Marvel are to publish a Brian Michael Bendis: 10 Years At Marvel TPB in January, collecting a selection of his work for the company since Ultimate Spider-Man 1. They include Ultimate Spider-Man #13, New Avengers #22, Alias #10, Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1, Civil War: The Confession, Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special, Ultimate X-Men #41, Stan Lee Presents Story, Daredevil #65, New Avengers #15, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #9, and FCBD Avengers.
It is likely to be just one of a number of projects to celebrate the impact Bendis has made on the company. Before he was snatched by Bill Jemas to write his revamp of Spider-Man and frame the Ultimate Universe, Brian Bendis had created a career writing and drawing independent crime comics before writing the likes of Daredevil for Marvel Knights and Hellspawn for Image. And it was that dialogue and pacing, seemingly influenced by the likes of David Mamet, that gave a new voice to Marvel Comics, first with the Ultimate books, then through his Avengers titles and his creator-owned series Powers, influencing many writers across the industry, from Geoff Johns to Greg Pak, from Dan Slott to Bryan Lee O’Malley. He has written for the Marvel TV shows, contributed to the Marvel movies and is possibly the closest thing to the “voice of Marvel” there is.
His style has been criticised for what has been seen as padding out stories, writing for the evenual collection rather than for the issue in hand, and for turning action comics into talky comics. However such has his influence been that revisiting many earlier mainstream superhero comics, they seem in hindsight full of lazy dialogue, contrivance, lack of character and overcompression.
Expect this collection to be just the start.
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