Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bendis enjoys breaking other people's toys


NYC Graphic Novelists does a sugary interview with Brian Bendis, where he continues with his blatant gushing, telling a bit more about why his books would be better avoided. First:
Under Bendis’ tenure, the Marvel Universe has become a more noir-ish place, as heroes question their own missions and clash over beliefs, and – every once in a while – the badguys win.
But that's the problem - under his tenure, the Avengers became so noir-ish, the series became less imaginative. And if they questioned their missions and duties, it wasn't in a good way. Worse, their clash over beliefs, as in Civil War, was contrived and forced. And if a villain like the Hood won, it was in the poorest taste possible. His assault on Tigra certainly was.
Brian Michael Bendis grew up in Cleveland, Ohio; aside from American Splendor writer Harvey Pekar, there isn’t much comics culture there.
Say what? Didn't these guys ever hear of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, Star Spangled Kid and the Spectre? (Superman was co-created by both, the other 2 heroes were created seperately.)
Marvel’s pride has always been a solid continuity since the 1960s, unlike rival DC Comics, who has constantly restarted their superhero series anew.
Oh god, is this site totally out of touch with reality: since the turn of the century, their continuity has been lost in outer space. And let's not forget Quesada and company's classic groaner "we don't need to explain anything, it's magic."

Now, here's where Bendis comes up with a very sleazy statement:
Bendis’ start on Avengers in 2004 was with the end of the book; in a storyline called “Avengers Disassembled,” several Avengers were killed (including fan favorite Hawkeye), and the team was relaunched with a new line-up in New Avengers

“When I look back at it, I came in and wanted to blow shit up,” Brian admits. “I came in like a bull in a china shop and blew up Avengers Mansion on page six, and everybody died. Then there were my Avengers…

“There was no difference between what I did and a little kid coming up on the playground, coming up to a toy, and stepping on it. I did exactly the same thing: you don’t know who I am, and I came up to you and popped your balloon with a pin. I kept doing it, for five straight months, and then I ended it. I had a great idea that I would direct my Avengers so that every reader is an Avenger. If you were sitting at the table with them, you were the one at the table, and were an Avenger. If I made you an Avenger, then I could sit you down at the table and blow your world up. It wasn’t the nicest first thing to do to you as a reader.”
With that kind of attitude, it's a wonder anyone could be a fan of his. It just simply boggles the mind how he can claim he wants to make the very readers Avengers, and then proceed to ruin everything for them. With the way he handled Hawkeye, who'd want to be Clint Barton if all that's going to come about is misery?

This also brought to mind Steve Ditko's essay (Toyland) about how today's writers are taking apart stuff that doesn't need fixing and rebuilding it into something that suits only their idea of how things should be done. That's what Bendis did. That's also what Quesada's done with Spider-Man. It's what DC is doing too since Identity Crisis. Why, it's what Geoff Johns is doing with Barry Allen and the Flash.

Bendis is not the kind of person I'd want to hang around with if he's willing to take my favorite toys and what I'd built as a labor of love and turn it into junk. The sooner the "success" of his books drops further down the charts and he leaves Marvel, the better.

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