|BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
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DF Interview: Bendis calls the Guardians to ‘assemble’ in Team-Up
By Byron Brewer
A lasting memory from writer Brian Michael Bendis’ childhood remains how the first Marvel comics he read made him want to explore even more of the richly diverse Marvel Universe. In February, with the new Guardians Team-Up ongoing, he and a rotating collection of top creators aim to spark new interests and comics memories.
To launch the series, the writer gets to team with one of the creators on his bucket list—artist Arthur Adams—as the collaborators team the Guardians of the Galaxy with the Avengers in a must-read cosmic battle!
Dynamic Forces met with Bendis at Starlin’s Bar at Knowhere and discussed this newest team-up mag.
Dynamic Forces: Brian, like New Avengers, it seems that most things you work on turn into franchises. Is Guardians developing into Marvel’s third big super team franchise and will it hold its stability after the movie steam has worn off?
Brian Michael Bendis: Well, it’s certainly not just me. Like most things, it takes many things for something to come together. Just like New Avengers and such, it is a mixture of the right story at the right time with the right artist and the right character line-up.
Plus the number one movie in the world certainly doesn’t hurt. (smiles) The difference this time is that we benefited from such a great percentage of the general audience not having a lot of history with the characters. They came out of a very satisfying movie experience looking for more stuff about these characters and we were there for them. If you wanted new stories starring the Guardians, we were the place to go to. We are hearing a lot from people that Guardians is their gateway book into comics in a very similar way that Ultimate Spider-Man was many years ago.
And for those looking for the Guardians interacting with the rest of the Marvel U., Guardians Team-Up is your book.
DF: If memory serves, you have an interesting story about your relationship with Spider-Man's old Marvel Team-Up title. Can you tell us about that?
Brian Michael Bendis: Speaking of gateway comics, Marvel Team-Up was one of mine. I remember reading early issues and I had picked up an issue by [Chris] Claremont and [John] Byrne where Spider-Man was on the moon and I could not believe that Spider-Man was on the moon!!! It took me forever to find the previous issue. It was much harder back in those days because we lived in caves and comics were written on walls (laughs)
It was a gateway comic for me and it opened my eyes to the entirety of the Marvel Universe and the art form of comics … and any time I can attempt to bring that kind of magic into someone else’s life, I jump at the chance.
DF: So tell us a little about the first two-issue arc for Guardians Team-Up you’re writing.
Brian Michael Bendis: As you can see from the Art Adams artwork, we jump in full blast. The Guardians are in trouble and they are headed towards Earth, the kind of trouble that the Avengers would have to get involved in. This gives us the opportunity for the return of a big villain who is a very beloved and valuable part of the Guardians franchise. It also gives us an opportunity to introduce a brand-new villain.
DF: How does it feel to be writing the Avengers again in this tale?
Brian Michael Bendis: Well, these Avengers are not the same Avengers as the ones I was writing so it is very very very different. Very. Very. Different.
DF: I know we do not want to give away any spoilers, but can you tell me some of the fun character relationship scenes we might see between the Guardians and the Avengers? I don’t know why, but I have the Black Widow and Rocket Raccoon verbally going at it in my brain.
Brian Michael Bendis: That, as they say, is why there is a cover price.
DF: Marvel has been a little hush-hush about the big-bad behind this major team-up. Can you give us any hints at all?
Brian Michael Bendis: No, but people will be happy to see them and surprised that this person has been out of circulation all year.
DF: How did it feel to be working with the legendary Arthur Adams?
Brian Michael Bendis: I have had the pleasure of working on little tiny things here and there with Art but never a complete story. He is really bringing his entire A game. If you think about how long he’s been doing it and how good he is. I don’t think he’s ever been better. The only downside you get with this quality of work is that he can’t do a monthly book. I would love to do an extended run with him. Honestly, it’s an honor to have our names on the same project. I hope we get to do it again very soon.
DF: I know you didn't write it, but Sam Humphries' story in issue #3 continues the Black Vortex event you are also working on. Can you give us any hints as to what will be in the issue and who the Guardians will be teamed up with?
Brian Michael Bendis: What I can tell you is that it is a very important chapter in the Black Vortex saga that is crossing over across All-New X-Men, Captain Marvel, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and Legendary Star-Lord. And it also represents that the book truly is becoming an anthology of different voices. Though I will be coming back in a few issues with Kevin Maguire, every issue will feature a different creative team.
DF: So, apart from the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men, what else can we expect in the near future from the keyboard of Brian Michael Bendis? Plug away!
Brian Michael Bendis: In Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, we discover all kinds of things about Miles and the Ultimate Universe that we didn’t know before. All leading up to his obviously huge participation in Secret War which is one of the biggest events Marvel has ever done.
Powers #1 is coming out January 21 and hot on its heels will be the Powers television show on the PlayStation network.
United States of Murder Incorporated continues to be a very satisfying situation. The first collection is on its way.
DF: No, really. Where is Bug?
Brian Michael Bendis: Shhhh … he’s right behind you. <tic>
Dynamic Forces wishes to thank Brian Michael Bendis for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer our questions. The first two issues of Guardians Team-Up from Marvel hits shelves in February!
Get your copy of New Avengers #61 signed by Brian Michael Bendis right here!
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2. 01/23/2020 - HEATHER ANTOS
3. 01/20/2020 - ROB GUILLORY
4. 01/17/2020 - DANIEL H. WILSON
5. 01/14/2020 - JON TSUEI