Brian Michael Bendis Leaves Marvel With the Perfect Easter Egg in 'Defenders'

Brian Michael Bendis has left behind the perfect Easter egg as a going away present to Marvel [...]

Brian Michael Bendis has left behind the perfect Easter egg as a going away present to Marvel Comics and its fans.

Bendis' Defenders #9 hit stores today. The issue opens with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in a police station trying to convince Misty Knight to let Jessica speak to the Punisher, who is police custody. While that discussion is taking place, a familiar-looking bald man is being escorted into the station.

The man is shouting "A 17-year running gag is not easy to pull off!" Take a look below.

Defenders Easter Egg Bendis

This man is Brian Michael Bendis himself. The officers taking him into custody are artist David Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor. The 17-year running gag he's referring to is a repeated bit where Bendis sets a scene in a police station and then includes at least one rambling, disturbed individual.

Part of the gag has always been that these supposedly crazy characters are often referencing or foreshadowing current on upcoming events in a metatextual way. These events have included Marvel epics like Secret Wars and even nods toward events happening at DC Comics, where Bendis is now working.

However, Bendis' own police station appearance isn't his last. In the same scene, another woman who has taken too much of Diamondback's drug begins shouting something about the Elders of the Cosmos and dead universes.

defenders dead universes marvel

Could this be one last act of foreshadowing on Bendis' part? The idea of dead universes not staying dead was a major part of Al Ewing's run on The Ultimates, which featured the return of the original Ultimates from the Ultimate Marvel Universe. The Ultimate Marvel Universe was a casualty of the Secret Wars event, which rebirthed the Marvel multiverse. However, Bendis himself seemed to reveal that a new Ultimate Marvel Universe was born when the Marvel multiverse reformed and even visited it in the pages of Spider-Men II.

Could this be Bendis foreshadowing the full return of the Ultimate Marvel Universe? Or another Marvel event in the works? Or is he hinting at things he's already working at for DC Comics? It would be the first time these references worked across companies.

Defenders #9 is on sale now.