In a move that’s sort of like the nerd equivalent of a major sports star leaving his team to play for the crosstown rivals, Vulture is reporting that longtime Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis has signed an exclusive deal with DC Comics, meaning Marvel essentially just lost one of the most iconic creators working in comics. DC announced the news itself on Twitter this morning, saying he’s been brought to the company with a “multiyear, multi-faceted deal,” and even though we have no idea what he’ll be working on, it seems safe to assume that it’ll be big.
Bendis was at Marvel for almost 20 years, first making a name for himself at the company by co-creating Ultimate Spider-Man with artist Mark Bagley in 2000. That book revitalized the Spidey brand by sending the character back to high school and spawning an entirely new offshoot of the mainstream Marvel universe that saw the creation of other Ultimateversions of Marvel heroes—many of which Bendis also wrote. When Peter Parker was killed off in the Ultimate books, Bendis created Miles Morales to replace him, with that new take on Spider-Man proving so popular that he actually outlived the Ultimate universe itself (literally, because the universe got destroyed).
Spider-Man aside, Bendis also co-created Jessica Jones and wrote for pretty much every major Marvel hero at one time or another, including Daredevil, The Avengers, Iron Man, and The X-Men. Vulture compares this to Jack Kirby leaving Marvel for DC in the ‘70s, but that might be overselling it a bit as Bendis was also responsible for a couple of recent duds like Civil War II and his long run on Guardians Of The Galaxy. This is still a big deal though, especially considering that Bendis is (or was) currently writing the Jessica Jones revival series, Defenders, Invincible Iron Man, and Spider-Man comicsfor Marvel. It’s unclear what will happen to those books, but it sounds like neither of the big comic book houses seem to know what to make of this just yet.