The comic book industry is still digesting the news this morning that Brian Michael Bendis is leaving Marvel Comics to write for DC Entertainment - a seeming "gut punch" of a move for fans according to Marvel CCO Joe Quesada, since the writer has been with Marvel for 17 years.
Newsarama reached outpeople throughout the comic book industry and asked for their initial reactions, what it could say about the industry as a whole, and other thoughts they might have.
Newsarama will update this story as we receive reactions from the writer's colleagues, collaborators, competitors, and customers.
Jimmy Palmiotti, writer/artist and former Marvel Knights staffer
My initial reaction is why did it take so long, but the reality of a move like this is really simple. Brian did what he could, made his voice part of the Marvel legacy, and now wants to keep his job interesting and try his hand at some other characters. I don’t think this is a money move at all, well, mostly not, because as a writer we need a challenge all the time and I don’t even have to read the story to know that Brian will be taking on either Superman, Wonder Woman, or Batman out of the gate.
This move says less about the industry and more about Brian, and I think change a healthy thing. He will still be doing superheroes, so I don’t see it as a huge move in the writer’s chair, but who knows what he will be up to in the future. He is super talented and his crime work is brilliant, so I hope he has the opportunity to expand the DC line as well and introduce his own creations.
I think it keeps both companies on their toes and especially Marvel, which will have to fill the huge gap he is leaving behind. In the end, it is business as usual as both companies try to get talent to work on their books exclusively, and it's funny because with my own work winding down and me finally taking a break from corporate comics for a bit, I totally get the job security with a move like this.
I wish him the best as he will now be working with some of the nicest people in the industry with a company that understands how important keeping the talent happy and engaged is. I look forward to Marvel's announcements coming soon who they wrangled on to their side of the street.
Mark Bagley, artist
My initial reaction was of course surprise. I don’t think it says anything about the industry except that the companies are competing for the best talent. Brian had a really long run at Marvel, perhaps he just felt it was time to make a change. I did the same thing a few years ago when I left for DC. I wish In the best! And I hope DC treat him well.
John Siuntres, journalist
The timing couldn't be better. It seems like Brian has already climbed every creative mountain at Marvel, working on all the major properties and creating groundbreaking characters. Going back to our earliest podcast chats, he's been talking about what he'd love to do with Batman and writing a noir style take on Plastic Man to harken back to his original Police Comics stories of the 1940s. It's very exciting news.
David Finch, writer/artist
I'm sure I could go on and on about the impact and importance Bendis had at Marvel, but for me, he was a great, supportive writer who put up with a lot of crazy from me and gave me the chance to do work I'm deeply proud of to this day. He's going to bring a huge level of energy and creativity to DC. I can't wait to see what he has coming up!
Paul Jenkins, writer
Sounds like an ideal move. I wish them all the best.
Andy Schmidt, writer, Comics Experience founder, and former Marvel editor
I always try to look at these things from multiple points of view. I worked with Brian for years at Marvel and I’m sure that he’s making this move in a respectful way to his fellow collaborators and friends at Marvel and is genuinely excited about the creative possibilities that access to DC’s staff and wealth of characters affords him. I’m thinking this is good news for comic book fans as energy has got to be high both for Bendis and for DC. And that’s always a good thing.
Dan Jurgens, writer/artist
I have always considered Brian Michael Bendis a tremendously talented creator and look forward to his arrival at DC. I have no doubt that he’ll bring a tremendous amount of creativity and energy to his upcoming work and, quite frankly, I can’t wait to read it!
Marc Guggenheim, writer
I was blown away. This is seismic. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Brian does in the DC Universe. That said, I’ve really been enjoying Jessica Jones and Spider-Man lately and will miss him writing those books.
Peter David, writer
Dude, if Jack Kirby could jump to DC, nothing could surprise me after that.
Gail Simone, writer
Brian is a wonderful guy and a once-in-a-lifetime talent. In my few face-to-face conversations with him, his love of a new challenge is completely evident. It's hard to imagine a Marvel without him but it's delightful to imagine a DC with him. I think this is some of the most exciting comics news in years and I wish him every success.
Michael and Laura Allred, writers/artists
Never bought into company rivalries. Love great comics no matter who makes ‘em. We love Brian and encourage him, or anyone, to do whatever will bring the most creative satisfaction. And a big pile of cash never hoits. Wink.
Carr D'Angelo, owner of Earth-2 Comics stores in California
The initial reaction is shock and surprise, like when a championship athlete switches teams.
This is great news for DC Comics and the industry. Brian Bendis has created an amazing legacy of stories and characters at Marvel Comics and fans are going to want to see what he can do with the mythology of the DC Multiverse.
Bendis has an amazing talent for finding new mysteries and adventures inside the existing continuity so it will be exciting to see what he can do with characters and worlds he hasn't had a chance to play with before.
Already people seem to be clamoring for Batman and Gotham PD, but Bendis isn't just a dark crime guy. He has written some of the best Spider-Man stories ever and it will be fun to see him explore the bright side of a superhero universe as well.
Anything that gets readers intrigued by the next wave of comics coming out is good for the business.
Bill Jemas, former Marvel Comics President
The irresistible force meets the immovable object.
Kurt Busiek, writer
I think it seems like a good move, for Brian and for DC. He’s played with just about everything at Marvel, and had a lot of fun, and now he’s got a whole other set of characters to bring his ideas to. And DC, I’m sure, is happy at having such a high-profile guy, who’s been such a key player for Marvel.