José Edilbenes Bezerra was born November 20, 1972, in Alto Santo, a small town in the Brazilian state of Ceará, in the northeast region of the country. Though he has lived in Limoeiro do Norte, a medium town also in Ceará state, since he was 14 years old. He began drawing on his own in 1989, referencing the artwork from his brother's comic books. He also took a correspondence art course, though he did not finish it.
Benes' got his first professional work in 1993, after he mailed out sample art, and was discovered by Neal Adams, who gave him the job of illustrating Samuree for Continuity Comics in 1993. In the 1990s Benes began to work for Marvel where he did art for multiple comic book titles, including a Captain Marvel 6-part miniseries.
He later moved to DC Comics, where continued penciling more work for titles such as Gen¹³, Birds of Prey, Supergirl (vol. 3), and Superman (vol. 2). In 2006 Benes was assigned to provide art to for writer Brad Meltzer's run on Justice League of America series, which he drew until 2009. He subsequently contributed to Batman and Birds of Prey (vol. 2) titles, and Steel.
Ed Benes began the Ed Benes Studio for aspiring comic book artists, which currently offers several courses on illustration and techniques in sequential storytelling, and hosts lectures and workshops.