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‘Avengers’ Assembles Walt Simonson and Brian Michael Bendis for Six-Issue Arc

A legendary creator whose beloved works include Thor, The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans and Fantastic Four, Walt Simonson will draw a six-issue arc of Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers series beginning with April’s issue #25. The monthly gig will be Simonson’s first since DC Comics’ Orion concluded almost ten years ago, and is to be a tie-in with Marvel’s high profile Avengers Vs. X-Men event.

We’ll miss the incredible Daniel Acuña (and Marvel tells us he’ll be back on Avengers with some additional work to be announced shortly) but it’s difficult to imagine a more auspicious replacement. Indeed, Bendis said that working with Simonson was “truly one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me at Marvel.”

The news comes to us courtesy of Marvel.com Associate Editor Ben Morse, who administered a live blog of a conference call hosted by Junior Sales Administrator James Viscardi and featuring Bendis, Simonson and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.

Very little was revealed about the story Bendis and Simonson are creating for their Avengers arc, but it is obvious that the writer is extremely pleased to be working with his longtime idol.

Some highlights and relavant information:

- “This is truly one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me at Marvel. When I was a young, strapping lad trying to break into comics, I’m talking years and years ago, I met Walt at a convention. I showed him my childish sketches and he treated me like a peer. He was so generous an empowering and set me on a course to be where I am now. He would keep sending me letter of encouragement and critique. That was the moment I knew I wanted to do this. He is one of the most important people in my creative life. I always made it very clear if he was ever back at Marvel I would love to work with him. I’m so happy he decided to come join us and when I asked what he wanted to do, Avengers was a big pile of everything he wanted to do.” -Brian Bendis

- “I got to write Avengers back in the late 80′s with John Buscema and Tom Palmer. I didn’t really get to draw the book though. I’ve never really gotten to draw the Avengers. I’m excited to draw them. But really, I wanted to work with Brian. We’ve always said it would be fun to work together, but I’ve been at DC. Now I’m back on the freelance trail and called Brian up. I did not expect to be handed a whole story arc. And when Brian said ‘There are a lot of characters’ I didn’t really realize how many characters.” -Walter Simonson

- “…reading Brian’s script, one of the things I’m looking most forward to drawing is the guys from A.I.M. I’ve never lay awake at night wanting to draw them, but I never have and I’m really excited. I especially like that Brian wants them to have facial expressions under the masks.” -Walter Simonson

- “When we were building AvX, I kept referencing Walt’s X-Men/Teen Titans crossover for bombast and excitement.” -Brian Bendis

- “I’m really interested in drawing cool looking stuff. Quake looks really cool to me. The Jim Cheung AvX poster that Brian sent me looks great. I’m pretty excited to draw Wolverine again. I enjoy referencing and researching. It will come out looking like my stuff. I’m interested in the challenge. And drawing the guys from A.I.M.” -Walt Simonson

- “I get to draw Thor. His new threads might be old by now, but they’re new to me.” -Walt Simonson

- “Brian gave me a nice spread of Thor’s entrance into the story.” -Walt Simonson

- “There are elements to this story that are so powerful on their own as far as who the Avengers are and why they can do things nobody else can do that they really stand out from the main event. This storyline is from the Avengers point of view, dealing with where they’ve been and where they’re going as a team.” -Brian Bendis

“My interest is in context and story, not so much in whether this guy can beat that guy. I want to know the circumstances. I’m counting on Brian to give me circumstances that I’ll be delighted regardless of how it works out.” -Walt Simonson

[Via Marvel.com]

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