Renowned comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis and illustrious artist Alex Maleev, best known for their award-winning work on ‘Daredevil,’ are joining forces once more for the first time since their 2016 collaboration on ‘Scarlet.’ Their new venture is a six-issue mini-series from Dark Horse Comics, dubbed ‘Masterpiece.’
In a departure from the dark tones of ‘Scarlet,’ Bendis promises a more lighthearted story that harks back to his roots in crime fiction. ‘Masterpiece’ introduces us to Emma, a 16-year-old webcomic artist and inventor. When a vindictive billionaire informs her that she’s the offspring of two legendary criminals and seeks revenge for their past misdeeds, Emma assembles a motley crew to thwart his plans.
Set to debut on December 13, the first issue of ‘Masterpiece’ also showcases the colouring talents of Ian Herring. Bendis, who shot to fame with crime-focused comics in the ’90s, reveals that the story was inspired by real-life enigmas like D.B. Cooper, who vanished after a high-profile heist.
Long admired for crafting compelling young characters, as seen with Spider-Man Miles Morales and Riri Williams aka Ironheart, Bendis finds the teenage years to be a narrative goldmine, ripe for exploring the highs and lows of human emotion.
Having worked on multiple projects over their 25-year friendship, including stints on ‘Spider-Woman’ and ‘Moon Knight,’ Bendis considers his professional partnership with Maleev to be the cornerstone of his career. The duo is often compared to iconic partnerships like Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
While it may seem that ‘Masterpiece’ is ideal for a Hollywood adaptation, Bendis stresses that he’s not writing with the silver screen in mind. He believes that comics are an end in themselves and should be treated as such.
Fans can get a sneak peek of ‘Masterpiece,’ including the first two pages and variant covers, below.