One of comics top writers, Brian Michael Bendis, talks to us about "Age of Ultron," his latest epic containing some of Marvel's biggest superheroes including Captain America, Iron Man, and Wolverine.
From the originally
pitched and plotted ideas for Age of Ultron, how did the actual event pan out?
Was it executed as planned, or were changes made during the event?
Brian Michael Bendis: It
really did pan out as planned. But I planned for changes along the way. Change
always happen because Marvel continuity is a living breathing organism and you
have to make sure that your story reflects the Marvel Universe that people are
reading. So even though we started working on this a couple of years ago, I
massaged things to match what's actually happening today. But
that happens with every story. You start working on a project and the Avengers
are this person and that person and by the time you're done, the Avengers are
different people. That's been going on since the 60s.
With an event like Age
of Ultron taking place in TWO alternate worlds, did you ever feel overwhelmed
with handling continuity, while dealing with multiple characters?
had a lot of help with putting together the logic of the altered timeline. I
told everybody what I wanted to get out of it but at the same time I wanted to
make sure that I had my continuity facts straight. Everybody was a huge
have written stories with literally hundreds of speaking parts before. It takes
a lot of extra work but it's worth it. It's an incredible challenge. So I never
felt overwhelmed just like you don't feel overwhelmed when you're working on a
puzzle. You just sit down and do the puzzle piece by piece and as soon as the
picture starts to become clear you get a second wind and finish the puzzle.
The next Avengers film
is titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. What is the film’s connection to this
event? Did you have any collaboration/correspondence with screenwriters?
work on the Marvel Cinematic Universe Creative Committee so I have worked as a
consultant on all of the Marvel movies since the first Iron Man. But that actually had nothing to do with
everyone deciding to name the Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, as both Kevin Feige
and Joss Whedon have already publicly stated there won't be much story
connection between the two. But I appreciated the nod.
Age of Ultron led to
the titles Avengers A.I and Hunger, which change the status quo
in the Marvel Universe and incorporate events from AU. Have you been keeping up
to speed with those books and are you pleased with the outcome of AU?
On top of those writers being pals of mine we have semi-annual creative
retreats where we all get together and tell each other everyone’s stories. So I
am up to date on everything. But my contribution on top of Ultimate Cataclysm,
which will feature Galactus attacking the Ultimate Universe, will be Angela
making her Marvel debut in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Why do you think the
idea of artificial intelligence taking over mankind intrigues modern
readers/viewers so much? And how did you choose to tell this kind of story
certainly some larger psychological idea of us creating something you just
can't control, creating something that's smarter than us. As a parent I certainly can understand the
fear. As a society we are smart enough
to know there are many, many things in this universe beyond us. It's one thing if we were not smart enough to
know, but we are smart enough to know and that knowledge is scary. It's exciting but it's scary.
far as deciding to tell the story, even as a child when you are introduced to
the ideas of things like Ultron you can't help but imagine the worst case
scenario. I actually wrote and drew an Ultron graphic novel when I was in sixth
grade. It was based on a Marvel novel but it was rather dark and foreboding.
The idea of the artificial intelligence living up to his promise of destroying
the marvel universe…so exciting. I am so glad I was given the opportunity
to finally do this right.