Interior art from  

Guardians of the


In the first installment of our three-part interview with Brian Michael Bendis, we talked all-things X-Men, both All-New and Uncanny. For part two, the impending Marvel event series Age of Ultron was the focus.

For the final chapter, we cover pretty much everything else: A lot of Guardians of the Galaxy, debuting in February with a Point One issue; a little of the ongoing miniseries Daredevil: End of Days; and a dash of his new take on Heroes For Hire, which doesn't exactly exist as such yet, but has been strongly hinted at in both the real and fake world by Bendis and Luke Cage, respectively.

Courtesy of Marvel, we're also debuting a couple pages of brand-new Guardians of the Galaxy interior art by Steve McNiven.

Newsarama: Brian, so, between this and Daredevil: End of Days, do you have any other long-percolating stories that might be coming out soon?

Brian Michael Bendis: I gotta tell you, it's very gratifying to have these things come out. End of Days is coming out right now, and holy crap, the response is amazing. And may I say, I don't think there's a creative team in the world appreciating each other's company more than the creative team of End of Days. What a pleasure. I've loved Klaus [Janson] and Bill [Sienkiewicz], since I was a kid, to the point where it's embarrassing. They're doing the work of their lives; they're loving every second of it. It's been a pleasure for it to come out and people to be enjoying it so much, and Bill and Klaus, particularly, are enjoying how much everyone is enjoying it. They love this character. They absolutely love it. So if we get half of that on Age of Ultron, that'd be amazing.

Interior art from  

Guardians of the


Nrama: And it's certainly an attractive finished product.

Bendis: There are a couple of reasons why Daredevil: End of Days took so long, but part of it was, me and David [Mack] never wanted to stop working with Klaus and Bill, so if the book never comes out, we're never done. I've been working with Bill Sienkiewicz since 2007. That's fantastic!

I love these guys so much, and they're so cool. You guys have to report on the dick behavior every five seconds that goes on in this industry, and they're just cool guys, and they love comics and they love the craft, and it's just lovely to be around.

Nrama: Yeah, and obviously there have been famous cases with industry veterans developing a bitterness over the years.

Bendis: Not an ounce of it. You get a sense of this if you follow Bill on Twitter: Bill has no idea he's influenced this business. Every time someone says something nice he's like, "Really?" Completely shocked that people love him. It's so wonderful.


Nrama: And in your last issue of New Avengers, you dropped a pretty big hint that you and Mike Deodato might be working on a Heroes for Hire book at some point in the future.

Bendis: I have a take, and it's not Heroes for Hire exactly. As Luke says in there, it's a new take on it. I hit Mike with it, and Mike's like, "I'm all in." I'm going to the Marvel retreat in February, I'm going to try to lock that puppy down. I feel the only thing standing in my way is the success of All-New X-Men. This happened to me when I was on Avengers, too. It gets to a point where I can tell they would rather I just write All-New X-Men. Or ask if there's any way I could do it in X-Men. [Laughs.] And I completely understand it, but we'll have to figure it out.

Nrama: If you actually did make Luke Cage an X-Man, the reaction to that would be amazing.

Bendis: Even before people wrote that joke online, I wanted Luke and Jessica and the baby to move in, because the baby's like, the first new mutant, and they just have to live there until the baby's not a baby anymore. I wanted to do it, just so people would go, "Oh come on, I can't believe it!" I rose above it.

We never get a really good look at the baby, and then I wanted to pull the baby in and it looks like Baby Cable.

Nrama: Glowing eye?

Bendis: Yeah, a glowing eye and a big metal arm.

Guardians of the

Galaxy #2 cover.

Nrama: Then next month, Guardians of the Galaxy debuts with the #0.1 issue.

Bendis: Guardians of the Galaxy is a very, very big deal for me, and for Steve McNiven. Very, very excited it's coming out, and we've already heard some pretty good news about how it's doing. That's great, because it's gorgeous.

It's a very unique experience of writing the comic while the movie is getting ready to go. Every day people hear something about the movie. That's very cool, because we've been helping with it secretly for years.

We're going to have a very big story. We're going to find out exactly why the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to be so Earth-focused over the next while. Some people know these characters very well, while others do not at all, so we're going to reintroduce the characters and let you know exactly what makes them tick, and why they're cool. For people who miss me on Avengers already, it's only been a few weeks, but for those who do, you can really look at this as the "Cosmic Avengers," with Tony Stark right there in front. For people who want to know what Tony is going to be doing there, and what connection they have to him, and what they have to us, you're going to find out all in the very first issue. We're hitting the ground running. This is anti-decompressed.

Nrama: Yeah, it doesn't hurt for promotion with movie casting reports out nearly daily.


Bendis: A nice surprise. It wasn't fully planned this way, but it is cool that there's always some Guardians of the Galaxy news in the nerd press every day.

I’m not allowed to say anything specific — it's a great script. It really turned out great. James Gunn did a really great job. I read the last draft — "Oh please, don’t suck, because I've already invested part of my life into this — and I was like, "Oh, this is great! This is going to be a lot of fun!"

A lot of the stuff that we're talking about that going on in X-Men, and what's going on in Age of Ultron, a lot of that is going to pull out right into Guardians of the Galaxy. A lot of things are happening on Earth that are very dangerous, and very scary, and certainly dangerous and scary to the cosmic civilization that we may or may not be part of yet. There's crazy sh*t going on on Earth, and it does have a butterfly effect. And that butterfly effect is going to hit in Guardians. Right away.

Nrama: And that's sort of the M.O. of the team?


Bendis: Yes. We may be doing stuff to ourselves that we may need to be guarded from, and at the same time, we may accidentally be doing stuff to other people that may be coming to get us, and they will be guarding us from that, as well. And a lot of this is going to be laid out right away, in beautiful Steve McNiven, full-color gorgeousness.

Nrama: To wrap up, anything else you think readers should know about your current output?

Bendis: I think the one question people have about Guardians — people who love those characters love them so much, and the ones that don't are always a little trepidatious. The whole of Marvel is certainly making a concerted effort to open the horizons of the Marvel Universe. The Marvel Universe takes place on Earth, but there are all of these other things around us, and we're kind of bringing them in closer, just so there's more of a cause and effect. Guardians is going to be one of those books where there's a lot of what's happening in the Marvel Universe is happening in that book. A lot of big pieces moving around. There are some people who really like that. They want to know, "Where's the stuff happening?" Like New Avengers was, Guardians is going to be one of those books.


When people see, pretty soon, the wild connection between All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, I think they're going to be like, "Oh, OK, I would have never imagined that." That's going to be the first hint of exactly what I'm talking about.

Nrama: So are there plans, either in Guardians or elsewhere, for the other big Marvel cosmic characters? Like, Silver Surfer or Gladiator?

Bendis: It certainly opens up the gate about who can come visit, and whatnot, and that is absolutely happening, including some brand-new characters that we're introducing in the first couple of issues.

It's going to be fun when Silver Surfer comes by, but you'd expect Silver Surfer to come by. But I think it's much more interesting [to see] what the cosmic reaction is to, "Oh, Jean Grey's alive? Well, we have something we'd like to talk about with her." Jean Grey is not the most beloved entity in all of the cosmos. Whatever space video is, we have footage of her eating a bunch of broccoli people. So we will be dealing with that immediately.   

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