Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli reunite to bring their creation to his biggest stage yet!
As the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe continues to take shape in the wake of Secret Wars, few announcements will rock the boat like this: Miles Morales will be headlining a new series called simply SPIDER-MAN.
Miles made big waves when he took over the lead as the Ultimate Universe’s Spider-Man after that Earth’s Peter Parker died in the line of duty. Since that time, he quickly built a following of fans from all backgrounds in making the role his own and reinforcing the notion that anyone can be a super hero.
Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, Miles’ co-creators and the team behind SPIDER-MAN, talked to us about this exciting creative reunion!
And while news about this big push for the young hero from the Ultimate Universe broke this weekend, Marvel.com is the only place to hear from both writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli about their exciting new collaborative reunion!
Marvel.com: The SPIDER-MAN series is sort of a homecoming for you both, with Sara having been away from Miles’ solo series for some time now. How does it feel coming back together to work with the Ultimate Spider-Man on Marvel’s All New, All Different SPIDER-MAN?
Brian Michael Bendis: This is a very big deal to us. Miles is our baby. Sara and I had a baby! [Laughs]. And for our baby to have grown up and flat-out earned his place in the Marvel Universe, as Spider-Man, is frankly so much more than we could have hoped for when we first sat down to design him and his life. When it became clear that I was going to follow Miles into this new adventure, I was really hoping that Sara would see the value in it being both of us that do this together. I was thrilled that she agreed immediately.
Sara Pichelli: In 2011, when I worked on the very first issues of the Ultimate Spider-Man book, I couldn’t even imagine that I was helping create what quickly became an instant-classic. I feel proud and lucky at the same time that Brian and the Marvel team chose me to be part of that.
Now it’s time to tell the next story about a new milestone in Miles’ life, and I must say, it feels so natural to be working again next to Brian on this. Like I did the first time, I’ll work my ass off to draw the amazing story that Brian is writing for our Miles.
Marvel.com: Now, it’s pretty common to see phrases like “changing the status quo” and “never be the same” being bandied about in comics today. However, SECRET WARS #1 made it pretty clear the Marvel Universe would be irrevocably changed. What aspects of Miles’ life will we see in terms of his family and friends as well as his NY stomping grounds?
Brian Michael Bendis: I don’t want to spoil too much because Secret Wars is far from over and there are surprises coming both in the main series and the ULTIMATE END series. But I can promise you there will be surprises. I can promise you that the status quo for Miles will be very different. Some people already know that he is a member of the All-New All-Different Avengers.
That’s just the beginning.
Sara Pichelli: I can’t really answer to that unless you want Brian, Marvel, and readers to kill me at the very next convention [Laughs].
Marvel.com: We certainly don’t want that!
One thing that seems to stand out about Miles is his connection to the street level; yet, we see hints that he’ll have a more significant role during the Secret Wars event. How do you see him fitting into the bigger picture playing out?
Brian Michael Bendis: Let me be quite frank. There was a time last year where I had given notice on this book. I thought that with the character moving into the [Marvel Universe] maybe that should be a time for me to bow out. What I didn’t know was that the plans for Miles were substantial: that he would be an Avenger or that he would be set up in a way because of things going on in different books to be the more traditional Spider–Man character. And by that I mean that Miles will be the Spider-Man that is trying desperately to balance his life as a high school student and his super hero career. He will be the character that is wrestling with power and responsibility in a very raw way.
Once those elements revealed themselves, I politely asked to not leave the book. Story ideas flooded over me.
That is my long way of saying that Miles will have a very interesting but familiar street-level/ Spider-Man-level view of the Marvel Universe, and that was one of the reasons I wanted to stay.
Sara Pichelli: Personally I’ve always loved Miles mostly because he is a pretty grounded character. We’ve seen him struggling with a harsh reality since the very first issue of the book. He doesn’t live an ideal life, he’s not a genius, he’s not rich, has a complicated relationship with his family, and we lived with him [during] the conflicts coming just from having super powers. Miles slowly earned the readers’ affection [as he was revealed] to be a complex and unique character, strong enough to be finally included in a bigger picture. Let’s see what happens now.
Marvel.com: Sara, this question is specifically for you. You’ve covered a lot of ground in your relatively short time working for Marvel. With this upcoming series, was there anything new Brian challenged you to do that was especially tricky or challenging?
Sara Pichelli: You all know the work of Brian.
He usually creates characters you would like to hang out with or kill with your bare hands. The dialogue is strong and he’s able to give life to every character in a page. They’re imperfect but believable and multi-faceted.
Now, do you have any idea how difficult it is to do justice to Brian’s complex characters with just images? In the upcoming series, he’s delivering these powerful character interactions that are filled with diverse emotions in a variety of ways. I have to work hard to keep up with this new level of complexity.
Marvel.com: In the same vein, what elements did you enjoy the most from the time you began reading the script Brian sent you up to the point when you finished the art for the first issue?
Sara Pichelli: As I mentioned before, there’s a whole new level of emotional complexity in this new series that we’ll see from Miles. In this new series, we can really feel that Miles has grown up. And seeing the process of growth of a character and his evolution? Well, it’s deeply exciting.
MARVEL: Brian, this one is for you. It seems there were going to be some winner and losers, so to speak, in terms of which characters from the Ultimate Universe would be carried forward into the All-New Marvel Universe. It may seem obvious to some, but can you talk about why Miles Morales was at the forefront of those choices?
Brian Michael Bendis: Though it would seem that I fought very hard to keep one of my babies from extinction during this event, what happened was that I was sitting in a room where people were discussing the future of the Marvel Universe and one of the characters that was a lock was Miles. I didn’t even have to bring it up, let alone fight for it. He was coming to the [Marvel Universe]. It was quite flattering.
This is a direct result of the grassroots, passionate response to the character as both an individual and what he represents to the readership. This is a direct result of very loud voices telling Marvel what they want. Miles, a child of color, will be Spider-Man. Not Ultimate Spider-Man, not Spectacular Spider-Man, not Amazing Spider-Man—Spider-Man.
Marvel.com: Were there any aspects either of you found difficult or challenging in terms of carrying Miles’ story forward from the Ultimate Universe through Secret Wars and into this brave, All New world?
Brian Michael Bendis: Quite a few but they are all things we can work out in story through the character. Miles is trying to figure out where he belongs as I am trying to figure out where he belongs. And that is cool.
Sara Pichelli: This is mostly the hard part of the job for Brian. I just follow him, trying to figure out what’s next issue by issue.
Marvel.com: So, what sort of surprises do you both have in store for readers as this release draws ever closer?
Brian Michael Bendis: So many. A lot of people may be worried about Miles’ supporting cast, Miles continuity, Miles’ back story. Also exactly what Miles relationship is to the other characters. None of these things have been revealed and many of them will be surprising.
And most importantly, the thing I get asked about every day, is a sequel to SPIDER-MEN, the [series] we did a couple of years ago where Peter Parker met Miles. Consider the first year of this book the sequel to that series. But if you never read that, don’t worry about it. It will all make sense.
Sara Pichelli: I don’t want to spoil anything! Just get a comfortable chair and get ready!
For all the latest news on All-New All-Different Marvel and SPIDER-MAN, stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels!