Brian Michael Bendis is among the best known and most successful active creators in the comic book industry. Known for his character driven storytelling and his memorable dialogue, Bendis is one of the few active comic book creators to have created numerous important new characters while still breathing new life into existing franchises. He also brought depth, maturity and diversity to a medium that needed it.
“A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy,” according to the synopsis. “This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.”
When writer Brian Michael Bendis pitched Alias, a series about a heavy-drinking,
swearing, down-on-her-luck, ex-superheroine-turned-private detective, he was
careful to add that he was prepared to tone it down. But Bill Jemas, the president of Marvel, went for it
without hesitation, in all its profane glory. Marvel wouldn’t just publish it
without a Comics Code seal—it would also create a whole new line of “Adults
Only” superhero comics, called MAX. The first issue leaped in with both feet.
“Fuck! This is— fuck! “God Fucking Dammit!” comprised the entirety of the first
page’s dialogue. As it turned out, though, the obscenities were just a bit of
throat-clearing before the comic settled into complex, sympathetic
characterization and the smart, rat-a-tat dialogue that marked David Mamet screenplays
or Richard Price novels. Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos retrofitted their bruised underdog heroine,
Jessica Jones, into Marvel’s history, making her an aging alumnus of the
early-1980s Avengers (code name: Jewel), and her emotional interactions with
Marvel fixtures like Luke Cage, Matt Murdock, and Steve Rogers simultaneously
satisfied fanboys’ desires for in-jokes and added dimensionality to decades-old
characters. Despite its achievements, it was the reference to rough sex
(between Jessica and Luke “Power Man” Cage) that got all the attention. After a
printer in Alabama refused to handle the first issue, Marvel had to take it
elsewhere for publication.
Soon after, Jemas withdrew Marvel’s
membership from the Comics Code Authority, just like that, after nearly fifty
(From Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. Read more here.)