Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bagley to Leave Ultimate Spider-Man: Fans Mourn!

Ultimate Spider-Man
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
According to an article over at Newsarama, Mark Bagley is leaving Ultimate Spider-Man as of issue #110. The article goes like this:

With Ultimate Spider-Man #100 due any week now and the record-setting Ultimate Spider-Man #103 establishing Brian Bendis & Mark Bagley as the record-holding creative team at Marvel (having produced more consecutive issues of any superhero series in Marvel history, surpassing the 102-issue Stan Lee-Jack Kirby run on Fantastic Four), it appears that the end of an era is soon approaching. Mark Bagley has confirmed his plans to leave the series after Ultimate Spider-Man #110.

“I’ve had an incredible time with Ultimate Spider-Man,” Bagley told CSN, “but I don’t want to stagnate. Right now, Brian and I are doing some of the best work we’ve ever done on the comic, and I think it’s best for me to leave while we’re on the top of our game.”

While Bagley is moving on to other projects, Bendis will remain with Ultimate Spider-Man, although Marvel has not chosen an artist to take over the title. Of course, there are very few artists working in comics today who can match Bagley’s prodigious output; the artist has produced as many as eighteen issues per year and has still found time to do additional work for Marvel.

So what’s next for Bagley? “I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next,” he said. “I’m talking with Marvel, and they have several books they’re evaluating to see just where they feel I will fit best.” Once that decision is made, of course, you’ll hear about it in CSN."

This is sad news indeed. In my opinion, Bagley and writer Brian Michael Bendis made a wonderful collaboration. Though not legendary like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Yet), the fact that this team broke the record for consequtive issues is a testament to their commitment and staying power.

My best wishes to Bagley as he moves on to his next endeavor. I know I will be following the news closely to see where he goes next. Bagley is a creator I want to support.


Spencer Carnage said...

I'm hoping they put him on a team book. That's where he excels the most, I think.

Heidi Meeley said...

That would be a great idea- hopefully they go that direction. I wonder what book would be best? New X-Men? Hmmm...

I love Bagley's stuff and hope that he gets to do something high profile. He definitely deserves it.

Chris Arndt said...

While's great that they/we laud Mister Bagley like this I think it's extremely unfair to credit Bendis as if his run really surpasses Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's. I really am not talking quality or subjective judgements.

Stan the Man and the King Kirby, in their run of 102 Fantastic Four issues wrote nearly 100 different individual stories.

In 110 straight issues of Ultimate Spider-Man, Bagley certainly drew 110 monthly periodicals but how many stories did Bendis actually write?

Heidi Meeley said...

I don't neccesarily think that Bendis and Bagley outdid Lee and Kirby. I think it is great that in this current period of lateness and prima-donnas that there is some commitment left from some creators. Call it grading on a curve, but I really have to give it to Bagley for his commitment and his class.

Chris Arndt said...

You may be grading on a curve but I think there are bunches of naive young fools out there who actually think that what Bendis has done has eclipsed Stan Lee's work in one and probably more than one way.

and I haven't specifically broke down all the numbers yet but I reckon that Bendis wrote about ten stories inside of 103 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man.

Of course, between the two Stan and Jack plotted about 100 different stories.

Bagley gets gradeed on a curve because Ult Spidey is his only regular title. Jack Kirby had... four or five at the time?

But I like Mark Bagley. Bendis not so much.

Even if I hated Matrk Bagley, I would give this to him.... Erik Larsen couldn't keep up the schedule to do his 103 issues.

James Meeley said...


Well, just out the interest of fairness, Larsen was doing all the writing, drawing, editing and, towards the end some of the coloring and lettering, on Savage Dragon. Not even Stan and Jack could have made such a claim on their FF run. So, I'd say that gives Larsen a bit leeway with the timeliness.

I agree with you that this 103 issue run Bednis and Bagley have done is a bit LESS impressive for Bendis, than it is Bagley. The modern era of "decompressed" storytelling has certainly taken away from such milestones for writers. It's like making a smaller baseball feild, yet claiming greatness when a player breaks a homerum record set before they shrank the feilds.

Still, I must agree with my wife that, while prehaps to be taken with a grain or two of salt, with lateness being such a problem today, to see a creative team manage to, not only last on a series for well over 100 issues, but to also manage to keep getting it out on time, is pretty much nothing short of a miracle. It is a throwback to the days of Lee and Kirby in that regard, which Bagley, and even Bendis, deserve some kudos for.

Who knows, maybe this could show that such things don't have to be a part of comics past, as so many within the industry seem to think nowadays.

Chris Arndt said...

and in the interest of fairness Larsen has surpassed Bendis, Bagley, and if he follows through on his ambition he will surpass Dave Sim and write, plot, script, pencil, and publish 302 issues of Savage Dragon.

Heidi Meeley said...

Chris, I will watch with great anticipation and see if Larsen does indeed achieve his goal.