Going into full-tilt educated guess/wild speculation mode here, but stick with us: Thanks to the magic that is Twitter, we know a couple of things: Marvel is having a round of creative retreats this week at their NYC offices, evidently starting with the X-Men line today (Marvel talent liaison C.B. Cebulski tweeted about it; London-residing Uncanny X-Men writer Kieron Gillen is currently in New York City). We also know that there’s apparently a more general Marvel summit starting tomorrow, as Fantastic Four/SHIELD/Secret Warriors writer Jonathan Hickman and Invincible Iron Man/The Mighty Thor/Fear Itself writer Matt Fraction are both in transit, presumably on their way to NYC. (Also, Cebulski recently tweeted about Bendis, Hickman, Fraction, Jason Aaron and Ed Brubaker all coming to New York.)
But here’s where it gets, potentially, interesting: Brian Michael Bendis, who isn’t currently working on anything overtly X-Men-related, arrived in New York City last night, according to his own Twitter account. Now, of course, there are a myriad of reasons why this might be the case — conducting outside business? Visiting friends? Other Marvel meetings? Braving a preview performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark? But, might it also be possible that he’s got something in the works on the X-Men side of the Marvel Universe?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of this being possible:
Pros: Bendis had a year-long stint on Ultimate X-Men, but other than that, hasn’t worked extensively with the characters, so it would definitely be something new for the writer. And with the recent announcement that Matt Fraction — one of Marvel’s “Architects” — was leaving his co-writing spot on Uncanny X-Men, maybe they’re looking to maintain momentum by adding another architect to the X-offices?
Cons: Bendis is a busy guy already. Like, really, really busy — there’s Avengers, New Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man coming out monthly, plus his creator-owned titles Powers and Scarlet. He’s got an all-ages original graphic novel coming out in about a month called Takio, plus he and Alex Maleev were announced at New York Comic Con to be taking over Moon Knight in 2011, and a first issue for that will likely be solicited soon. He also teaches college in Portland, has a number of Hollywood deals in development including a Powers TV series for FX, and just tweeted last week about a “mystery job” in a “mystery city.”
Of course, Bendis attending an X-Men creative retreat — if he is in fact doing so — doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily taking over a title, launching a new one or even writing a miniseries. Perhaps an Avengers/X-Men crossover is in the works, along the lines of Bloodties — Bendis’s House of M story, it’s been reported, started life as an Astonishing X-Men/New Avengers crossover, so it’s not without precedent. The Fraction-written Utopia paired the teams in 2009, but that was the Dark Avengers — now that Captain America, Thor and Iron Man are all back on the Avengers proper for the first time in years, perhaps it’s time for a new meet-up with the X-Men, outside of group scenes during big events? How long have we heard post-”Second Coming” that the plan is for the X-Men to no longer be cloistered in their own surroundings, but interact more with the Marvel Universe as a whole? And what represents the “Marvel Universe as a whole” these days more than the Avengers books? Not to mention the obvious connection of Wolverine’s presence throughout both the Avengers and X-Men titles, plus whatever might play out with Scarlet Witch in currently unfolding miniseries Avengers: The Children’s Crusade.
To repeat one last time, all of the above is simply our own speculation — feel free to add your own in the comments.