Comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis made waves today after DC Comics announced the creator signed an exclusive deal with the publisher, after nearly two decades of penning stories for Marvel. Is another former Marvel writer following suit?
It wouldn't be surprising after a cryptic photo from Jonathan Hickman's twitter account, featuring a screen cap from the film Dead Poets Society.
The scene in the photo takes place during the film's ending, in which the students inspired by Robin Williams' character stand on their desks and recite the poem "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman.
So what does it mean? Allow us to put the events into context for you.
Hickman started in Marvel in the mid-2000s, writing a one-shot issue in the Legion of Monsters event as well as a serialized, digital-exclusive story for Astonishing Tales Vol. 2 called "Bobby and Sam in Mojoworld," with art from Nick Pitarra.
He then collaborated with Bendis on the book Secret Warriors, spinning out of the Dark Reign event. Though the two came up with the original plot, Hickman scripted every issue in the series and eventually became one of Marvel's darlings.
Hickman's work in Marvel each contributed to and built on the vast tapestry of Marvel Comics continuity, going from Secret Warriors to SHIELD to Fantastic Four to the Ultimates and Avengers, culminating in the 2015 event book Secret Wars. Hickman has since stopped writing for Marvel, though his influence is still felt in the publishing line.
In the years since, rumors have popped up regarding Hickman's future projects. Unsourced and unverified chatter pegged him to eventually take over the X-Men books, but a recent post by Jim Lee hinted that he might be heading to DC Comics.
So does his post of that pivotal scene from Dead Poets Society mean that he is going to follow Bendis, who helped him break into Marvel, over to the Distinguished Competition?
Bendis has an eye for talent and helped shine a spotlight on many creators deserving of mainstream success, such as David F. Walker, Sara Pichelli, David Marquez, and more.
Hickman is one of the most successful writers Bendis has helped, and has a few successful creator-owned projects with Image Comics such as Black Monday Murders, East of West, Dying and the Dead, Manhattan Projects, Red Mass for Mars, and the Nightly News.
While he likely doesn't need to go to DC Comics, Hickman is an admitted fan of quite a few characters from the publisher. That doesn't mean he's not working for Marvel in the future, as the last two issues of SHIELD could see release in the near future.
Hopefully Hickman sheds light on that cryptic post in the near future.