Brian Michael Bendis teases the final chapter!

After years of buzz and a universe-shattering crossover that altered the landscape of the Marvel Universe, this year finally brought us the long-awaited sequel to SPIDER-MEN.

And on December 27, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli’s SPIDER-MEN II #5 concludes this epic tale. The issue will also mark some of the prolific writer’s final moments with two characters he’s spent more time with than most.

We talked with Brian about the end of this era and what his final (for now) statement on the Spider-Man mythos will be.

Marvel.com: When the original limited series ended, did you already have this story in mind? Or did things change after Secret Wars?

Brian Michael Bendis: All of this changed after Secret Wars. The entire landscape of the Marvel multiverse changed and with that so many pieces got shifted around, including where Miles lived. Sometimes readers will hear this and get concerned about all the stories that can’t be told anymore but I get more focused on the new ones that could be told. SPIDER-MEN II is absolutely one of the stories that could not be told without the glorious liquid organic nature of the shared Marvel multiverse.

Marvel.com: The interplay between Peter and Miles in this story feels very different than it did in the first go around. How do you see their relationship now?

Brian Michael Bendis: This is the reason I wanted to revisit the relationship. I’m very fascinated by the complicated emotions that come with being part of this growing legacy of Spider-Man. On one hand you have Peter Parker, who became Spider-Man not to start a legacy of people with spider powers who would then rise to his challenge, but only for himself. It has become this growing legacy and he lives with the idea that with great power comes great responsibility, so he won’t shirk the responsibility of it all. At the same time you have Miles, who has probably taken the mantle as far as anyone other than Peter has taken it and also feels conflicted. Though he has Peter’s approval and his path as a hero has been righteous, he now questions whether this is his path at all. This is Peter’s path. It doesn’t mean it’s also his. It’s all so deeply confusing.

Miles’ best friend Ganke has even told him that yes, it’s great that you can be Spider-Man and it’s great that Spider-Man approves of you being Spider-Man, but maybe you’re just a really good guitarist in a really good cover band. It’s really hard to play the song you’re playing and only a few people can, but it’s still someone else’s song. What is Miles’ song? And is it this? Does he just has to come to terms with it or might there be another path?

Marvel.com: What made you choose Taskmaster as the villain?

Brian Michael Bendis: He’s an amazing gun for hire. He feels so passionate but also very eager to sell to the highest bidder. So it’s always interesting to drop him into a story like this because you don’t know which Taskmaster you’re getting. The gun for hire or the passionate cause? He’s a mystery. Where he gets his powers from varies from time to time. I love him as a dispassionate foil. He’s such a product of the Marvel modern universe.

Marvel.com: The Earth-616 Miles’ origin story hearkens back to more of your crime fiction roots and work on DAREDEVIL than what we’ve been used to with your Spidey stories. Did you consciously bring things full circle that way?

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes and no. I have kept the Kingpin thread going through ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN for storylines all the way through today because I think it’s as important to the Miles/Peter journey as Aunt May’s or Ganke’s. I think The Kingpin is a fascinating individual because he is a real person. He has lived a cultured and varied life while, at the same time, ruling with violence and intimidation. He has love and he has loved. This makes him a passionate antagonist.

The idea that Kingpin might have been the Ganke to 616 Miles sort of came to me as I wrote them and it made me fall in love with both of them. I think the most surprising part of the story has been that The Kingpin would let someone out of his grip. That he loved someone so much that he would let him go. That he would trust Miles enough to let him go. For Wilson, that sounds like ultimate friendship that he only gave to one person.

Marvel.com: You’ve written various iterations of Wilson Fisk, so what do you see as his role in the Spidey mythology compared to his role with Daredevil?

Brian Michael Bendis: I truly think the Kingpin’s story has been a very important part of the Spider-Man mythology. I have used it as a backbone for what Ultimate Spider-Man would learn about the adult world. That truth and justice might not be for everyone. That sometimes the bad guy wins. Also for Peter and Miles to come up against someone so human and yet almost mythological at the same time is very interesting to write.

Marvel.com: SPIDER-MEN II #4 ends with a killer cliffhanger, as this new Miles prepares to enter an alternate reality looking to find a living version of his lost love. What can you tease about what he might find there?

Brian Michael Bendis: Inside the final issue sits a pile of easily the most requested things anyone has ever asked me for on the Internet. We have so many amazing surprises. I didn’t know at the time that I was writing it that it would be among the last Spider-Man stories I would ever write. But I am so happy that my instincts pointed me to write so boldly and to include my dear friend [artist] Mark Bagley in the proceedings. It created a wonderful capping moment for an 18 year run on Spider-Man.

Last year when I started writing this I didn’t know I would be leaving the characters. I just knew that the emotional core of the first SPIDER-MEN limited series was the reason the book is so well thought of and that the emotional core to this series had to be equally surprising. So I accidentally created some final moments for Peter and Miles that I am so grateful for. Though I will be leaving the characters and this universe for at least a few years, I am so grateful for the journey we’ve taken together. I am so excited to see what the new creators do. I hope they find new avenues and truths that inspires years of new storytelling.

SPIDER-MEN II #5, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, reaches its climax on December 27!

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Brian Michael Bendis previews the series finale!

On November 29, Marvel’s high-flying spider-duo returns for their series swan song—and you can expect double the excitement, double the Spider-heroes, and even double the Spider-artists.

SPIDER-MEN II #5 marks writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli’s final issue of the limited series. And as a surprise, “Mark Bagley makes a very special appearance,” teases Bendis.

So what do these arachnologists have in store? We bugged Bendis to give us the inside scoop.

Marvel.com: The final issue has arrived! What can readers expect with issue #5?

Brian Michael Bendis: Miles Morales and Peter Parker have teamed up because the mercenary Taskmaster has caused a lot of chaos behind a portal to another dimension. At first we don’t know what he wants or what’s going on, but it gets revealed that Taskmaster has been on a fact finding mission for someone named Miles Morales.

Not our Miles Morales. A different Miles Morales.

But what does he want and why? And how does it connected to our Miles?

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about this other Miles and how he might be connected to our heroes?

Brian Michael Bendis: We now know from the reveal in issue #3 and #4 that this new Miles Morales became a very close friend of a young Wilson Fisk and saw Wilson’s ascension to the ranks of Kingpin. We discover that this Miles did not have the same taste for blood and ambitions as Wilson, so Wilson created a situation for his dear friend to disappear and live happily ever after with the woman of his dreams. That is why no one has ever heard of him…until now.

Marvel.com: Last we saw, Miles didn’t know much about his mysterious namesake. What might be his big concerns heading into the last issue?

Brian Michael Bendis: Our Miles doesn’t know that he intercepted this other Miles’ mission to find his lost love. The other Miles’ wife has passed from a terrible illness. He lost his lifelong love and is now despondent and desperate. His wife’s funeral became the place where Wilson reunited with his once best friend and told him about other dimensions and other worlds and other versions of people in a hope to ease his pain—it sent this Miles on a quest. Our Miles doesn’t know that this Miles has been searching for his long-lost love in other dimensions.

Marvel.com: What have been Peter’s and Miles’ biggest challenges in this series? In the last issue?

Brian Michael Bendis: The legacy of Spider-Man. Is it a legacy? Or just the destiny of one man?

Peter never intended the name to be a movement or a mythology. It was his stand against crime. His burden. But now Miles and others have cast new responsibility onto the legacy of Spider-Man and no one really asked Peter what he thought of any of it. So this will be answered in this issue.

Both characters are on a lifelong journey of self-discovery—this is hardly the end, but a very important, pivotal chapter for both of them.

And I do not say that lightly.

Marvel.com: How has Pete and Miles’ relationship changed over the course of this series?

Brian Michael Bendis: When they first met, Miles was a very young man and Peter was a struggling scientist. Now, Miles has arrived on the other side of high school and Peter is a…recovering billionaire. They have both been through an enormous amount of personal growth and change since they first met. And their relationship has evolved. It’s becoming less mentor-student and more Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They’re both very good, but one just has a lot more experience.

Marvel.com: Will we see alternate, criminal Miles moving forward from SPIDER-MEN II?

Brian Michael Bendis: What criminal Miles does in this issue will surprise just about everybody who has read anything I’ve done in the last couple of years.

We knew doing a sequel to the original SPIDER-MEN would be doing a sequel to something that people had a great deal of fondness towards. I wanted to make sure that this limited series, on its own merits, lived up to that.

Where this new Miles goes and what he does will be very surprising! I felt surprised writing it.

Marvel.com: What can you tease about the issue? Any surprises heading our way?

Brian Michael Bendis: Abso-thwipping-lutely!

That was so Stan of me.

A lot happens. A lot is seen, discovered, and learned. Legitimate choices get made, legitimate chapters close, while others open. It’s big.

Marvel.com: Anything you want to add?

Brian Michael Bendis: The publication of this issue actually marks my 18th anniversary as a Spider-Man writer. There hasn’t been one month in the last 18 years where I haven’t written at least one Spider-Man related title released all over the world.

The original SPIDER-MEN series was, at the time, my ultimate statement on the franchise and I thought about that, and I thought about the number 18—a very big number in Judaism (I’m Jewish, shock)—and I wanted to make sure that this series expressed that in an elegant and honest fashion.

Don’t miss SPIDER-MEN II #5, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, on November 29!

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Brian Michael Bendis teases a story set to shock the Marvel Universe!

On October 11, the start of Marvel Legacy sees writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez add more fuel to the fire burning in the streets of New York.

With a power vacuum left in the wake of Wilson Fisk’s quest to go legit and Diamondback now on the loose—and on a rampage—defending New York City has never been more complicated. In response, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Daredevil join forces with someone who’s happy to shoot, slice, and bomb a path to justice. Someone with big guns and an even bigger mouth.

In DEFENDERS #6, the Defenders team up with Deadpool.

We spoke with Brian to learn more about this unlikely collaboration ahead of the new issue.

Marvel.com: Where do we pick up the story in DEFENDERS #6?

Brian Michael Bendis: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil have joined forces as the city’s defenders. They have done so because lifelong criminal and ex-Luke Cage best friend Diamondback has returned to become the new Kingpin of crime. But there are so many other players vying for the title…Black Cat and Hammerhead among them.

Meanwhile, The Punisher ventures to hunt all of them, Elektra sneaks around, Blade hovers nearby…and Jessica enlists Deadpool. You heard me: Deadpool.

Mavel.com: Can the team manage the streets considering the deadly race to become Kingpin’s criminal successor?

Brian Michael Bendis: Its chaos. It’s the Wild West. People are being gunned down in the street. Crazy new drugs are out there. The Defenders are fighting back with everything they have.

Marvel.com: What brings Deadpool into the picture?

Brian Michael Bendis: Turns out Deadpool and Jessica Jones have a secret history! Who knew!? Well, okay, I did. The streets are getting so crazy that she calls in a favor and unleashes him into the wild.

Marvel.com: Does Deadpool present trouble or a welcome addition to the fight?

Brian Michael Bendis: Both. It’s Deadpool.

[DEADPOOL writer] Gerry Duggan and so many other amazing writers have already established the dynamic set to take place. I will be piggy backing on that. But, yeah, Luke can’t stand him.

Marvel.com: What kind of Deadpool antics can we expect?

Brian Michael Bendis: I got 11 jokes in on his first page. Good jokes? We’ll see. I love the Deadpool that knows he’s in a comic book. So get ready…

Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite scene from issue #6?

Brian Michael Bendis: There’s such a unique and intense fight scene between Elektra and Iron Fist. Also, to my shock, Iron Fist and Elektra have never done battle before! That’ll change!

Marvel.com: What might be in store for the team moving forward?

Brian Michael Bendis: The new Kingpin—behind all of the chaos on the streets—will send shockwaves across the Marvel Universe. Not just on the streets—everywhere.

We set the stage for a massive battle for the streets. I have been dying to tell this story for years and I am so thrilled that all the pieces finally came together.

And not all the players have revealed themselves yet.

Marvel.com: Anything else you can tease?

Brian Michael Bendis: The reaction to the DEFENDERS comic has been everything I’ve ever wanted in comics. The readers have been rabid and passionate and we’re all just having the best time. The story will continue to unfold. Cameos galore! And a huge surprise coming soon!

DEFENDERS #6, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, drops on October 11!

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Brace for Killgrave's Marvel Legacy impact with Brian Michael Bendis!

The life of Jessica Jones takes on a purple hue with Marvel Legacy.

Now a loving wife and mother, Jessica has carved out a relatively peaceful existence for herself…but on October 4, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos reanimate her greatest fear as The Purple Man returns in JESSICA JONES #13!

To get a grasp on the situation, we spoke to Brian about the revival of this living nightmare.

Marvel.com: The Purple Man played a major role in your series ALIAS—can you talk about the evolution of the character as you got to know him?

Brian Michael Bendis: Like everyone else, I read him in certain issues of DAREDEVIL, but I connected most to a MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL by Frank Miller and Herb Trimpe. It’s a lesser work by those masters, but it stars Luke Cage and Iron Fist and Spider-Man and they’re fighting The Purple Man. My young mind read this and I got struck by the idea that he had the most terrifying power of anybody in the Marvel Universe—that he could take over someone’s life like that definitely felt horrifying. And seeing him do that to a hero—with no one even noticing the hero had disappeared—became the scariest story I could think of at the time.

Marvel.com: What are Killgrave’s motives for coming back into her life now? 

Brian Michael Bendis: That’s the thing. This guy doesn’t have the same moral code as the rest of us. He lives in a different reality because the concept of power and responsibility mean the opposite to him than they do for the heroes. So finding his motivation will take a couple of issues because it’s so dense and complicated. Jessica Jones finds herself in the perfect place to figure him out…but will she be in the perfect place to stop him?

Marvel.com: How has The Purple Man changed since we last saw him come up against Jessica?

Brian Michael Bendis: He’s had other stories happen to him. Other things have happened to him since ALIAS. And all of that will be reflected in the new story.

Marvel.com: What kind of threat does he pose to Jessica’s role as a wife and mother? 

Brian Michael Bendis: Complete. Everything. This will be a nuclear hurricane right in the face of the life that she has built for herself.

Marvel.com: How do you go about making Killgrave’s return traumatic and scary, not just for Jessica, but for the reader as well?

Brian Michael Bendis: Jessica actually describes this in the story. This will be scarier because the first time this happened to Jessica she didn’t know anything. She did not know The Purple Man or what he did to her. Now she knows. And when you add a child and a husband, it’s the scariest thing you could think of. It’s the scariest thing I could think of.

Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos present JESSICA JONES #13 on October 4!

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Brian Michael Bendis breaks down the labyrinthine life of Miles Morales!

Life can be complicated for a teenager who counts being a super hero as one of his extracurricular activities. And nobody knows that better than Miles Morales.

Juggling school, friends, love interests, and parents with a life as Spider-Man might finally be too much for Miles—and on October 4, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Nico Leon test the Webbed Wonder’s limits in SPIDER-MAN #21!

As Miles feels the weight of his alter ego more than ever, we asked Brian what it must be like coming of age while living a super hero life.

Marvel.com: What are the challenges Miles faces on a daily basis?

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s never been more complicated. Like every teenager in the United States, he lives a very complicated life full of responsibilities he didn’t have just months before. The Spider-Man part of his life could easily be a stand-in for sports or arts or social responsibilities—it takes up so much time that it consumes all of the energy in his life and he has almost nothing left for anything else. After years of this, it starts to catch up with him in a gigantic way.

Marvel.com: From getting involved with Hammerhead to being arrested, Miles has had a lot to handle lately. How does Miles deal with the difficulty of being pulled in a million different directions at once? 

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s definitely illuminating the fact that something’s wrong. Something feels off. He’s not bringing his “A” game right now, but he’s looking into why and looking to make some changes.

Marvel.com: How do you approach writing Miles’ specific set of teenage problems?

Brian Michael Bendis: Most teenagers’ lives are so complicated. That’s why so many people relate to the SPIDER-MAN franchise—they know that even if they had spider powers, as cool as they are, it wouldn’t make life easier. Most people know that if they had powers, it would probably make their life more complicated and more frustrating. People read Spider-Man to have that cathartic experience.

Marvel.com: What will Miles do to address these issues and reorganize his life? 

Brian Michael Bendis: Starting with GENERATIONS: SPIDER-MAN and heading into SPIDER-MEN II and then the main title, we’re going to see one of the most exciting changes to a character. We’re going to see him take it on. We’re going to see him take life by the horns and try something that no one else in Marvel comics has tried.

Brian Michael Bendis and artist Nico Leon present SPIDER-MAN #21 on October 4!

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Brian Michael Bendis pits the Punisher against the Defenders!

Vigilantes don’t play well with others—especially when one of them happens to be a murderer with only bloody revenge on his mind.

That sums up the relationship between the Defenders and The Punisher in DEFENDERS, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez. And on September 13, issue #5 sees Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist meet up again with Frank Castle—with tensions running high. Both parties may be fighting on the same side, but their disparate methods lead them on an inevitable collision course.

But before these beloved characters clash, we caught up with Brian Michael Bendis to discuss the oncoming showdown of heroes, his thoughts on “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix, and more!

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Frank’s motivations as prepares to take on the Defenders? Aren’t they all on the same side?

Brian Michael Bendis: They are on the same side, but Frank seems to know something the others don’t. Frank seems more focused on who could be pulling Diamondback’s strings—and the Defenders are just figuring out that there might be someone pulling the strings. Frank wants the bigger picture and Luke and company just want to shut down Diamondback immediately.

Marvel.com: The guy with no powers takes on a group with three super powered heroes. How does he pose a threat to them?

Brian Michael Bendis: He is a very smart strategist. Now that he knows what he’s up against, you can look forward to some interesting Punisher problem-solving.

Defenders (2017) #5

Defenders (2017) #5

Marvel.com: Can you summarize each Defender’s relationship with The Punisher? and what they might have done to get on his bad side?

Brian Michael Bendis: Danny, Luke, and Matt all have a similar relationship to The Punisher. They’ve all worked the streets for the same amount of time and they’ve all had run-ins. The moral debate between Matt and Frank is one for the ages and will never be solved. Jessica Jones has not found herself up against The Punisher before—and she’s not impressed.

Marvel.com: What your favorite part about pitting all these street-level characters against one another?

Brian Michael Bendis: They all have something very clear that they’re trying to accomplish. They have something that they want. And they all have something that they want that the audience can relate to on some level. Everything I’m writing in DEFENDERS is at least loosely based on real life mafia, organized crime, or true crime drama that I’ve studied over the years. This stuff really happens. This might be the Marvel version of it, but these are loosely based on the stories that have built the foundation of organized crime in this country.

Marvel.com: How would you describe Frank’s armed-approach to fighting the team?

Brian Michael Bendis: He’s not trying to fight the team. He’s trying to immobilize the team so he can finish his task. He has no interest in hurting Daredevil—but he has even less interest in Daredevil getting in his way.

Marvel.com: What’s it like to write this comic after the Netflix series just dropped?

Brian Michael Bendis: Surreal doesn’t seem to really capture the feeling. There were many years where I sat alone at my computer writing scripts, creating a team dynamic that I always wanted to see. And now millions of people are seeing it. It’s crazy. Did I mention that surreal doesn’t quite cover it?

Heroes clash in DEFENDERS #5, by Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez, on September 13!

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It’s a blast from the past as Miles Morales hits the halls of Empire State University!

On September 27, Miles Morales swings back in time to barge in and complicate the already overly complex and stressful life of a young Peter Parker. In GENERATIONS: MILES MORALES SPIDER-MAN & PETER PARKER SPIDER-MAN #1, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Ramon Perez throw Miles into the world imagined by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to help him learn just where he fits in to the Spider-Man legacy from the kid who started it all.

“I was very excited about this because the Generations project allows heroes from today to meet their heroes, but at a very specific time in their development,” notes Bendis, “This moment I’ve chosen, as tiny as it is, it’s everything as far as the characters are concerned.” Looks like Peter’s first day of college will be a learning experience for not just one, but two Spider-Men.

As it stands Miles has only ever met the older, wiser and more successful Peter Parker of his time, so it’s understandable that the teenager has come down with a case of “woe is me, no one can possibly understand my solely unique and never felt before struggles of spider life.”

Okay, so Miles may not be that dramatic but you get the gist.

“Miles is always struggling to balance his Spider-Man life, and his Miles life, and his friends, and his family, and his appearance and, you know, Peter doesn’t have any friends, he doesn’t have any parents, he doesn’t have any of these things that Miles is struggling with,” Bendis reminds. Nothing like popping in on a low point in someone else’s life to hit you with a good old-fashioned reality check.

Miles has never seen this Peter before, explains Bendis; it’s a Peter much darker and Miles will see something he can never un-see. And though the writer says seeing the darkness that inspired Peter’s choices at this crossroads in his life will be surprising it will also be a big influence on Miles and his choices moving directly into Marvel Legacy beginning in SPIDER-MAN #234.

Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 cover by Ramon Perez

The two stand apart as very different characters leading pretty different lives, especially in the years following the receipt of their powers. Peter has established himself as the independent, go it alone type, while Miles almost always has the help of his friends. Peter stands out as an exceptional student, while Miles remains more, as Bendis puts it, “intuitive.” Peter has not much in the way of accountability when it comes to showing up, whereas there is always someone looking for Miles. Peter gets lost in his own world and disregards those around him, while Miles stays more concerned with keeping up appearances and figuring out how to manage each aspect of his life.

This juxtaposition of Miles and Peter’s character will be showcased in not just the writing of this issue but the art as well, as Perez tries to infuse his own unique style with some Steve Ditko inspired flares: “To capture the spirit of it without imitating it was a big deal to me,” insists Bendis. “That extra level of staying true to yourself yet somehow processing the spirit of Steve Ditko was the challenge we put to Ramon Perez, and boy did he deliver,” adding that as new pages come in he finds himself slow clapping his computer.

So while Peter may or may not think Miles just a delusion caused by a stress induced psychotic breakdown—we’ve all been there, Pete—this meeting will weigh pretty heavily on Miles’ future. “This is the beginning of what I think is a big, surprising year,” teases Bendis, “He’s a young man about to crawl above the influence of his parents, and Uncle Aaron, and Peter Parker and become his own man and that’s pretty exciting, whatever form that takes.”

Catch all the life altering excitement in GENERATIONS: MILES MORALES SPIDER-MAN & PETER PARKER SPIDER-MAN #1 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ramon Perez out September 27.

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Diving into Marvel Legacy with Brian Michael Bendis and Oscar Bazaldua!

On November 1, Miles Morales enters the era of Marvel Legacy in SPIDER-MAN #234, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Oscar Bazaldua!

Miles’ life might be a bit complicated at the moment, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going—to the hospital. But never fear, True Believers, like all heroes, Miles heals quickly. And that’s a good thing, as a mysterious new Iron Spider plots an uprising alongside an all-new team of villainous cronies…

We spoke with Brian and Oscar to get the skinny on what’s next for the Webbed Wonder as he faces off against the brand new Sinister Six!

Marvel.com: Set the scene for uswhat’s going on in issue #234?

Brian Michael Bendis: We have Miles in one of the most interesting situations any Marvel character has ever been in. He is, by all definitions, a legacy character who now faces choices that may define his own legacy. Will there be room for Spider-Man between all that?

Meanwhile, a bunch of villains are getting together to pull off one of the biggest heists in Marvel history. Really. When people find out what they are looking to steal, they’re going to be amazed that no one’s ever tried this before. So this new group of criminals—some of whom have a history with each other—are going to come together and raise some hell. But it affects Miles in a pretty big way. It gets personal.

Marvel.com: Who counts themselves as members of the new Sinister Six? What does each character bring to the table?

Brian Michael Bendis: First, we have Bombshell. The mother of the mother-daughter criminal team Bombshells. She has come over from the Ultimate universe. She’s been in jail since Secret Wars and Lana, her struggling daughter, is one of Miles’ best friends, so having her criminal mother come back into the picture feels pretty scary.

Sandman, Electro, Hobgoblin are all outstanding career criminals with histories and relationships. All of which will be re-evaluated here.

The Spot—who I think has real potential, just off his appearance in JESSICA JONES—comes into this with a fresh perspective

But the real mystery is the Iron Spider. Who is the Iron Spider and what could their connection to Miles be? Notice I’m not saying “he” or “she”…

Marvel.com: Oscar, tell us a little bit about the art for this book. Did you draw inspiration from previous Sinister Six comics?

Oscar Bazaldua: I’m trying to mix new stuff with my style. I’ve always been inspired by the comic book greats, from the Golden Age to current talents.

I researched each one of the Six to understand the characters better. For Momma Bombshell, for example, I went with a very unscrupulous type of person. I made little changes to the Hobgoblin’s suit. For others I went for a more traditional look, like Sandman and Lady Electro.

Marvel.com: What made you decide to introduce an all-new Iron Spider and Sinister Six to Miles’ already-chaotic life?

Brian Michael Bendis: It started with the story about the Iron Spider and Bombshell and the big plan. They made a plan and we’re watching them execute it in the form of the new Six.

It’s also, in my opinion, one of those trial by fire storylines. The original Sinister Six might’ve been the scariest thing I’d ever read as a kid. Peter Parker couldn’t even defeat one of those guys without getting beaten up; how could he fight all of them? We are going to follow in that tradition and take it into a dangerous new environment.

Marvel.com: The Sinister Six and Spider-Man go back a long way, but these are new team members and a new Spider-Man…how does that change the dynamic?

Brian Michael Bendis: The only one who really knows the history of teams like this, in this story, is Sandman. He has learned the lessons of his previous incarnations. But everyone else is new, so there are a lot of variables involved.

If you’ve never read a story like this then it’s all new, but if you know your entire history of Spider-Man and Sinister Six you will be very happy with the due diligence and research we’ve done to make this thing work on different levels.

Marvel.com: What has been the hardest part of working on the new Sinister Six? The most rewarding?

Oscar Bazaldua: The hardest part is that they will be measured with very high standards, so I really had to put all my effort in as an artist. The best part is feeling like it can live up to such a big name while staying up-to-date with the times.

I really want to thank Brian and Editor Nick Lowe for making me part of this project. I have been crazy about it since day one. Being part of the Spider-Man family has been a dream come true—it feels incredible to draw the Marvel heroes I grew up idolizing!

Marvel.com: Was there a character you had the most fun working on? Which was the most difficult to portray?

Oscar Bazaldua: I have a lot of fun drawing Miles, of course. But my favorite is Iron Spider—though I also have a soft spot for Bombshell and Lady Electro.

The Sandman could be a little bit tough because there isn’t a very distinctive way to draw his features, other than his hairstyle. I tried to put a little bit of me into it!

Marvel.com: Which incarnation of the Sinister Six ranks as your personal favorite?

Brian Michael Bendis: Nothing beats the original. I’d never seen anything like it before, none of us had. Seems so obvious now—if the heroes can get together, why can’t the criminals? But it was a revelation!

I like all of the characters on this team, but I do especially like Sandman’s perspective. He’s like the worn leather shoe of the group. He’s seen it all. He’s done it all.

Oscar Bazaldua: The Doctor Octopus team. He is one of the best Spider-Man villains. But this team, with the new additions joining a couple classic characters, feels great. I really think they are amazing!

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about who’s behind the Iron Spider mask?

Brian Michael Bendis: It answers about the three questions people have been asking me most since Secret Wars.

Oscar Bazaldua: I can’t tell you who it is—I can only tell you that it’ll be revealed at the end of the book, it’s going to be very exciting, and it will make you wish you had the next issue right away!

Marvel.com: What will Miles have to do to best this new threat? What will be his biggest hurdle?

Brian Michael Bendis: The biggest hurdle will be knowing how dangerous—and how personal—this will be before it’s too late. Miles hasn’t been in the best headspace lately and he’s on a very fragile journey. Adding this obstacle to that could prove deadly.

Marvel.com: What can you tease about the issue?

Brian Michael Bendis: I think when people read GENERATIONS: THE SPIDERS they’re going to be genuinely rattled. The end of that issue starts something that will surprise a lot of people—and we pick it up right here.

What Miles is going to goes through this year will be very unique for comics. They are unique to fiction. It’s bold and scary and I am very interested in the conversation that’s going to come out of it. To be continued…

Check out SPIDER-MAN #234, by Brian Michael Bendis and Oscar Bazaldua, on November 1!

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With Miles Morales held by Hydra, check out these other heroes who have spent time behind bars.

Not every hero in the Marvel Universe stays on the right side of the law. Sometimes they go one step too far—and other times, the law works actively against them. Take Miles Morales for instance: the SPIDER-MAN star fought against the vision Ulysses gave him back in CIVIL WAR II and surrendered himself to Hydra instead of killing Captain America.

Surely the former denizen of the Ultimate Universe will find his way out of the clink—but until then, he can take solace in the fact that a few of his fellow heroes have had their own stints under lock and key.

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Look at that, even the honorable Steve Rogers spent time in the pen! More than once, too! Most notably, Cap was locked up between his surrender in the last issue of CIVIL WAR and his apparent death in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25.

LUKE CAGE

Carl Lucas might have become a hero without heading to jail, but he probably wouldn’t be super strong and possess his signature impervious skin. Wrongfully accused in a drug bust and sentenced to the big house, the future Avenger agreed to participate in an experiment that gave him super abilities. After his transformation, he escaped from captivity and resumed life under the name we all know him by today.

PUNISHER

Over the years, many people have wanted to lock Frank Castle up—but no one seems capable of actually keeping him imprisoned. During the mid-‘90s, the authorities tried to send him to the electric chair—and failed. And during the most recent PUNISHER WAR ZONE, he sat in an underwater prison, but of course no walls—not even ones surrounded by water—could stop The Punisher.

DAREDEVIL

At the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ epic run on DAREDEVIL, he left ol’ Matt Murdock in quite a pickle—inside a jail cell where new series writer Ed Brubaker kept the blind lawyer incarcerated for a while. Murdock eventually got out when none other than master escape artist Frank Castle was purposefully captured as part of a jailbreak plan.

SONGBIRD

Since their inception, the Thunderbolts revolved around characters who served time in one way or another. The original squad, including Songbird, was assembled by Baron Zemo and consisted of villains masquerading as heroes. After her stint in jail, the former Screaming Mimi took to the lawful side of things—and even served as a warden on the maximum security prison known as the Raft!

IRON FIST

During CIVIL WAR, nearly every hero who sided against Tony Stark’s Superhuman Registration Act wound up incarcerated—including Iron Fist. While posing as Daredevil in an attempt to keep Hell’s Kitchen safe, Danny Rand was captured as a means to help Captain America and the other anti-registration heroes to the Negative Zone prison for a jailbreak!

WOLVERINE

Not at all unfamiliar with jail cells, Wolverine found himself imprisoned in the pages of LOGAN. Captured by the Japanese during World War II, the mutant was kept in Nagasaki before he escaped and fell in love with a local woman named Atsuko. When Atsuko was murdered, Logan followed her killer to Hiroshima, where they were caught in the atomic bombing of the city. Wolverine survived the blast, but was left scarred by the loss of his former love.

BUCKY BARNES

Even though he stepped up and filled in for Steve Rogers after the original Cap died, Bucky Barnes still stood trial for his crimes as his previous identity, the Winter Soldier. Declared innocent in the United States, Russia judged him differently—and locked him up on heightened charges. Thanks to help from someone familiar with Russian prisons—Black Widow—Bucky escaped and headed back to the U.S., where he then decided that his days holding the mantle of Captain America were over.

PETER PARKER

Miles Morales doesn’t lay claim as the only Spider-Man to wind up incarcerated—back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #219, Peter Parker attempted to sneak into a jail as part of an exposé, but instead got caught and tossed in a cell! After Matt Murdock helped him get out of the predicament, Pete managed to publish his exposé—and apprehend a few escaped inmates in the process.

Go behind bars with SPIDER-MAN #20, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Oscar Bazaldua, available September 6!

 

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Writer Brian Michael Bendis takes Riri Williams into the Marvel Legacy event!

Writer Brian Michael Bendis normally needs no introduction, but we’re going to make the attempt anyway.

He’s the man who this fall will take INVINCIBLE IRON MAN into the Marvel Legacy event and set the Iron Man Universe on its iron-plated ear. With Tony Stark gone, seemingly disappeared, he’s the only guy who can see Riri Williams through the next massive phase of her, and a few other important characters, development.

Marvel.com: Brian, in general, why is it important for you to highlight the concept of legacy in the Marvel Universe?

Brian Michael Bendis: Well, two things happened when Marvel started playing with this idea for the fall, and [when I heard] the theme, I just started smiling ear to ear, because it’s literally about what all my books are about at the moment. It’s just where I was at in my head. Number one, because some of the characters that I’m writing are legacy characters, they’re actually starting in someone else’s legacy and we’ll see where they end up, in great Marvel tradition. But right now, Miles Morales and Riri are two of the most spotlighted characters in this arena, and it’s just a great opportunity to zero in on what the book has been about.

Now for Iron Man, it’s not just Tony Stark’s legacy. It’s Riri Williams’ legacy, Victor Von Doom’s legacy, and Tony Stark’s legacy. It’s not just a normal person’s legacy; it’s wide, and it’s got a lot of tentacles…not to be too Hydra with the tentacles. But his reach, and the reach of his legacy, from the Avengers to the Stark Foundation, is enormous. So we’re going to get to explore some things about Tony, and about the Iron Man Universe that we haven’t seen before, and it just so happens that we’ve spent the last year and a half building up to this, like this is where I was headed.

Now, what’s cool is, all three of the main Iron Man characters will be joined by other Iron Man characters, looking for what has happened to Tony Stark. If we’re going to get Tony Stark back, what form will that be in? And how cool will the armor be? Now, there are other characters in the Iron Man universe that I’m not mentioning right now, big characters. Amanda, MJ, Friday, Tony A.I., huge characters, a lot going on and a lot of connections to the Marvel Universe, all of which will be detailed and unfolded within the storyline that starts with INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #593.

Marvel.com: How cool is it to go back to the original numbering?

Brian Michael Bendis: You know, when the very fun choice to go back to our original numbering came about, quite a few titles, IRON MAN in particular, are right there at a big anniversary issue. So we’re headed, very quickly, towards a gigantic IRON MAN #600, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Marvel.com; When this Marvel Legacy storyline starts, has Tony’s condition changed at all?

Brian Michael Bendis: Tony’s situation has changed. And that’ll be teased in the Marvel Legacy one-shot by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic, and then I think our INVINCIBLE IRON MAN issue comes out like right after that, and you can dive right in: big, brand new, very reader-friendly Iron Man storyline.

Marvel.com: Of the big Iron Man characters that you’ve mentioned, who would you say will be most moved by Tony’s disappearance?

Brian Michael Bendis: All of them for different reasons, but I have to say, Victor is in the most unusual situation. What Riri is going through, people will identify as “Oh, I’ve looked up to someone.” This relationship is very relatable, in a way. Like, I’ve had mentors in my life, people who I was trying to figure out without directly talking to them, you know what I mean? Trying to figure out stuff about myself through their humanity. Whereas Victor is on just about the biggest, most complicated redemption story…one of the biggest villains in the history of all fiction is trying to claw himself out of the hole. How much he’s been able to do is amazing. But, the enemy list he has created in doing so is enormous, and it’s not just from this dimension. So, his involvement in Tony Stark’s legacy may become, at one point, such a struggle, that he may destroy it. And something new has to be created, or he makes a sacrifice that brings up something new as well. What’s going on with Victor is probably the most unique thing going on story-wise at Marvel.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about Riri again. What can you say about her further development going into this storyline? Is this going to be, to date, the ultimate challenge for her?

Brian Michael Bendis: Yes.

Marvel.com: Okay! You heard it here first! Next question!

Brian Michael Bendis: Yeah, listen; we’re just eight issues into her run! The amount of attention she’s garnered from fans in just eight issues is amazing. Compared to seven years ago with Miles, and I know the whole market was different, but it took a while, until the end of the second storyline, for people to really go “Oh okay, he didn’t [bleep] it up.” So, I’ve been quite flattered, to the point of becoming emotional, about how unbelievable the support of Riri has been. There was this young woman online that has been making her own Riri armor and her dad keeps tweeting it. Literally every time we put it out, there are like 60,000 retweets and likes, it’s crazy. It’s insane.

Marvel.com: Good crazy.

Brian Michael Bendis: The best. So, the point is, Riri is at the larva state of her super hero career. She has literally gone out, I think, five times by the time that this Tony storyline starts up again. She’s had some big wins; she’s had some defeating losses. Something crazy happens in the next issue of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN that I don’t want to spoil, but people are gonna be like “What?!” We don’t know what form her version of super heroing will take, she’s still building it. We don’t know what form her technology will take. So, of all the characters, there’s a good chance—and I’m pretty much telling you it is—that she’s going to evolve past the Iron Man construct to something else, and I think that’s pretty exciting.

I look at her like imitating the amazing style of an amazing artist. Like Bill Sienkiewicz is the best example. Very early in his career, he was highly referenced and influence by Neal Adams, and Neil Adams is a very difficult thing to imitate, right? Very difficult. And he did it, and you were like “Wow, you’re an amazing artist, you can do Neil Adams!” right? That’s how I look at Riri right now. She’s amazing. She can do Tony Stark pretty good, but, like Bill Sienkiewicz, will she evolve so far past it that people won’t even remember that she was Iron Man Universe-related? You know, is she capable? And again, you can bring up many other examples in music and television and film where the influence is there, and then they don’t need it anymore, then something else happens. And that’s where Riri’s headed in the next year.

Marvel.com: You’ve got her, you have Victor, you have some other strong personalities in there. Would you characterize what’s going to happen as a violent clash?

Brian Michael Bendis: No. It’s a philosophical [clash], and I’ve already got Riri and Victor’s first meeting out of the way in INFAMOUS IRON MAN, because everybody assumes they were gonna beat each other up. And when you get there, and Victor doesn’t want to fight, there’s no fight. You can hit him all you want, he’s not gonna fight back, and Victor’s not mad at her, and Victor’s not in a crazy, manic state that he usually, or sometimes, is in. He’s calmed down. So, when she shows up in his life, this is a brilliant young woman that he can relate to, and this isn’t someone that he’d wanna fight.

Also, he’s very aware of what it feels like to be in her position, at the beginning of your studies, not even knowing what you don’t know. That’s one of my favorite things, finding something out. Oh, I didn’t even know I didn’t know that, you know? And I know, he’ll get really excited for other people discovering things. So this is the Victor we’re dealing with right now. Not the whole mad genius. Now, does he want to turn her into the whole mad genius? Who knows? And also, may I say, Riri is at a very precarious stage. She’s had a world with nothing but loss and confusion in it. Intelligent characters- intelligent people- in this world we live in right now, find themselves very frustrated. Unintelligent leadership, and science not being the forefront of the society; you can read about it all the time, this is not something that I’m making up. Intelligent children sometimes shut down because they’re like “Whoa boy, this… everything’s weird.” So that’s part of Riri’s development.

Marvel.com: Is she easily influenced?

Brian Michael Bendis: No, not easily influenced. [And] it’s not stubbornness; I don’t see it that way, but I have a person in my life who decides things before they absolutely know them. And sometimes they’re right, because their confidence and intelligence is very strong, and sometimes it’s “Oh no, I was wrong.” But their guess, their instinct is very good, right? So that’s part of where she is. So her instincts [leads to her] calling it like she sees it. Like she sees bull and calls it, and then finds herself in the middle of it.

I have a storyline going right now where she’s right in the middle of terrorist actions in Liberia and S.H.I.E.L.D being S.H.I.E.L.D, she doesn’t buy into any of it. So she’s kind of just making up her own place in it, and it’s throwing off all of the ways that people do things. Maybe in a good way, maybe in a bad way, but she’s gonna have some mistakes she makes, big, big mistakes. But there’s something really brassy and confident about the way she handles things, and that is something Victor is going to be able to talk to her on. He will be able to communicate his philosophies through that idea.

Marvel.com: So far, it doesn’t sound like the tone of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN will change with the advent of Marvel Legacy.

Brian Michael Bendis: Oh no, no. First of all, what Stefano Caselli has accomplished with Riri this year is so amazing that he sometimes gets mislabeled as the creator of the character, even though it’s Mike Deodato who co-created the character. But that’s how strong Stefano’s voice is, and how connected to the action with the character he is, it’s just amazing.

But with him in mind, just doing unbelievable work, that’s the tone of the series. That’s Riri’s worldview, her perspective…you know, we’re so often in her perspective. I know people are very curious where she is in certain spectrums—that’s been a question that people have had. She’s clearly outside of what would be considered normal, on a couple of different things. I think that’s a celebratory thing. I’m surrounded by people in different places in different spectrums, and without diving headfirst into what that is and what that means, we’re gonna explore that as well. And I think a lot of younger readers identify with that, much in the way they identified with the original Peter Parker and his struggles, I really do.

Marvel.com: When you talk about her being brassy, do you think that’s really what people are responding to, or one of the main things?

Brian Michael Bendis: It’s funny that the panels that pop up in my tumblr or Twitter feed always kind of let me know. There’s like, six or seven panels that I see every day, that people go “Yes!” or “I’m scared for her.” It’s a mixture of that, [and] it’s really cute. And I’ll get all “I’m scared for her, too!” Like they’re scared for her, and yeah, I am, too and I wrote it! I’m really scared for her.

Marvel.com: You also have something to say about MIT and Riri?

Brian Michael Bendis: I’m going to be speaking at MIT in November. I was invited by them to come speak about comics and culture. And what was amazing was that we had Riri come to MIT. It was a campus I did a lot of research on for a project that was unrelated to Marvel, an HBO thing that didn’t happen, but I had so much feeling about this place, I loved it, and I said I was definitely gonna have a character there one day. And then years later, it was like “The coolest place we can have Riri live is the MIT dorms!” So when I started putting this in, little did I know, that MIT had completely embraced this character.

They created this amazing admissions video. It was actually pretty hilarious. So in November, at MIT, we’re gonna make a pretty major announcement about Riri. So people that are invested in her, people who are supporting her, there is big stuff coming with her. MIT’s a very unique place for a character in her first year to be so well-received, not unlike what Kamala Khan and Moon Girl experienced.

It’s hard to describe to people, because no one was asking for them. That’s what I love about the Legacy characters. Nobody said “I want Miles,” or “I want Riri,” but then they got them and they were like “Thank you.” And that was the best feeling in the world.

Marvel.com: It sounds like you’re still digging this job. Has your own outlook changed on INVINCIBLE IRON MAN as you’ve gone along?

Brian Michael Bendis: No, what happens is, and this is one of the great things about a higher profile gig, is no matter what you’re writing about, you start your research and whatever you’re doing, and then people find out you’re writing about them or writing about something they know, or whatever, like the young woman who’s making her Ironheart armor in her garage. You reach out and they inspire and they share their stories.

There was a friend of mine who has a brilliant young daughter who is literally obsessed with Mae Jameson. That’s real and honest and I have to use that. There’s a scene where you see young Riri trying to get her teacher to give her something to push back against because she feels that that’s what made Mae Jameson great, right? And I know some people said, “Oh, is she asking for…?” and I was like “No, she’s trying to live up to her hero,” without realizing that her hero made it easier for her, and that’s a big lesson for her too.

Every day it’s something new, new people share their experiences, people inspire me to keep going. I can’t wait to get to MIT, I’m literally gonna go live in the dorm, live in Riri’s world, so I’m so excited. And on top this, yes, back to Marvel Legacy. Yes, these legacy characters mean the world to me. I’m very invested in them and I’m very invested in how much the audience has supported it and what we’re gonna do now. And I know when people hear “The Return of the Heroes,” they worry about the new hotnesses. You do not have to. To fans, so you know: you have made it so Riri, Miles, and Jessica Jones can sustain their own titles. It’s insane, right? So, we will never ignore that.

Marvel.com: Last question—do you miss Tony?

Brian Michael Bendis: Oh, no. ‘Cause I got Tony A.I. the whole time, which is uber-Tony, so any great Tony joke I can think of, this guy will do it.

It’s funny: Tony is the itch I never had to scratch. Literally from the moment I came in to Marvel, I’ve been writing Tony in some book. And I never did it on purpose…and everyone’s always focused on how I’m always writing Kitty Pryde in every book. But Tony made it into every book—every book had Tony Stark in it. Totally by accident! You look back and you go, “Oh, that’s funny. Even in the Guardians of the Galaxy, too.”

I never wrote a book without Tony. My love for him is obviously as strong as it can get for a creator and a character that they didn’t create.

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