AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! with Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley

Avengers Assemble #1 CoverToday, Marvel Comics held a press conference to help spread the word about the upcoming release of Avengers Assemble #1 coming to readers in March. The call featured the creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley along with editor Tom Brevoort.  As previously announced the title is meant to be the “go to” book for fans of the upcoming movie, Marvel’s The Avengers  as well as holding an important place for the Marvel Universe by being in continuity.

Bendis began the call by proudly proclaiming that he has indeed seen the upcoming film (and continued to remind everyone on the call of this fact) and through his work with the Marvel Creative Committee, and with his long history of  writing the characters, he felt that this was the perfect book for him to approach.  Bendis elaborated, “It isn’t just the movie, it’s a completely new story with completely different stakes” and he’s using this series as way to launch new things into the Marvel Universe, such as debuting the new Avengers Tower as well as new villains, with a new take on the Zodiac villains.  The most interesting aspect of Avengers Assemble is Bendis promises it will “debut something that’s completely new” as well as teasing his own personal future projects as  “one of the places I’ll end up in for my post-Avengers career.”

Teaming up for Avengers Assemble, Bendis and artist Mark Bagley are no strangers after their legendary run on Ultimate Spider-Man.  For Bagley, the opportunity to draw the top characters of the Marvel Universe as well as design the new Zodiac villains has been the main attraction for the project. These new villains present themselves based off the Zodiac concept but are brand new.  Bendis shares that “Who they are and how they got their powers and what their agenda is starts to formulate over issue one…They are Thor level villains.”  In approaching the design of the characters, the approach is as their name would be suggest but with an added touch by Bagley,  I came up with some designs for a military look” and each character is designed to tie in with their name, like Aquarius who is featured in the preview pages below, which Bagley pointed out were inked by Danny Miki and colored by Paul Mounts.

The biggest challenge for this book lies with creating a book that is both accepted and enjoyed by long time fans as well as accessible to new readers.  Both Bendis and editor Tom Brevoort explained that the approach is delicate, but something that Marvel as been doing for years. Bendis spoke of the introduction of the new Avengers Tower as a perfect way to introduce the characters, and yet still have it work for long time readers, he said: “There’s a very smooth transition introducing all these elements in the context of the story that doesn’t feel very expositiony.”  In terms of how this book plays with the current status quo, the question of how the Hulk or Thor would be involved, given what’s going on in their current books.  In regards to the Hulk, Bendis explained, “I was actually thrilled with what Jason Aaron had set up with the character because it gave me the level of voice and intelligence I needed for the series itself.” Brevoort also added that by writing a story that reflects the status quo to long time readers, you don’t need to bring in every bit of baggage a character has, which could scare off new readers.

And of course, the main question I know everyone is curious about.  With Avengers Assemble taking place within continuity, and featuring Hawkeye, I had to ask Bendis if this was the story where we would find out what was behind the door in New Avengers #26?  Bendis and Brevoort laughed and then Bendis shared, “If what’s behind that door is what’s powering the Zodiac, then yes. If not, then no.”

This lead the discussion to Bendis’ wrapping up of The Avengers series he’s working on and he did reveal that many things will be wrapped up in the pages of The Avengers and New Avengers, with finale stories that he promises will be a gigantic pay off for long time readers of the book. He then corrected himself and said that “If you see the Avengers movie, they tell you in the Avengers movie” and laughed.

Avengers Assemble #1 will hit stores and digitally on March 14th.

Below is a gallery of preview pages of Avengers Assemble #1 and covers and variants to Avengers Assemble #1 and #2





  1. I havn’t been a fan of bendis’ current avengers work but this looks good to me for some reason. Maybe because it reminds me of the old bendis-bagley ultimate spiderman stuff. I’m a sucker for that stuff.

    • I also think this might be a more concise take. Bendis has just grew fat & comfortable recycling the same trite stories on adjective-less & new. I think this is a maxi. So there is a beginning a middle & end ( hopefully ). I will definitely give it a shot. It helps that i am a sucker for anything zodiac.

    • Yeah. The Zodiac definitely captured my attention.

  2. Meh moh I’m puzzled. I can’t see how they can keep this in the same continuity if not by setting in the past.

  3. Remember when the X-Men comics were made to resemble the movie? Good times.

  4. Wait, are New Avengers and Avengers ending when this launches? I was under the impression that Bendis was leaving the titles and moving on to this one, but is this actually going to replace those?

  5. i’m really tempted. Bagley and Bendis are one of my all time top favorite creative teams from USM so if the band’s getting back together, i’ll give it a shot.

    I honestly don’t care about continuity stuff as long as its a fun time and a good story.

    • I agree Wally.

    • I would normally agree. Until Brilliant. That left a real bad taste in my mouth. After souring on BendVenger books and then reading Brilliant, I’m convinced that as awesome as Bagley is, a complacent Bendis script could ruin it. I’ma sit this one out and see how it reviews.

  6. Thanks, but no. Like with the Cap books, I’m all “Avenger’d” out for the time being.

  7. Damn! When they first announced it I was sure I wouldn’t have been interested in this… but now I’m slowly giving in.

  8. I don’t think I’m gonna get this, I’m kinda Avengered out as far as the comics go, but this teams rarely disappointed with USM so it could be pretty good.

  9. I just dropped the new Cap series and a few other titles so I’ve got room in my budget and this looks great.

    Can’t miss my favorite artist of all time drawing the Avengers

  10. I will probably wait for oversized hardcover of the whole Bendis run on this.

    Still will pick up first issue cuz I love how Bendis puts teams together.

  11. So why didn’t they just get Alan Davis to do this?

    I mean Bagley is clearly aping his style so why not go for the real thing?

    • They do have very similar styles. I was just looking at covers from Hickman’s Fantastic Four and FF run today. Many of them are Alan Davis but then at some point Bagley takes over and I didn’t even notice at first.

  12. I don’t know if i’m the only one who notices it but that cover of Avengers Assemble #1 looks similar to the cover of Justice League #1 layout. Another Bendis Avengers book is a “meh” to me but Bagley’s artwork is so awesome. I’ll jump on board and give it a try and see where it goes from there.

  13. Bendis is my favorite writer in comics.
    But honestly in my mind I’m not counting this as a “real” Avengers book like the New Avengers, or Secert Avengers.
    That totally just my opinion though.

  14. I’ll give the first issue a shot. I dropped all my Avengers stuff post Fear Itself, so I’m aching for something good.
    And i may have just missed it since im out of the game.
    Have they revealed how Thor is coming back?

  15. Looks like Bagley is pulling out the stops! That cover with the Hulk in the foreground is sick. Talk about jumping off the page!

  16. Hulk gets the purple pants so why can’t Hawk Eye get his cowl, I know it’s based on the movie but come on.

    • Because to be brutally honest, Clint’s classic costume is kinda goofy. He’s a great character and it’s a classic design, but still … kinda goofy. And since most movie goers (and new readers) really don’t have a fixed image of what Hawkeye looks like the movie is a chance to update the suit.

      As for the Hulk? Thanks to the tv show, multiple tv movies, and two feature films, everyone knows that Hulk is strong, green, and has an affinity for purple pants.

    • @pyynk I guess I’m the only one who digs Clint’s head piece and wish he had it in the comic at the very least. I really can’t see a brilliant scientist like Bruce Banner walking around in big goofy purple pants all the dang time and really besides the comics he never sported the purple pants in the TV show or movies.

    • @walterwhite Give it a few years and the headpiece will come back. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from comics, is that everything old, dead, or retired eventually comes back. Except maybe Power Girl’s Jane Fonda/Justice League Europe costume, I think that sucker got burned, the ashes dropped in acid, and then that was stored in a storage facility somewhere in Florida.

  17. Why couldn’t Bagley look this good when he was on Justice League of America?

  18. Ugh… yet another Avengers book by… who else… More Bendis. It’s funny, when Avengers Dis-assemble started with Finch drawing it I was totally blown away. Now… pfft… just don’t care. I hated Bagley’s art on JLA and honestly, this looks like more of the same.

    Sorry Marvel… you burned me out and I am not recovering.

    • thank you. I thought I was the only one. I know the movie is coming out and Marvel has to get people jumping on, but over the last, what, 5years, how many Avengers#1 has Marvel put out???