SPECULATION: What Marvel Comic Will Brian Michael Bendis Write Next?

When the news broke back in December that Brian Michael Bendis would be ending his run on The Avengers after 200 issues, the immediate question, for me at least, was, “What will he be writing next?” As the the past few weeks have transpired and we’ve drowned in Avengers vs. X-Men teasers, my own personal curiosity has grown. I can’t help but speculate what book Bendis would be tackling post-Avengers, now that he’ll have such a big hole in his schedule.  But it wasn’t until I put two and two together based on a couple of comments Bendis has made did my mind really begin to piece together the possibilities of what may be next.

Now before I get to the speculation, I wanted to get a couple things out of the way.

First, I’m speculating here about possible Marvel Comics titles he may write, not creator owned work. While Bendis has many creator owned projects like Powers, Scarlet and Brilliant, it’s probably a safe bet that he’s not going to go 100% creator owned anytime soon. He’s more than likely going to fill these gaps with existing Marvel titles.

Second, I wanted to share the quotes that drove some of my thinking:

On a recent episode of Word Balloon, when asked about what would be coming after The Avengers, Bendis said:

“I’m doing a couple of things, some of which will be very surprising and challenging to some people who like to follow me. I’m very scared of it, which is the best thing, I think, a creator can tell you.” (01:37:50)

And then yesterday, on the Marvel press conference about Avengers Assemble, Bendis revealed:

“We have an opportunity to debut something that’s completely new in this series that Marvel is going to debut in Avengers vs. X-Men and one of the places I’ll end up in for my post-Avengers career.”

So based on those  two quotes as clues, along with what we know about the existing state of the Marvel Universe, I humbly offer you some random, comic shop talk-esque speculation about what title Bendis may be writing next, along with the odds of it happening and an explanation.

Ghost Rider – Odds: 48 to 1

Admittedly this one is the long shot. But if you take a moment and consider what the current state of Ghost Rider is and Bendis’ recent work on Moon Knight, it may not be too far fetched.  Ghost Rider is one of those fringe characters who while not quite succeeding in comics recently, did have a huge burst of popularity in the 1990s, becoming way more popular than Moon Knight ever was.  With a new movie poised to open this month (the second film starring Nic Cage), it could be argued that Marvel is working on building back up the Spirit of Vengeance, and who better to do it than their top writer? Once the current Venom event that guest stars Ghost Rider, it seems as if Marvel is putting the character back on the shelf and by the time Bendis wraps up Avengers, it could be the perfect time to bring Ghost Rider back, perhaps with artistic collaborator Alex Maleev?

Guardians of the Galaxy – Odds 20 to 1

Another long shot, but a bit less of one when you break things down.  First, the Guardians of the Galaxy’s most recent run, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, came to an end last year with some nice closure, so it could be argued that enough time has passed for another writer to pick up the concept where Abnett and Lanning left off.  Second, It’s been rumored (and mildly confirmed) that the upcoming Marvel’s The Avengers film has some sort of alien race involved. While many believe it’s the Skrulls, that has been denied by Kevin Fiege of Marvel Studios.  Given that Bendis is writing the book that is meant for people who checked out Marvel’s the Avengers in the movie theaters, it could be theorized that the threat in that book could be related to the threat of the movie. And if that’s the case, it would make sense to spin a new Guardians of the Galaxy from that story.  Third, as we saw in the preview of Avengers vs. X-Men #1, Nova and the Phoenix Force are involved. Both cosmic characters. In the above quote, Bendis says “one of the places I’ll end up in for my post-Avengers career” debuts in Avengers vs. X-Men. Could this all be paving the way to Bendis’ working on a cosmic book? And finally, Fiege, again, has been quoted as saying that Marvel films could branch out into cosmic stories, specifically Guardians of the Galaxy. Could a Bendis penned Guardians of the Galaxy comic also pave the way for a Guardians of the Galaxy movie in 2018? Now it doesn’t seem so crazy, does it?

Fantastic Four – 10 to 1

Does anyone else get the feeling that after this current mega story arc on Fantastic Four, that Jonathan Hickman is done with the title? Now I don’t have any specific evidence of this, but it’s just a feeling I get based off talking with Hickman back when Fantastic Four #600 came out. I get the sense that his entire run on Marvel’s first family has been leading to this major, epic story and when it’s all said and done, that his story will be over. Now in terms of timing, I’m not sure if Bendis’ run on The Avengers lines up with the end of Hickman’s Fantastic Four story, and for all I know Hickman isn’t going anywhere. But when you look at the Marvel Universe, aside from his stint in the Ultimate Universe, Bendis has never actually written the Fantastic Four. They’re the rare set of characters that, as far as I know, he hasn’t come close to touching on a regular basis. Based on his comment listed above, writing the Fantastic Four, especially following Hickman, could be a scary endeavor indeed.

West Coast Avengers / Runaways – 5 to 1

And finally, we have what could be the easy answer.  When Bendis launched the now canceled Moon Knight, part of his goal of the book was to establish Los Angeles as a stronger setting in the Marvel Universe. While Moon Knight has been fun, I’m not quite sure that that goal has been achieved and if Bendis agrees then could we see more Los Angeles based heroes from Bendis? We already know that Bendis has an affinity for the The Avengers.  While he’s wrapping up his historic run on The Avengers and New Avengers, we’ve never heard him comment on the possibility of West Coast Avengers, other than in the form of a punchline. Given Bendis’ sense of humor, do you think he’d be able to turn down the opportunity to do the West Coast Avengers right?

Now if it was West Coast Avengers alone, I would dismiss this theory, but when you factor in the Runaways, it becomes much more interesting and possible. Runaways, created by Bryan K. Vaughan, have been one of Marvel’s best new creations and the most under utilized. They’ve most recently shown up in the pages of Avengers Academy, which could lead to the adoption of the young heroes within the Avengers ranks.  Now, imagine if the Runaways are forced to grow up by teaming with some established, elder heroes to form the new branch of the West Coast Avengers who could be led by Moon Knight? This would be, at the same time, a challenge for Bendis to make work as well as surprise many of us loyal readers. I would not expect Bendis to pen the Runaways, but given his success at writing teens in Ultimate Spider-Man, I have to admit, that this would be a book I would be interested in.

X-Men – 2 to 1

Above I said that writing Fantastic Four could be scary for Bendis…but not as scary as writing the X-Men.  Similar to the Fantastic Four, Bendis has had a limited exposure to the X-Men characters. He did write the mutants in the Ultimate Universe, but unlike the Fantastic Four, Bendis has visited the X-Men in the Marvel Universe proper, with the event House of M, which singlehandedly changed the landscape of the X-Men books for years to follow after using the Scarlet Witch to decimate the mutant population. Some X-Men fans have described House of M as a hit and run, where Bendis came, screwed things up, and then ran back to The Avengers. Bendis himself has been outspoken about how much of a challenge House of M was and how intimidating the X-Men characters were for him. After making his mark on Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil and now The Avengers, could Bendis feel like he’s up to the challenge and return to the scene of House of M? Possibly.

This theory also get support purely from the Murphy’s Law angle for X-Men fans, of which I know very well. Right now, in my opinion, is one of the best times for X-Men books with Kieron Gillen on Uncanny X-Men and Jason Aaron on Wolverine and the X-Men. Both books are delightful and everything an X-Men fan could ask for. Purely based on that alone, it could be theorized that Marvel would then change things up and mix up the creative teams. I have no idea who would potentially leave their book, Gillen or Aaron, or perhaps they both leave and Bendis takes on both titles? With him wrapping up his run on Avengers and New Avengers, he absolutely could handle two books.

Going back to Bendis’ quotes above, the prospect of him on the X-Men could indeed be scary for him and would certainly surprise and challenge his fans, as well as fans of the X-Men.


There you have it. If you’re a betting man, feel free to weigh in below on the comments on the above speculated titles or perhaps you can think of a title that I haven’t? Regardless, if you agree with my logic and theories or not, it’s safe to say that whatever Bendis does after The Avengers will garner a lot of attention amongst comics fans,so might as well start guessing now!


  1. I just want more Scarlet, that’s all.

  2. Honestly whatever he ends up writing i think will be for the best because some of his Avengers stuff recently is feeling tired and old and shows hes been writing these characters to long and is running out of ideas.

    Although ive enjoyed his Moon Knight run alot so i think a change of the characters he writes would be for the best

  3. Can we not think about it? I’m as scared as he is.

    I honestly could see FF being a good bet. I feel like Hickman’s tale is beginning to wrap itself up, unless he begins another 3 year arc soon. This would mean Hickman could try an Avengers book or something while Bendis gets to try and make Marvel’s first family witty.

    Or maybe Spidey? He has written USM and Spidey on Avengers for a while. Maybe that’s the whole Spider-Men thing? Slott comes to the USM and Bendis to Amazing? Flip Flop em? Or maybe Slott goes to Avengers and Bendis becomes Mr. Spider. Pete is one character that can be Bendis level witty and have it not seem redundant.

    I’m very happy with the X line right now and I feel like they’re in their infancy, so here’s to hoping those writers keep their books.

    Who knows. The speculation is fun though.

  4. The moment I read he was retiring from writing Avenger books, the first thing I thought was that he was going to write the X-Men. Bendis is a big name for Marvel and it only makes sense for him to move to another big part of the line. If he does, I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll probably won’t like it though because I don’t like most of the books he writes, excluding Ultimate Spider-Man.

  5. Bendis on X-Men is intriguing — maybe leave Gillen and Aaron alone and have him resurrect Astonishing or Adjectiveless? Both of those launched strong, but seem to have become second or even third tier X-Books over the past year.

    • My first thought was that he might move on to Adjectiveless. I think that they will probably give Marjorie Liu some time on Astonishing and Gischler has been on Adjectiveless for almost two years now. I also think that might be the place editorial puts him because it seems like that title is getting far less attention than the others.

    • I’d be happy with him on Adjectiveless.

      Him pushing Aaron or Gillen off of their respective books is a nightmare scenario to me.

    • I am really looking forward to Liu on Astonishing. Perkins getting a shot to shine on a high profile book. Can’t wait.

  6. I think Marvel will make him work on a top tier A-list book/team/character, so i’m betting on some sort of X-men title. It would be cool to have something kinda new that doesn’t depend on decades of contintuity. Its a tough line to get into, if you’re not already full immersed.

  7. While Bendis is a top tier writer I fail to see why Marvel would drop Aaron or Gillen from their x-books. Those two are doing good work, so if it ain’t broke why fix it. On the other hand, there are other x titles for Bendis to play with. I’m curious, no denying it.

  8. I think X-Men is spot on. I have a feeling, like the Avengers books, Bendis will be writing all or most of the important X-men books. I’m not an X-Men reader, but would be willing to try his X-men. I’m stopped reading his Avengers.

  9. Two words: Power Pack!

  10. I would love to get a West Coast Avengers book, but I don’t see how that would fit into something he’d be “scared” to do. My money is on an X-Book or Fantastic Four. Or a relaunch of Darkhawk.

  11. Don’t tease Runaways. It hurts too much. Though I do think BMB could do great things with the characters. I prefer him writing teen characters

  12. From Tom Brevoort’s Formspring.

    Q: There’s a rumor bouncing around that Bendis might take over Thunderbolts. I’m a skeptic, and want to ask you if there is any merit to this rumor so that it could be put to rest.

    A: It certainly is an interesting rumor.

  13. I’d be pretty happy to see Bendis replace Gillen on Uncanny at this point. I find that book is really dragging. Keep him away from Aaron though

  14. Honestly, I really want to see what comes after him on avengers. Hopefully a uniting of the new avengers and the avengers books.

    The Patrick Pushing meme says it best:
    Lets take all the really cool marvel heroes,
    And put them in the main avengers book.

    Iron man,
    The REAL hulk,
    Ms marvel,

  15. They could use a little shake-up. Maybe they’ll all try something new. Everyone move one book to your left.

  16. He’s more likely to do a Darkhawk comic than X-Men. Or Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, or Ghost Rider for that matter. With as much money as Marvel is paying him, they will want returns out of his work that will translate into other media, especially movies. They’ll want him to prop up characters that they can turn into film franchises like Dr. Strange or the Runaways.

    • That’s a great point. I recall someone (maybe Gillen) explain recently on a podcast or in an interview that he wasn’t able to create new X-villains because (paraphrasing) “Marvel doesn’t create intellectual property for Fox.”

    • @ken–i think it was Rob Liefield who talked about that on Word Balloon

      i think the strategy you guys are talking about kind of goes against Marvel’s habit/policy of taking big name exclusive writers off of the small projects and putting em on flagship titles.

    • @wally: Good memory, I’m pretty sure now it was Liefeld that said that.

      And to your other point, you might be right. Moon Knight is a perfect example of how a top notch creative team isn’t necessarily enough to make a lower tier character pop these days.

      It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. I don’t imagine we’ll know anything until AVX is well underway, and even then I don’t think this project would be launching until Bendis’ Avengers stuff wraps at the end of the year.

  17. It would take a lot to get me to read whatever it is considering I haven’t read a Bendis comic I liked in a while. But I’m glad he’s stepping off Avengers and moving to something he isn’t exactly comfortable with. Makes me slightly intrigued.

    The only thing I really don’t want to see happen on this list is Guardians of the Galaxy. The Cosmic realm of Marvel is by far my favorite area and I don’t see Bendis as a good fit. Secret Invasion is the closest thing he’s done to that wheelhouse and as far as I’m concerned it’s far and away his weakest work. I even recall him saying he didn’t care for the Cosmic stuff at all way back when I still listened to the Bendis tapes.

    But I’d agree the odds are low on him doing a lower tier title. Marvel seems to be going in the direction where they want their A list writers on A list books.

  18. I’d be fine if he took over Uncanny, as I can go either way with Gillen. But I truly hope Marvel wouldn’t push Aaron out as writer on Wolverine and the X-Men, as his voice and characterizations MAKE that book (see this week’s issue as a perfect example). Bendis on one of the Fantastic Four books would be interesting, though I think they benefit from Hickman’s singular hand on the helm. They are collaborating on AvsX, so maybe Bendis takes over the more kid-oriented FF and Hickman stays on Fantastic?

    Also, unless he was just jonesing for a Morrison or Miller-style “give me your worst book and let me see what I can do with it” challenge, I don’t think Marvel’s going to put Bendis on anything below a B-List book. And frankly, with leaving Avengers, I would think they’d want to find him an A-List book. That would make Ghost Rider or Guardians very unlikely, unless they’re going to take a cue from DC and position Ghost Rider as part of a “Horror Avengers” akin to the 90’s “Midnight Sons” titles, or the Guardians as “Space Avengers.” Then Bendis would be a good call. But, if he was just going to do another Avengers title, or something else in the Avengers family like Thunderbolts, what’s the point of walking away from the big 2 books in the line? The impression I’ve gotten from his interviews on the matter is that he’s ready to be done with this neck of the Marvel woods.

    Or, parsing what he said another way, what’s to say that his next project is a comic book? Maybe he’s going to work on a screenplay for one of the Marvel movies and start going Hollywood. Or maybe he’s going to pull a Kirkman and get really hands-on with the rumored “AKA Jessica Jones” show. “Alias” was almost a creator-owned book and he’d have a vested interest in seeing it done right. And if he’s not done much with this kind of “creative” work, it would be scary.

    Should make for interesting news from C2E2 or San Diego, for sure.

  19. The fewer characters in a Brian Bendis book, the more I enjoy them, so Fantastic Four when Jonathan Hickman finishes his story could be interesting, but it feels like that’s still decades off. So perhaps the X-Men is the best bet, but I agree, make it Adjectiveless or Astonishing. Then cancel the other (surely Adjectiveless lost its USP when the vampire stuff ended – or has it not ended? I never bothered trying it).

    I’d love to see Alias back, starring the proper, foul-mouthed Jessica Jones. Or a Power Man/Jewel Fist comic!

  20. Millie the Model

  21. I think we all want him to write Darkhawk.

  22. What if AVX is the setup for the Guardians to start up again? It would make sense that Bendis would be the one writing it.

    • I get that Phoenix is in this, and Nova was associated with this storyline in that Marvel .1 book, but I think it would be a real stretch for this to be a kickoff for Guardians. You’re talking about bringing in a third set of characters into an already crowded arena, ones with very little connection to either group (the old Guardians did have connections to the Avengers, and a few X-Men ran into the new Guardians during the War of Kings story, but that’s it). Based on the players involved as of now, one of two things would have to happen for this to spin off a Guardians series: 1) The Guardians will be made up of Earth-based characters, which would be a very bad idea; or 2) a bunch of cosmic characters come out of nowhere to deal with Phoenix and decide to stick together as the new Guardians, which would be a huge WTF outcome.

      And yet, for Bendis’ next project to be coming out of this event, and for it not to be yet another Avengers book, I have a hard time seeing anything else. It’d be this or an X-Men book.

  23. If Bendis takes over Fantastic Four, or Thunderbolts then I’ll kill myself.

    ….Okay let me say something more productive.

    I don’t think Hickman is going to leave Fantastic Four anytime soon. Cause the solicts for the issues after this current storyline is over seems to indicate he is far from being done. Not sure if he’s got another 1-2 year story in place but it sounded interesting.

    If anything Bendis could do X-Men because we all know how much Marvel likes to screw around with Kieron Gillen. “What’s that? You just started a run on Thor? Great! We’ll just let Fraction take over it and you’ll be forced to do your own story in a title with a less interesting title and confusing numbering.”

  24. Majestic Avengers – 1 to 1.
    Undercover Avengers – 1 to 1.
    Avengers Incognito – 1 to 1.
    Ultimate Spider-Avenger – 1 to 1.

    • No, Bendis likes street level characters. The Ghetto Fabulous Avengers. Cage, Double J, Iron Fist, Jessica Drew, Moon Knight, Daredevil, Doctor Strange & Wong.

  25. Keep Bendis away from the X-men!!! X-men is finally good again!

  26. MARVELMAN thats what he will do.

  27. No. DnA should write MarvelMan. Bendis is good if you wanted Marvelman to to chill in the hood fighting Norman Osborn, then having a slice of pizza shooting the [ expletive deleted ].

  28. Would be nice to get another Astonishing run that happens ‘between the raindrops’ a la Whedon

  29. I don;t see him doing x-men – at least not at the moment

  30. I think there’s another year or two beyond the end of AvX before an X-Men shakeup, unless AvX REALLY affects the line. Plus with the Fox having those film rights, just doesn’t add up. I would expect to see Bendis on X-Men someday, but not this soon.

    I’m looking hard at that “scary” descriptor. Relaunching a new volume of Alias, or even a book actually called AKA Jessica Jones, would fit that. Living up to the expectations of the previous series would be scary. Marvelman would be immensely intimidating, so I could see that.

    But then I look hard at that press conference quote. Neither of those match up to the words he uses there. The words he uses there are even confusing. It’s something that will debut in BOTH AvX and Avengers Assemble? Maybe he’s not even really talking about a character or franchise. Maybe just a background element or setting or item.

  31. It could be some existing characters, but I have a feeling we’re going to get an entirely new ongoing. I don’t think it will be any existing title and it might not even be characters currently appearing in an ongoing. What about a Phoenix series? Or a new concept for a space-based team?

  32. I think he’ll take over HULK

  33. Guys!!!!!
    Don’t you see!!!!
    It’s Gota be Squirrel Girl!!!
    I’m not jokeing, I would absolutely love Squirrel Girl in her own ongoing title.
    Ever sense New Avengers #15 I’ve been a huge fan of her.
    I really makes sense though!
    Whats scarier then doing a Squirrel Girl comic?!?!
    Bends is just the guy to throw a curve ball like this at us.

  34. ghost rider would be awesome. he should do another b-list character. remember his daredevil run? but on the flip side, his moonknight book didnt work out so well.
    WATXM makes sense what with all his experience writing high school kids.
    i’d love to see him do something with daken. wrote him well in dark avengers.

  35. I’m a HUGE Bendis fan. I got re-started in comics just as he started his run on the Avengers. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m truly sorry to see this run come to an end. As for the future, I can see him on the Fantastic Four – but that said, I love Hickman and have no wish to see him leave the title. I can also see him re-imagine the X-Men franchise the way he did for the Avengers. What about Bendis doing Power Man and Iron Fist? It’s just so hard to imagine him anywhere other than the Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man. One thing I do hope happens and that is we will see both Powers and Scarlet more frequently.

    Peace out!

  36. The X-books are currently Marvel’s best selling and creatively successful titles. If Bendis were going into the X-men Universe, a status quo change would likely result. I don’t see Marvel wanting to mess with a good thing. Marvel should look at some lower selling or non-existent titles and have Bendis go wild on them.

  37. maybe it’ll be thunderbolts. norman osborn is back in the picture and bendis writes osborn like no one else. but i hear thunderbolts has a pretty happy audience already, much like FF and the xbooks. i’m sure they dont want to piss them off, but, who knows

  38. Captain America

  39. Bleeding Cool is reporting he’ll be writing multiple X-Men titles after A vs. X. Does this mean Gillen is gone? I assume Bendis will take over some X titles rather than new ones being created. Could Wolverine and the X-Men be ending way sooner than Jason Aaron was expecting? I’d imagine that would stay and Bendis would do Uncanny and either adjectiveless X-Men or X-Men Legacy. Still, gotta feel for Gillen unless he gets moved to something else or Bendis gets new X titles. Personally, I’d love to Abnett and Lanning to come over to Uncanny, preferably with a more standard status quo going on, as while Schism has made things interesting, when was the last time X-Men just “normal” and not trying to upset the status quo?