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Comic Book Superstars: Brian Michael Bendis

The Marvel legend on furry orgies and Spider-Man’s questionable foreplay techniques

Brian Michael Bendis brought widescreen blockbuster storytelling to comics, and has been described by such luminaries as Grant Morrison as “more David Mamet than Stan Lee,” with his commitment to each title he takes on being “like swans mating, with ten-year-plus runs on his pet books.” Behind such blockbuster hits as Ultimate Spider-Man, The Avengers, The New Avengers and his quintessential independent signature series Powers, Bendis is a bull pen player in the mighty magic Marvel tradition.

What’s the one thing you’d tell someone who think comics aren’t cool?
I hate the word “cool,” so I’d probably hit them with a Tina Fey-level eye roll and walk away. Comics are insanely awesome. It takes so little to show that to anyone. They’re the work of dedicated storytellers, holding the grandest tradition of our culture. No interference. Just pure storytelling.

Growing up, Marvel or DC?
I followed creators more than characters, and for my money most of the best creators were working on Marvel characters. Frank Miller on Daredevil, John Byrne on X-Men, George Perez on Avengers... That's the height I desperately try to aspire to.

Which superhero is the biggest douchebag?

In an all-companies crossover, can you assemble your ultimate five-hero team? 
Easy. Buckaroo Banzai, The Shadow, Luke Cage, James Bond, Old Man Indiana Jones, Manimal, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.

Who’s got the stupidest costume of any hero or villain?
The list is endless, but having just watched the Wonder Woman pilot that didn't air on NBC, I would be hard-pressed not to say Wonder Woman.

Have you ever had a story rejected by an editor?
Early on I wrote a story where Spider-Man chokes a hooker to death just to get an erection. It was rejected. You live, you learn.

Which are the best and worst comic book movie adaptations?
The best are American Splendor, Iron Man, Ghost World, The Rocketeer, The Matrix, and Spider-Man 2. The worst are Green Lantern (although I only saw 10 minutes of it), Cat Woman and Bulletproof Monk.

What's the project you're most excited about right now?
I’m just starting week two filming of the Powers pilot for FX. It is absolutely the most excited I've ever been about anything. Also in September, we’re debuting the brand-new Ultimate Spider-Man. It’s a very big deal for us and it’s a beautiful book, drawn by Sara Pichelli.

What’s been your strangest Comic Con experience?
I actually wrote the story for a Dark Horse Presents anthology. It involves a very drunk Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD following me around the convention, getting drunker and drunker as he tried to hug me, only to be tackled by one of the members of the MTV Real World cast, who was working as a PA for a news organization that was interviewing me. I also turned down an invitation to a furry orgy. I regret that.

If you were going to do Cosplay, who would you dress up as?
A taller version of myself. With hair.

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