics be mailed to him).
Bendis is mentioned in the Daredevil movie: when the corrupt boxing manager tries to persuade Jack Murdock, he references his bribed boxers "Miller...Mack... Bendis". The former two refer to former Daredevil writers Frank Miller and David Mack.
Bendis' work has been referenced in the song "Powers" by singer Brodie Foster Hubbard.
Bendis enjoys Geraci's pizza in Cleveland so much that he actually freezes several boxes to take home to Oregon
Before writing comics professionally, Bendis used to work in a comic book store in Cleveland.
Brian Michael Bendis' cameo from Ultimate Spider-Man.Powerless #5 (December 2004), written by Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson and drawn by Michael Gaydos, features a cameo appearance by Bendis in which he is seeing a psychiatrist for mental therapy.
Screenwriter (and later comic book writer) Allan Heinberg named a supporting character on the television show The O.C. after Bendis, and Seth Cohen, a fictional protagonist of the show, is a comic book fan whose favorite writer is Bendis.
In the pilot episode of the television show Firefly, screenwriter (and later comic book writer) Joss Whedon named a short-lived soldier character after Bendis.
In Ultimate Spider-Man #66 and #67 Bendis appeared in a cameo where he talked about his feelings for the current story arc.
In the MMORPG Video Game "City of Heroes" there is an in game zone "Perez Park" in which the user can find a Exploration Badge reward named "Around the Bendis" as well as many other comic book writer/artist related references.
When Marvel's What If was revived in 2004, Bendis cameoed as the narrator of two issues that he also wrote: What if Karen Page Had Not Died? and What If Jessica Jones Had Joined the Avengers?
Bendis appeared many times in Marvel's delayed 2005 book Wha...Huh?!, written by various luminaries of the comics industry, with art by Jim Mahfood.
Created and owned by Bendis
Fire (published originally by Caliber and later by Image)
Fortune and Glory
A.K.A. Goldfish (published originally by Caliber and later by Image)
Jinx (published originally by Caliber and later by Image)
Powers (published originally by Image and later by Marvel)
Quivers (published by Caliber)
Torso (published by Image)
Spunky Todd...The Psychic Boy (published by Caliber)
Sam and Twitch
Avengers Mighty Avengers
Avengers vol. 3/New Avengers
Daredevil vol. 2
Elektra vol. 2
House of M
The Pulse #1-14
Spider-Woman: Origin (mini-series)
Ultimate Fantastic Four #1-6
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up
Ultimate Six (mini-series)
Batman Chronicles #21 (Elseworlds "Citizen Wayne" story)
Jinxworld - official homepage of Brian Michael Bendis
Official Brian Michael Bendis message board
Bendis PopImage Interview pt.1, June 2000
Bendis PopImage Interview pt.2, June 2000
Interview at Silver Bullet Comic Books
The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
Brian Michael Bendis Interview
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