The news of the day is definitely Brian Bendis taking his talents to Burbank.  (Bendis is from Cleveland.)

A deal like that, Bendis almost certainly has at least some of his new workload in place and we’ll find out about it soon enough, but now’s the time when folks get to speculate about what they’d really like to see Bendis working on.  Far being it from me to swim against the current, so…

Lead a Vertigo revival.  

For my money, Bendis is at his best when he’s getting his Mamet on. AKA GoldfishJinx, Daredevil, Scarlet, Powers.  I’ve got a first print of Fire around here somewhere.  Vertigo’s not been doing terribly well on the sales charts lately.  Powers and Astro City would not be terribly mismatched next to each other.  If 100 Bullets worked for Vertigo, I’m sure Bendis can write them a crime saga.  I welcome Bendis revisiting his roots.


It’s inevitable that Bendis will eventually write Batman.  It has been since his Daredevil run and the Batman/Daredevil crossover that was untenable due to industry politics.  This is the pure “follow Miller” DD -> Bats move.  Some people will have a really bad reaction to just contemplating this move, but you’re going to have a certain number of people upset no matter who’s doing a Batman comic at this point.  And let’s face it, if you’re Brian Bendis, do you agree to go exclusive with DC without securing a Bat-title?  The real question is which title he’s on?

The Question

If it’s going to take awhile to free up a Bat-title, and they don’t feel like adding Shadow of the Bat or a new volume of All-Star Batman, The Question is _probably_ the next most obvious choice for getting back to that early Bendis sensibility.  Vic Sage or Renee Montoya?  He could either, so fielder’s choice.

Elongated Man

Bendis used to do humor.  His most famous excursion into unbridled sarcasm is probably Fortune and Glory (which my friends in the TV/film industries tell me is all too accurate).  Elongated Man playing up the comedic aspect.  Would it sell?  That’s not clear.  Would it be a worth experiment?  Absolutely.  I might even be inclined to let him draw it.  Yes, Bendis did the full cartoonist back in the day.


That might sound a little out of left field, but Bendis achieved a lot of mainstream comics popularity with Ultimate Spider-Man and it’s various relaunches.  Finding a DC teen hero that isn’t a legacy character narrows the field a bit, but Ronnie and Professor Stein arguing inside Ronnie’s head?  That’s perfect for Bendis.

What nobody really wants to see, but might happen?  Rorschach.  Yeah, it’s in the wheelhouse, but all this Watchmen revival business isn’t dignified.

Whatever he ends up doing, Bendis really was due for a change of scenery.  Shaking it up every once in a while can be a good thing, much like when he got a bit more involved with his Icon work awhile back and out popped Scarlet.

Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work?  Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics or have a look at his horror detective series on Kickstarter.


  1. Love the ideas and if this were the Bendis of old, they’d probably fly. But, let’s face it, these days he’s way too big a name to settle for anything other than the marquee titles. So, for that reason and as intriguing as a Bendis-written Question sounds, options #3-5 seem highly unlikely to me.

    As you say, Batman is a virtual certainty and Vertigo makes sense for his creator-owned stuff and possibly a new original title — I’d welcome another crime saga with open arms. That said, I think we all know that besides Batman he’s all but certain to end up on Justice League and/or a title or titles featuring high-profile JL members. That and — I cringe at the thought — headlining some sort of gargantuan crossover.

    Much as I respect Bendis as a writer (and admittedly, I’ve read only a fraction of his superhero stuff), I truly wish his career had followed more of an Ed Brubaker trajectory. It’s clear from his early work and from Powers, US of Murder Inc, Scarlet and so on that gritty noir realism and original characters are his passion, so why devote the vast majority of his time and effort to the toys of (often) soulless comics conglomerates?

    The glib answer is “CASH!” but to me, it just seems like such a devil’s bargain. Not to diminish Bendis’s many accomplishments as a superhero “architect,” but I’d love to have seen the results if he’d chosen to focus less on super-beings and more on the types of (literally) down-to-earth characters he did so well in Torso, Goldfish and Jinx.

    As for the idea of Bendis getting back to ink and brush… no. Just no.

    Sure, the man’s a near-genius with a comic book script. Drawing? Not so much.

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