Brian Michael Bendis has tolled the bell on his career at Marvel Comics by handing in his final Miles Morales comic story. The legendary comic creator's final credited work for the comic book publisher will be an upcoming issue of the Spider-Man series starring Miles - an alternate universe Spider-Man, whom Bendis co-created in 2011.
A Marvel Comics mainstay since 2000, Bendis is widely credited with having kick-started a creative Renaissance of sorts with his work on Ultimate Spider-Man, which modernized the story of Peter Parker for a new generation of Spider-Fans. Bendis also found acclaim for his creation of the character of Jessica Jones, who first appeared in Bendis' mature-readers' series Alias. Bendis also wrote critically acclaimed runs on the Daredevil and The Avengers series.
Bendis reported that he was finished with his final Spider-Man comic script on his Twitter account (see the tweet embedded below). Response from his followers has been largely sad but supportive, with many of them sharing their stories of how much Bendis' work with Marvel Comics' characters over the past two decades has meant to them.
Bendis' departure from Marvel Comics comes at a rough time for the publishing powerhouse. Though recent reports have proclaimed Marvel ruler of the direct comics market, the company's sales as a whole still dropped in 2017, and Marvel is lagging behind in sales through digital media and traditional bookstores. Marvel Comics did not have a single title on Diamond Comic Distributors's Top Ten Best Selling Graphic Novels of 2017, and most of its high-sales numbers in the direct market can be attributed to a series of variant covers for various books that were all counted as "one issue."
David Gabriel, Marvel’s senior vice president of sales and market, has blamed the drop in comics sales on the backlash against the company's recent efforts at diversifying their core line of characters (a claim that has no real evidence supporting it). This initiative was a key part of Bendis' legacy at Marvel Comics, with Bendis having created the half-Hispanic, half-Black Miles Morales as a nod to the needs of the market and a demand for more Heroes Of Color in American Comics. It is unknown if Gabriel's complaints played a part in Bendis' decision to leave Marvel Comics behind.
All that is certain is that as mixed as his feelings are about leaving Miles Morales behind, Bendis' future is bright indeed. The superstar writer recently signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics and is poised to make his DC debut with the equally legendary artist Jim Lee in Action Comics #1000.
Source: Brian Michael Bendis