They say good things must come to an end and such was the case last night as Avengers mastermind, Brian Michael Bendis announced that he will be stepping down from the book next year.
Bendis took over Avengers in 2004 and made instant headlines when he presented a brand new roster which combined fan favourites like Spider-Man and Wolverine with relative unknowns like Luke Cage and Spider-Woman. The revamped New Avengers were an instant hit and over the course of his 200+ issues on the book, Bendis has taken the Avengers from an ailing old warhorse to a multi-million dollar, cross-media property.
The Bendis run on Avengers has defined Marvel comics for an entire generation of readers. Speaking with Comic Book Resources, Bendis said:
“I’m going to wrap up Avengers and New Avengers. At the same time the first storyline of Avengers Assemble will be done. It’s a good time to move on to other things. Before I go, though, I’m ending things big. I’m in countdown mode. You know when you’re watching a show like ‘Breaking Badz,’ and every episode feels like the second to last episode? That’s where I’m at. I’ve been on the Avengers longer than anybody in the history of the book. When you take everything into account, I’ve written over 200 issues. I’m very, very proud of that, and what we have coming up this summer gives me the opportunity to go out on a high note. I know enough about showbiz to know that’s a great time to go.”
Bendis will continue to helm the Avengers titles until after next year’s crossover event X-Men vs Avengers after which he will hand over the reigns to an as yet unnamed successor. It’s not like life will be quit for the notoriously prolific writer however. He will continue to write the headline hungry Ultimate Spider-Man as well as several other projects (not least of which include plotting the upcoming Marvel MMO and acting as a script advisor on all of Marvel Studios’ films).
It’s been a hell of a ride Brian, thanks for the stories!