How Brian Michael Bendis Helped Shape the MCU

by Matt Tuck

081622C-1024x536 How Brian Michael Bendis Helped Shape the MCULove him or hate him, Brian Michael Bendis is heavily influencing the direction of the MCU, and four of his best stories could be on the Marvel Studios agenda. Bendis may be the most polarizing figure in all of comics. For the past two decades, he has written some of Marvel Comics’ most talked about events, and that’s what he does best. His comics often throw a wrench into the status quo, and not everyone is a fan of big changes. While those changes have earned him a number of detractors, there’s no denying his talent for writing sweeping epics that put an all-too-human lens over our favorite superheroes. It’s what has made him one of the most influential comic writers of the 21st Century.

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After penning a handful of titles in the late 1990s, he burst onto the grand Marvel stage with Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000. From there, he created numerous characters that either have appeared or should soon appear in the MCU, most notably Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill, Riri Williams, Queen Veranke, as well as the Ultimate versions of Nick Fury, Venom, and Carnage. Many of his creations have been controversial as he leans into diversity with his characters, and that is always a hotbed of discussion in the comic circles.

When it comes to the massive crossover events, Bendis cleverly links one story into the next, sometimes without readers even noticing. He is a master at long-term storytelling and plotting, so the events seamlessly flow from one to the next, such as these stories with heavy MCU implications.

HOUSE OF M

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After getting noticed on a larger stage, Bendis came out swinging with an epic crossover in the Marvel-616 that is still being talked about: House of M

There were subtle nods to the precursor, Avengers: Disassembled, in WandaVision, but we have yet to get that HOM adaptation many fans have predicted for years. 

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With The Multiverse Saga kicking into gear, we may yet see a version of this story come to life. The story is an alternate reality tale in which Scarlet Witch reset the Marvel Universe and rids the world of superheroes. Variant timelines and different dimension stories are common, but the ending of HOM is what made it a classic when Wanda Maximoff uttered the infamous phrase, “No more mutants.” 

SECRET INVASION

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This one is already on the MCU calendar for next year, and the initial trailers appear to lean into the actual comics. As opposed to the lovable refugees we met in Captain Marvel, Bendis’ take on the Skrulls is much more sinister. 

Civil War laid the groundwork for Secret Invasion. Spanning decades, the alien shapeshifters replaced various superheroes in strategic positions. The events of CW ripped the superhero community apart, and the world was more vulnerable than ever. The Skrulls seized the opportunity and set out to claim Earth-616 as their own. This was a wonderfully told story with cliffhangers galore and absolutely stellar artwork. If Marvel Studios dials back the slapstick comedy and stays true to Bendis’ concepts, the Disney+ show will be great.

DARK REIGN

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In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, the former Green Goblin Norman Osborn became a national hero for killing the Skrull queen, thus ending the alien attack. That led to him taking Tony Stark’s position as head of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was renamed H.A.M.M.E.R. He then took Stark’s armory for himself and used his celebrity status and fake patriotism to manipulate the public into believing he was the hero of all heroes, Iron Patriot. 

The Dark Avengers MCU speculation goes back to 2018 when a rumor spread that Marvel Studios had hired a screenwriter to pen Dark Avengers. Nothing has come of that so far, but it’s never been dispelled, either, and Marvel does enjoy playing the long game. Since Thunderbolts is on the Phase 5 agenda, that raises eyebrows. In the comics, Norman Osborn’s villainous Thunderbolts would march into Avengers Tower post-Secret Invasion and pose as the Avengers. 

SIEGE

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After six years and four major events, Bendis’ magnum opus came to a conclusion with Siege. If Marvel Studios is considering adapting this story for the MCU, the pieces are falling into place. 

At the conclusion of Dark Reign, Osborn has gone mad with power. He recruits the likes of Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, Loki, the Hood, and Namor to form the Cabal, which was basically the anti-Illuminati. Seeing Osborn’s declining mental stability, Loki manipulates him into declaring Asgard a threat to national security, thus giving him legal grounds to launch an assault on the magical world that hovered above Broxton, Oklahoma.

The real Avengers came together to strike back, and they brought Osborn’s Dark Reign to its end.

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1 comment

Steve August 22, 2022 - 8:38 am

I can’t see how Marvel will pursue these story lines without owning the rights to Norman Osborne, unless they replace Norman with Contessa.

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