C2E2 2011: Bendis & Bagley Together Again for Icon’s BRILLIANT

The latest announcement coming out of the House of Ideas could be summed up in one word: Brilliant.

Brilliant is the name of a new creator-owned series by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley pubished through the Icon imprint. Marvel press release describes the series as "the story of a handful of college age geniuses that challenge each other to solve the mystery of superpowers." It poses the idea group of real world college geniuses — think the kids from The Social Network — puting their minds not to social networking but superpowers  – and what results they might come to.

This new Icon series has a story that works on several levels: on one level it's high-tech take on how super-powers could exist in the real world, as well as a modern take on superhero comic fandom. But it's also the latest in a slew of creator-owned books that Marvel's chief writer has been cranking out over the years — and he's doing it with Mark Bagley, theone artist who he's done more comics with than anyone else in comics.

Although both Bendis and Bagley earned their pedigree working on superhero comics, this series looks to play up the pair's signature banter and grasp of real world characters as seen in Ultimate Spider-Man and play it out in something that could be both cerebral, smart and work in a superhero-dominated comics marketplace.

Preview? Sure thing! 




Bendis and Bagley's Brilliant is set to debut in July 2011 – the same month as San Diego's Comicon International.


  1. This is a thing I didn’t even know I wanted until now.

  2. This sounds like a prequel to Warren Ellis’ BLACK SUMMER. I am very OK with this.

  3. Whoa! I’ll be buying this, for sure. Hopefully, this means Ultimate Spider-Man will still be available for Chris Samnee to pencil full time, since Bagley now has another commitment. Then again, Bagley is speedy, so maybe he’ll do both.

  4. My only requirement is that this book comes on time, unlike all the other Bendis creator-owned books.

  5. Pencils are handsome — they look a little rough, which is fine by me.

  6. I was gonna say well there goes them on Ult. Spider-Man but it’s Bagely and lets be honest hes done two books a month before and they came out like clock work.

  7. looks Brilliant (someone was going to say it)

  8. @mikeandzod21  Bagley has said he’s only coming back to Ultimate Spider-Man for the Death of Spider-Man story.

  9. If that preview is the final art then I am very skeptical on this one. Mark Bagley’s art used to be so energetic when on Ultimate Spider-man so I hope that this is just a preview of art still being worked on, cause if this really is what the book is going to look like, then I am not interested. And Bagley is one of my favorite artists ever, what a bummer.

  10. Maybe this will be my How I Learned How to Stop Worrying and Love The Bagley, because, I frankly don’t get why Bendis loves to collaborate with him – unless it’s simply down to his timely work output in an industry full of late-n-flakes. 

    I’m an extremely late adopter on Bendis, been catching up on his catalog in the past couple years, and, the early Ultimate Spidey stuff, from an art standpoint, was simply atrocious -in almost every single issue Bagley’s generic blandness made me totally confused as to what character was saying something. I’d often do a double-take… why would Peter say THAT? oh, wait, that was just another Bagley Moment.  

    He got better, and his latest work post-LaFuente is probably his best on the series, but still, his sensibility is so utterly prosaic, it runs counter to the whole point of creator-owned work….

    …but I’ll give it a shot, the premise is intriguing enough, maybe this will finally be the title where I can get over my Bagley issues… maybe…

  11. Geez, how many titles can Bendis write at one time?

  12. @Bryce31 right there wid u!

  13. I will probably pick this up.  I really don’t like the design on the logo and the author’s names, I hope that’s not final–reminiscent of the logos on Mark Millar’s Icon books, which I generally think are horrible.

  14. Yes please.

  15. I will buy it!

  16. Bagley was hard for me to swallow when I first started to read USM.  But I warmed up to him quickly. He will most likely never be one of my favorite artists, but I respect his work and importance in the medium.

  17. Can’t wait for this, and this is a bold step for the talent involved.  Excellent.

  18. @purplehulk  It will.  Bagley is a reliable on time guy and he draws super fast.  Expect this to come out on time and occassionally double ship if its successful.

  19. apparently it will be bimonthly. he wants to do about 12 issues a year of Marvel work as well.

    and the art looks different because they are going right from pencils to colors. 

  20. Yes! I love Bendis’ creator-owned work.

  21. Is this really being colored directly from pencils? If so, then you can count me out – I don’t like the unfinished look of the preview pages.

  22. sounds interesting…the art/colors looks well handled but generic. Such a missed opportunity to do something fresh and interesting instead of just trying to replicate the look of a Big 2 style book. 

    @mrlogical  –agreed, the cover logo and type treatments look completely undesigned. They should get a designer instead of letterer/illustrator/writer to design covers…its kind of important, especially in a crowded market.

  23. @ABirdseysView  I cant believe Bendis has Bagley and it still isn’t monthly. Why can’t any Icon book just be monthly!

  24. @Suicidalkangarooz  — if i had to guess i’d say cause creator owned like this is a “nights and weekends” kinda gig and they are kept busy earning a living with their main projects….

  25. @Suicidalkangarooz  @wallythegreenmonster  – yeah, that’s probably the best answer. they pay for the book themselves. so basically the Marvel work pays for Icon work. printing comics is expensive?

  26. Bagley hinted at this last year to my at c2e2 while I was watching him sketch. After I mentioned how much I loved Bendis and he on Ultimate Spider-Man and he asked if I would read something else if they made a new project. That made me pretty feel happy and I’m guessing this is the project! 

  27. i read a lot of Bendis, but admittedly, i don’t find this premise interesting — at all.  however, because it’s bendis i will give the book a shot.  he’s written very, very few things that i haven’t like.  probability that i will like this is very high.

    bagley’s uninked art?  yeah, i think an inker should be utilized here.  it shows how much a good inker adds to an artist’s pencils.