Powers, United States of Murder Inc., Guardians Of The Galaxy And Beyond – The Bleeding Cool Mega-interview With Brian Bendis

By Jeremy Konrad

Brian Michael Bendis returned home this past weekend to his old stomping grounds of Cleveland, Ohio. It had been 14 years since he left, and he came back in the grandest fashion imaginable. He gave a talk at his alma mater, the Art Institute of Cleveland, and followed that up by doing a TED Talk, which will be made available online at a later date.

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The final event of the weekend was a store signing at his old friend Jim Williams’ store, Comic Heaven in beautiful Willoughby, Ohio. Fans came out in droves, even coming from as far away as Buffalo, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and two mega fans who drove overnight all the way from Boston, Massachusetts (pictured above with Bendis, their names are Will Henderson and Shaun Noworyta). It is there that Bleeding Cool caught up with him while he greeted his many fans.

Some highlights from the signing included:

-He is very relieved that his Avengers fans transferred to X-Men with him.

– Tumblr is his new favorite thing in the world.

– LOTS of Alias omnibus being signed.

– He appears on Geek Time on the Stern channel on Sirius as often as possible.

– The day he spent with Howard Stern at his house with Joe Quesada was the greatest day of his life (that did not involve his kids).

Spider-Men 2 next year, with Ultimate Miles coming into the 616 Universe.

-We have not seen the last of Ultimate Norman Osborn.

-He has seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movie already (And he says it’s fantastic!).

-Brian and Michael Gaydos will be doing something together this calendar year.

-Best part about digital: nothing has to be out of print.

Brilliant the book comes first before any other media.

-He wants people to see the FX Powers pilot. Maybe as some kind of extra someday.

-Angela: Some things will be happening with her in Original Sin.

-He very much did not enjoy the failed Wonder Woman pilot.

– There will be a Guardians Annual with Frank Cho in August.

-Magneto’s new ‘do is a big deal; he has gotten more mail about Magneto shaving his head than anything else over the past few months.

-Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier will take place during the tail end of Original Sin.  He says he came up with something worse for X-history than Cyclops killing Xavier.

-Many, many people are saying that Ultimate Spider-Man got them back into collecting comics.

-Dazzler’s retribution in Uncanny is coming. He has already written it. Everyone can stop worrying.

Following the signing, Brian sat down for a little chat (well, not so little!)

Bleeding Cool: Hi!

Brian Michael Bendis: Hi!

BC: Let’s actually start with what it is like to come back home here as the conquering hero.

BMB: Well, it is nice to have come home and not have fucked up. That’s kinda where my brain will go to. It is nice because I love Jimmy (Jim Williams is the owner of Comic Heaven)as you got a sense of today, we have known each other a long time. I worked with him when I was in college, so to come here and have his store be so successful is just enough to make me so happy, and to sign here and have it turn out to be exactly what he wanted is great. Literally nothing bad has happened these last three days.

BC: How did the TED Talk come about?

BMB: One of my good friends John is a higher up in the library system here in Cleveland. He is not part of the organization that does the Ted Talks, but he knows people in the Talk. They came to him and said “You know who is on our list is Brian.” He goes “Oh, I know Brian”, and they asked if he thought I would do it and he said I don’t know. So he e-mailed me and said “Hey, do you want to do a TED Talk?” And I couldn’t imagine a better way to come home. Could you imagine a better way? That has got to be the classiest way to come back. My wife and I were talking, and we have been away a really long time, so I said “I’m going to say yes to this.” He was actually surprised because I have said no to a lot of things!

After that it came together really quickly, and then my alma mater got wind of it, they are all a part of some Cleveland Illuminati, and they asked if I could come speak to them, and then I immediately called Jimmy and I said “I’m coming in, do you want me to come in?” and he said absolutely, so it just came together very smoothly and I have spent a great three days in Cleveland. Talked at the school, did the TED Talk, signed here at the shop, all the good things you can do, have some pizza, and get the fuck out. [laughs] Putting the TED Talk together, which we be online as soon as they get to it, and all of the experience I had in Cleveland led to me getting all of these things I have wanted my whole life, they all happened here. I moved to Portland after I got Spider-Man, so to put them all together and have some perspective now, put it together and talk about it was an interesting experience for me, and again, so many things have to go right for something like this to happen, I can’t even get it right in my head, you know what I mean? ‘Cause most of the time we just sit there and focus on all of the things I fucked up. [laughs] It’s hard for me to congratulate myself too much, so that’s as much as I have now, but obviously today went really well

BC: Seeing the people come shuffling in here all day—

BMB:  And it is all so enthusiastic and lovely and, what happens online is you see so much negative stuff sometime you go “Ok-

BC: It feels like that is all there is.

BMB: Well no, but it stands out. Even on like a nice board it will be like 90 nice things, but the mean person will be so mean that you can’t help but look at it, you know? But this is the reality, that people just love their comics and enjoy them, and are looking to enjoy them, and that is the experience we have everywhere we go. Not just me, but all my peers. And so it is absolutely lovely. The only bummer to having such a full life with all my children is that I don’t get to do this often, but when I do it is always so lovely.

BC: So with the Powers TV show, obviously is has been gestating for a really long time.

BMB: Yeah, they optioned it when our second issue came out in 2000 for a feature film and for 8 years it was being developed as a feature film and they spent allll this money, like your head would spin money, brought in all of these cool writers and directors—Frank Oz was attached at one point. I spent like a year with him working on it and it was a great experience, but we never really jelled. It was my agent at CAA who was saying the problem is it was a TV show, it always was a TV show. Yeah, you could do some epic event, but it is Law and Order with superheroes, Homicide with superheroes, it’s True Detective with superheroes. We have been around for so long we went from being The Shield of superheroes to being the True Detective of superheroes. Anyway, because it was Sony, they were able to do the unheard of, which was kind of move over from being a feature to television in a pretty cool way.

Usually if someone has got it there, it stays, but because it was Sony we were able to move over and we moved over with people like Chris Parnell at Sony, who really, really believe in this project with their whole heart. We sold it to FX almost immediately, they bought it in the room, it was quite amazing. And that whole FX experience was fantastic, all the way up until the last moments. It was all great. They obviously made a pilot, they spent so much money, they always believed in it, the man who runs that network is a very intelligent person who I got to spend time with, and that is always a good experience. It didn’t happen, it wasn’t the right fit, but when I say it ended on a good note, there literally wasn’t, umm—they are the producers of my animated show on Fox, it continues to be a very good relationship, and I am thrilled about that. And both times that went on, they said look, if this doesn’t go at FX, we have a plan.

Meanwhile, nobody believes me that it is still in production. NOBODY believed me! They were like “Dude, your show’s not going.” I wrote a whole book about messing my head up about it; I would tell you if this was not happening. They would look at me like someone who hadn’t realized their girlfriend broke up with them, like “Really? Really, you think your show is happening? Oh, I’m sorry.” Now that is announced people see I am not lying or I am not nuts. I am not nuts!

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BC: Are there any nerves about being the first thing out of the gate with them and the network?

BMB: No, I will tell you ‘no’ because there are a lot of pluses. There is a lot of focus on it, attention—they are not trying to make it what it isn’t. Also the PlayStation audience likes the elements of this, they are not trying to clean it up for anybody. It is our hard-R show, and that’s what we wanted to be. In fact the show is actually a little naughtier than the book is even, so I couldn’t be happier, the spirit of it is right on the money. So no, that part I am glad about. The trouble when it was a feature is that certain people were never comfortable with what it actually is. They kinda wanted to turn it into Spider-Man, and Powers is not that. If you do that, it becomes Mystery Men [laughs]. And even though I kinda have a soft spot for Mystery Men, I realized that people don’t like that, I was obviously not interested in that at all, saying no to all these ideas, and now it is exactly what it’s supposed to be.

I also think, and it’s funny, I think we were ahead of the curve as far as, that the television and film audience had to be schooled on the rules of the genre that we are flipping in Powers. Like, the comic audience was already educated, so when we came up with Powers they were like “Ok, I get it, you are showing it to us from this angle.” The mainstream audience that watches television, they didn’t know the rules yet. They only knew a couple of them. Now they have seen so many superhero movies and TV shows that they get the rules, and now we are about to flip it on them and I think we are in a better position now than we would have been even if we would have come out 6 years ago with a very good Powers show. It would have been a very cult thing, the culty of cult things, because it would be upsetting to people who thought it was Batman, going “What? This is not like Batman!” So we will see. If it was supposed to happen 6 years ago, it would have, and you can see where it may have flown, or it could have been the biggest thing in the world, but you can see a real logic to where it would not have. We are in a good position and it may be time. If Arrow can be a hit TV show, it’s time to put out a show that flips it.

BC: Any chance you will get to be in the writer’s room for it?

BMB: For Powers? Yeah, that’s actually where I was before I came here. Yep, sitting in the room. It is Charlie’s room, Charlie Huston is running the room, and is fantastic. We are in constant communication and if I lived in L.A. I would live in that room, but I can’t run a show, it is not how I am wired. There are very few things in this world I am an expert on, Powers is one where I can sit in a room and not sound like an idiot. There are very few rooms I feel like I can sit in and not sound like an idiot, including this one, but that would be one of them.

BC: Was it always your intention to have Charlie come back for the PlayStation show?

BMB: What happened was, interestingly, ok. The Pilot gets made, and certain elements test through the roof, but others don’t. It was a very polarizing pilot to the test audience. But the high scores were so high, that FX could not ignore that it was still worth pursuing. They would ask people “Hey do you like the idea of the show?” and like 97% of the people were like yes, and they asked would you watch the show and people said “Absolutely.” It was high enough that they put together a room of writers and a show runner named Chick Eglee, who has since moved on to another show—nothing but good things to say about him, out of the other writers who wrote a script, Charlie’s was the best. It was what in my heart I imagined a Powers TV show to be about. I actually read all of them before they went to the network, and ended up sending an e-mail to the president of the network that said if you want to know what the Powers TV show should sound like, Charlie’s script is it. It is entertaining, and it has everything that I would want. He completely agreed, and then stopped producing material for the original pilot, and said we were going to make a new pilot with a Charlie script. That is how good that script was.

BC: I remember reading about all of that when it went down.

BMB: Yeah, so Charlie got the job to write a script, and everyone loved it. They didn’t go for other reasons, not because of the quality of that script. But Sony and myself, we loved it, so when it went away, it was Charlie’s script, he was the show runner, Charlie had gotten the job. So, then Chick had to go get a gig that was actually on television, so he is on Hemlock Grove over on Netflix, and such a cool guy, he couldn’t be more happy for us, I am so happy I got to spend years with him, he is a Peabody Award writer who has written some of my favorite TV shows, he created Dark Angel. So here is the thing, and you are getting a sense of it: behind the scenes, this is so much fun! Putting the show on the air is almost secondary for me because of the new creative experiences. I am getting to meet all of these interesting people I would never meet without this, and we will see how they work and kind of put it into my world, and yeah, it is a very cool experience. I would like the show to be on the air, too, I am ready for that, but from the very first scripts all the way to now it has just been this parade of interesting people I have gotten to meet and work with.

BC: And that will be premiering when? December 17th? [laughs]

BMB: Ha, no I never said December 17th, but I will say in the fourth quarter, and hopefully before then to be honest with you. I am not going to say the date, because if you say it and we don’t hit it, it would be bad, but there is a date we have to hit and it will be broadcast live on that date, and we are going to make it, so that’s what we are aiming for.

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BC: Awesome. Let’s hear a little bit about United States Of Murder Inc.

BMB: Yes, I am very excited. Meanwhile, while we are wrapping up our new Powers run we have a brand new book with Mike (Michael Avon Oeming) debuting on May 14, with a double-sized first issue, double-sized for the price of a regular issue, $3.99 for like 43 pages. It is a brand new creator owned book. All the time I have been doing mainstream comics people have been asking me to come back and do crime comics because that’s where I came from, and people have actually been discovering my crime books throughout , and were buying it before Ultimate Spider-Man, and now have bought it through multiple printings, so I have actually quietly built up the audience for crime fiction I have always wanted wanted before I came to Marvel, because of Spider-Man of all things. I wanted to make sure if we did do something it would be unique. I love murder incorporated, all the stories involve murder incorporated, and I have said out loud over the years that I was going to do a murder incorporated book, but I always stopped myself because I’m just retelling stories already seen and told, and I want something else to do with it, (For those who do not know, Murder Incorporated refers to the crime groups who provided lethal enforcement for the families in the New York Mafia.)

Actually, Mike came up to me and said “You know, it would be cool if the five families never lost their stranglehold, the world would be completely different, the government gave up the East Coast to the families because their structure was stronger than the government.” So he said this to me and I literally went back and started to do all this research and made flow charts about how the world would have been different if these families had this power, and what would society be like and blah blah blah, and I came to him with this whole elaborate story, and I though the pitched what our next creator owned book was, and he was literally just talking [laughs]. He was just saying nerd tuff to me, and I thought literally he was saying he wanted to do this book. I came back with this elaborate world-building exercise I had done and he said “Oh, are we doing this?” And I said yeah, and he said “Oh, I was just talking.”

But yeah, we are off and running. We have been working on it for a couple of years, making sure it is ready to go when it was perfect and unique, and builds off Powers but visually a little different. He has been working on shapes, the pages and shapes in his drawings, which people notice some subtle differences, and some pretty bombastic color choices we have been making. Our colorist Taki Soma has been making a lot of bold choices in that department, because some of people’s favorite things we did in Powers were our color choices, and we wanted to come up with some different ones for this book. I am such a color nerd, that I am literally more excited about the coloring than I am about all of this work I did. So yeah, the first issue will come out in May, and I know some people are worried because Scarlet was so behind schedule that we would be behind, but Mike Oeming is a different animal who put out 9 issues of Powers last year, we will get this book out on a regular basis, and we wanted to make sure we had a lot of material ready to go before we even launched it. I am many issues in.

BC: When you were researching for this book, was there anything that surprised you that you didn’t already know about?

BMB: I mean, I have been reading this material since I was 14 years old, so I like have it memorized, this is the thing I nerd-out about. So, the surprises are coming in the form of—they call it elevated genre, the douchiest thing I will ever say out loud—like in television when we have a show like Revolution , it is called elevated genre, it takes the genre somewhere else. Jessica Jones will be elevated genre. PI story, but the elevated thing. And this is elevated genre, we call it the what if? It starts out: What if the families were left to rule? What would they turn into? You know what I mean? Now you are not the anti-authority, you are the authority. It started building from there, building backwards and forwards. You get into the first few pages and there are already differences in how they do their ceremonies and stuff so…

BC: Oh wow, so you are going that far into detail with it?

BMB: Yeah. Anyway, so I am not talking about it too abstractly, it centers around two characters: Valentine Gallo and he is one of the youngest made-men ever in this family we are going to be following. He gets made, and you will see right away in the first few pages that he gets made just because he came of age, he does not have to earn it anymore. He will discover something about the families and his place in them in the first issue that will unravel the whole thing. He teams up with this hitwoman named Jagger Rose, who also has a big pile of secrets. You will find out her secrets in the second issue. So it is a lot of world building and a lot of world smacking down. And all of the changes- we love with world building, figuring out how society would change. If the five families were around, I bet our cell phones would be better. I bet there would be technology advancements that would not be held back in a weird way.

BC: Are you going to go into what it is like for people who are not in the five families?

BMB: Oh yeah, the first issue we are leaving the territory. There is the world within and the world without. There are pockets of area that are not family controlled and you literally step over here and you are under arrest, but If you step over here you’re good.

BC: Sounds like it is going to be more of an ongoing than a mini then.

BMB: It is. You know it’s funny; we were like “Let’s do six.” After six I was like “I have 30 more!” So, I hope people buy it, I hope we are able to continue, there is so much product out that is always the worry, but we are coming at it pure and strong. And we feel really good about it.

BC: Ok cool. Just a couple more rapid fire type questions then.

BMB: Clearly I am incapable of that but sure! [laughs]

BC: Any news on when the next issue of Scarlet will be out?

BMB: Alex has issue 8, he is working on it, I hope to have it out in the first quarter, and he will get it done ASAP. Fingers crossed! We will continue to make this book. He loves this book too. As I expressed to people earlier, it is a very dark book and puts the creators in a very dark place, which we don’t take lightly at all. We both have little children that keep us in happy places, little love-bundles, so sometimes it is hard to switch gears. But the people who have supported this book, they really, really like it, and it is frustrating, I am frustrated as well. But that is part of the problem: what you like about it is hard to get to. Not making excuses, but looking back at what the delay is it’s hard to mean it, and you have to mean it or it isn’t worth doing.

BC: It feels like your love letter to Portland.

BMB: Well, yeah a lot went into it. If the American revolution started, it probably is going to start in Portland. [laughs]

BC: Moving on to Brilliant—

BMB: We just put out the fifth issue, which completes the first book, and the first book should be out the week after next, which I am so excited about, in hardcover. Then we are going to bank a lot of material and put it out on a regular basis. That’s the LEAST we could do. Take the summer, get a few issues done, and then boom, boom, boom.

BC: So Powers is going to alternate with United States of Murder?

BMB: Nine just went to the printer, ten is coming out in a few weeks; Mike is a very talented, efficient, speedy artist, so no worries on this end.

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BC: Switching over to All-New X-Men, obviously you just finished up the cross-over with Guardians of The Galaxy.

BMB: Very grateful to everyone, all of this issues went back to print, that was very nice.

BC: What is going on with Jean now that she manifested new powers?

BMB: Jean is going to be manifesting new powers as the brotherhood from the future attack the Xavier school. So both the Uncanny X-men and All-New X-Men will star in the book for the next few issues. People have been looking for them to have a lot of face time together, so they are going to attack the school and both teams are going to have to deal with the Xavier school. The nice thing too is that I am going have time to show how the brotherhood came together. A lot of people had questions about the Brotherhood after Battle Of the Atom that I guess we just didn’t have the pages for. Now I can show you where Xavier came from, where raze came from, and get a good sense of these new characters and what is driving them. So that I am pretty excited about, and it will all be drawn by Stuart Immomen.

BC: So after that is done is The Last Will and Testament of Xavier right?

BMB: Yeah. That is going to launch in Uncanny and spread into the other X-Books because it is that big. We are going to talk about that at the retreat on Monday, but yeah, it’s a bomb and you are going to want it to go off. It is one of those things where you don’t want to underplay this once in a lifetime chance to go crazy. Again, thinking of something worse than Cyclops killing Xavier is a lot of fun. It took a while too, it took months. You can get a sense of how much hard work went into Original Sin, because they got to be great surprises you know what I mean? Not like “Oh my god, Emma Frost is her own mother!” To really have a substantial surprise that has story-telling capability for years to come, that’s what it’s about, and for X-Men, this was it.

BC: It feels like you are doing more of a restart on the X-men, more so than with the Avengers.

BMB: There’s so many pieces, you know what I mean? Yes, I will say yes to this. Again, we will see what shakes out on Monday, but for now there is kinda where we are heading. Also, Mike Marts is now our editor, him and I have been talking about like, you know, his stamp to come on , he is coming in very cool, I am enjoying him a great deal, just let’s roll up our sleeves and do something and it just happened to come up right at this time.

BC: Is there anything you enjoy about writing for the X-Men more than for the Avengers?

BMB: I think I enjoy the relationship to the audience more, it’s hard to describe really. My Tumblr mail is hilarious. Every day, something with Dazzler, or anyone, they love the characters so much. I said to Marts “You know, we do all these things, like The Trial of Jean Grey was really hard to write, and all anybody care about is Kitty and Peter Quill hooking up.” Like I wrote nothing else [laughs]. Shipping after shipping after shipping, an X-men event should be nothing but X-men kissing each other. No fights or explosions, just who hooks up with who. It took me like a year to figure that out! All they care about is the hair, and who is kissing who [laughs]. That’s all I get notes about. So that’s what the big X event is, just kissing. Original Kiss.

BC: You should have done that as your April Fool’s joke.

BMB: I could not have done better.

BC: You got me.

BMB: I did that in five seconds. I left and took my kids out for the day it blew up. And it was so clearly a joke! And 20% of people did not realize it. That made it all the more fun. (For those who don’t know, Bendis posted that Geoff Johns and himself were bringing back the Amalgam Universe. Hilarity ensued.)

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BC: Moving on to Guardians of The Galaxy.

BMB: Ok, our next issue, issue 14, is the 100th issue of the proper DNA creation of the team, so I have the lead story which takes them into a new big story, which has the first appearance of Venom and Captain Marvel. Also, free Comic Book Day is coming very soon which will illustrate how venom joins the team. That’s free, and all drawn by Nick Bradshaw, so that is very exciting. There are also back-up stories in the back of 14 written by D, and A, since they are writing separately now , but that will take the Guardians into a brand-new storyline, picking up where we were in the very first issues, with the cosmic  council and what have you.

BC: Did they give you Venom to use?

BMB: No, it was actually funny; my initial pitch was wouldn’t it be great if there was a proper Marvel character on the team? That would kind of anchor it to part of the Marvel universe. I didn’t think I was going to get Tony Stark. Tony Stark is involved, that was shocking to me, I didn’t even have him on my list of maybes. And then I brought it to the room: who would be cool? Who can leave? There was talk of Luke Cage and I was like “He’s got a wife and a kid, he’s not going to go off into space.” There is no way he goes off into space and is not a dick, you know what I mean? “Hey, enjoy the diapers, I am off into space! Hey Angela.” [laughs] before Iron Man happened, the one that was getting the most votes in the room was Venom.

Everyone wanted Venom on the team, and just the image of the spider character, I was not sold on it right away. A couple months later, the Planet Symbiote idea took over, we have never seen where they came from. We have seen them take over a planet, but we have never seen the home planet of the symbiote. And everyone got pretty excited. First, he (Flash Thompson) is getting a reboot, a redesign. A cosmic Venom makeover, Drax is going to take him and get him new weapon and stuff. His earth guns are not gonna hack it out there. So for people who are looking for the next fan-fiction shipping it is going to be Drax and Venom. If you guys wanna get a head start on that, that is where we are going. Drax and Venom are the new besties.

Flash is going to slowly learn things about the Venom suit, and the suit is not going to be happy that he is learning these things, and then we are going to get the planet. I even put it out there that this is where we are going on Tumblr so people could try and call us out on it and nope, we have never seen it, so we are off to the races with an original Venom idea which is a huge relief. It’s hard! And it will completely make him a valuable member of the team, because there is a cosmic reason for him to be out there.

BC: What about the Annual you mentioned with Frank Cho?

BMB: Well it was going to be Kevin Maguire, who I had a wonderful time with, actually came to visit us in Portland and is now moving to Portland; that’s what I do to people. He literally came over for dinner with us and the Fractions and the Ruckas, and the Marquez’s and called me the next day and said he was moving here. And then says I don’t think I can get the annual done in time because I am moving there. So, he was nice enough to bail, and we are going to do something else later. Of course they want it out for the movie, so Frank Cho raised his hand and it’s PERFECT for him. What I had for Kevin is perfect for Frank, and he was thrilled to jump on. I am thrilled to be working with him again! As long as he doesn’t wait until the last minute and bitch about it on twitter and Facebook and Rich writes columns about it [laughs], insinuating I was late with the script when I was never late with the script. Anyway [laughs harder] I love his work, I think he one of the best illustrators in comics, and to work with him on and off over the years is awesome.

BC: Lastly, with the relaunch of the Ultimate Universe yet again—

BMB: It’s only been 7 times! [laughs more]

BC: What is going to be different about it this time? Why should somebody who invested so much time into the old versions of the universe jump in yet again?

BMB: Well, you mention the old universe: easy sell. As seen by all of the people who bought Ultimate Spidey 200 this week, it is an emotional experience what is going on with these characters. Miles Morales #1 which I can speak to because it is the book I am writing- Miles has had his bar mitzvah as a superhero, and is now fully taking the mantle of it. It is a unique experience where both his mother has passed away and his father has abandoned him for a reason we don’t know yet; well, he came out to him as Spider-Man, but we don’t know yet what his problem is. We are going to find that out. Miles is completely embraced the legacy of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, and as we hinted at a little secret at the end of 200, that will reveal itself in issue #1!

BC: Right away huh?

BMB: Listen, you gotta get to the goods man, so right away.

BC: Will Miles be fighting anymore classic Spidey villains? Or will it be more original characters?

BMB: A couple of things: there will be classic villains, but the biggest promise I have made I kept. An ultimatization of a 60’s Spider-man cartoon villain. That will happen in the very first issue. I have been promising that literally since Peter was alive, and I have not been able to get to it. I have gotten to it, it is written, it is drawn, for people who do not know what the 60’s were, it was a decade where [laughs]-that cartoon had a bunch of crazy villains like Dr. Magneto—that’s not who we are doing [laughs]-. It is actually a very good cartoon and they would have these wacky villains that had these weird names that were kinda like the names like Dr. Magneto, but it was not Magneto. So we have villains coming from there, and Miles’ next test as a superhero will be facing a test Peter did and failed.

And I am excited about Michel Fiffe who writes Copra, taking Ultimates in a new direction, he is writing Miles there as well, with all the characters we have built up in Ultimate Spidey as well I am very excited about his voice, and very excited about people’s reaction to it.

BC: Cool. My last question: what are you enjoying that you are reading right now?

BMB: Well, this is going to sound like I am kissing my friend’s ass, but part of the reason I like them so much that I really admire their work. Matt Fraction is doing amazing work, Kelly Sue DeConnick is doing amazing work, and Ed Brubaker is doing books I wish I had thought of. Two things: Copra I get really excited about, I am excited Warren Ellis came back to superhero comics. Jonathan Hickman is making me very happy, he is another one I championed early and it just makes me happy to see him booming all over the place.

Matt and Kelly have been two of my closest friends for a long time. To watch the world feel about them the way I have felt about them since the day we met, it was like when you are a child and you meet someone and you say “Let’s be friends!” that literally is what happened with us. To watch the world embrace Kelly and Matt that way is one of the true joys of my life. I do believe that my cosplayers could kick their cosplay people’s butts though, we will make that happen one day. Just unleash them on each other.

BC: Oh and Brian says hi, Rich.

[Rich says: Hi Brian!]

Here are two photos of Jeremy and Brian taken during the interview by writer Will Henders (@avesdad):

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Jeremy Konrad is a freelance writer for Bleeding Cool. Follow him on twitter @jeremyohio.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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