From the moment that DC Comics cracked comics Twitter with a tweet announcing the signing of longtime Marvelite Brian Michael Bendis to an exclusive multi-year deal, fans have been speculating what comics he may be taking over.
It's a fun exercise, made even more interesting by the fact that Bendis has crafted a rep for tackling all types of books over the years. From cosmic to crime, during his 17 years at Marvel, he showed a true knack for being able to handle any type of comic (see Daredevil, The Avengers, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy). He also had a gift for creating memorable characters (see: Jessica Jones, Miles Morales, Riri Williams):
Bendis has also been adept at selling books, and that is no mean feat. He's one of a handful of writers whose name can legitimately move copies of a comic, and with the stable of characters DC has, he's got a lot to choose from. Already, there are folks speculating that Bendis writing Justice League is all but a done deal. Or that Bendis on Batman is definitely happening. That may well come true, but that almost seems too obvious. And obvious isn't fun. (Besides, Batman seems to be in good hands with Tom King and Scott Snyder.)
So we're digging through the vast DC longboxes to find the titles that would be best served to get Bendis'd. To give you a sense of the variety of suggestions, in the SYFY WIRE offices there is strong support for Plastic Man, and even a vote or two for Hawkman. But here are the six DC titles we absolutely want Bendis to write:
I know, we said we wanted to avoid obvious, but this is an absolute no-brainer. A police procedural comic set in Gotham City plays right to one of Bendis' core talents: his grasp of crime writing. Can you imagine the co-creator of Powers writing Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya, and Commissioner Gordon? We can. Get on this, DC. Stat!
Now that Oliver Queen has been re-established as the DCU's social conscience, it's high time he gets greater prominence. We think Bendis could do for Ollie what he did for Luke Cage, and elevate him to the A-List. The fact that GA has one of the more underrated supporting casts in comics is another element that plays well to one of Bendis' strengths: group character dynamics.
Jonah Woodson Hex is long overdue for a new series. After Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's stellar run on Jonah Hex Vol. 2, the character's momentum was completely derailed by the disastrous feature film. Bendis is the perfect guy to re-energize the Old West's greatest and grumpiest bounty hunter. Imagine a Hex series that's a western crime noir. The moral grayness and character complexity Bendis excels at gets a new fresh stage to be displayed on. Plus, he gets to write Tellulah Black.
It makes all the sense in the world for DC to have its big shiny (and much skinnier) new writer toy to take over writing Harley Quinn. After all, she's one of the company's most popular characters. Also, the longtime creative duo that helped Harley soar to new heights, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, are leaving the book with issue #34, coming out next month. Makes sense, right? Of course. But you know what makes even more sense? Having Bendis take over the most important character in the DC U: Wonder Woman.
Hot off the heels of the blockbuster Wonder Woman movie, and with Justice League about to hit theaters, WW's profile couldn't possibly be higher. One way to finally turn those comic book movie audiences into actual comic book readers would be to put a writer who knows how to write a female character, and provide a fresh entry point for new readers. Bendis' run on Ultimate Spider-Man is a great example of the accessibility he could provide to a character enjoying unprecedented popularity. We'll actually be stunned if Bendis doesn't have a Wonder Woman assignment between now and the sequel's release.
The Forever People
The Fourth World has been making a strong comeback this year, the centennial of its creator, Jack Kirby. Mister Miracle is one of the most critically acclaimed comics in years, thanks to Tom King and Mitch Gerads' genius reinterpretation of the escape artist.
Now it's time to bring back the King's flower children and modernize them. Easy to say, exceedingly difficult to pull off. Almost like asking someone to bring two conceptually challenged characters back from comics obscurity and making them legit stars. But Bendis pulled it off with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, so let him do it with The Forever People. The concept of the New Gods is fertile ground for any creator. Plus, the group's long though inconsistent links to the DC Universe could provide a wide tapestry for Bendis to pull off a long game ala Secret Invasion, which was seeded in other Marvel books for years.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
DC may have hired Bendis mainly for this title. There are few writers in the business who have a puncher's chance of pulling off a proper revival of the beloved Legion, and Bendis is one of them. We know from his time on The Avengers he can handle a big team book, and there's no team "bigger" than the Legion of Super-Heroes. There's also the fact that DC has not been shy about admitting they've been waiting for the right time and the right creative team to bring back the 31st Century heroes. So now they have a writer who specializes in injecting life back into mothballed properties. And they have an artist in the building who would make a great partner for the project. After all, Jim Lee happens to be a huge Legion fan. Do we think a Bendis-Lee Legion book would sell? C'mon, DC ... TAKE MY MONEY.