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  1. #1
    Incredible Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Question Can Someone Explain the Criticism of Bendis' Avengers?

    Hey guys so I recently jumped off of Marvel comics and decided to work my way backwards through time (I barely recognize Marvel, that's a convo for another thread). I started with Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers run and enjoyed it but missed the classic trappings of the Avengers. Then I heard Bendis' run was spectacular especially with Spidey and Wolvie joining the Avengers. So I picked up the Omni and I am immensely enjoying it. Especially because he does not have a cynical outlook on heroes, even after Disassembled there was optimism and I love it.

    I tried finding some sites to help me figure out all of the supplemental reading (and there is A LOT, man he wrote SO much), and there are lot of comic sites and forum posts that were highly critical of his run.

    My question to you is, why? I mean he must have been doing something good he wrote so much and for so long and I'm assuming it sold a lot. He created so many iconic characters and concepts (Daisy, Maria Hill, Secret Warriors etc).
    Last edited by charliehustle415; 05-17-2016 at 07:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    1. Bendis's run on Avengers was specifically designed to be the end of the old, traditional Avengers. Avengers Disassembled began by destroying the mansion, and rendering many of the longtime Avengers members dead (Hawkeye, Vision) or unusable (Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk). People who liked these characters, or the Avengers "tradition," felt the run was against them, because to some extent it was. Many people who dislike Bendis's run are simply fans of particular characters who don't like how he treated them. People are still asking him on Tumblr if he hates Scarlet Witch, and it's been over 10 years.

    2. Somewhat related, Spider-Man and Wolverine had never been Avengers and traditionalists felt that it was breaking that tradition for the sake of pumping up sales (which, again, is true).

    3. Bendis's style and mannerisms don't lend themselves well to writing the kind of soap opera and hammy villains who are associated with traditional Avengers comics, so it was criticized for not being a "real" Avengers book. Mighty Avengers was actually his attempt to prove that he could do a more traditional Avengers book, complete with thought balloons, but there is disagreement on how well that worked.

    4. He was on the book for a long time and eventually he seemed to run out of ideas, as writers do when they're on a book for a long time.

    I think that while Disassembled was not good, New Avengers was a good book up until it was interrupted by Civil War, and then the fracturing of the team and the constant events seemed to take its toll on the writing. But I do like it better than Hickman's. Even though Bendis was replacing the old Avengers, the consciousness of what the team was, and what it has been, hangs over the book and makes it an interesting examination of how you preserve tradition while moving forward.

    And I also think that though the breakup of the old team could have been better handled, some kind of shake-up was due. The Avengers couldn't go forward with the same old members and the same old villains, and the characters Bendis got rid of probably had been in the book too long.
    Last edited by gurkle; 05-17-2016 at 07:37 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Hey guys so I recently jumped off of Marvel comics and decided to work my way backwards through time (I barely recognize Marvel, that's a convo for another thread). I started with Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers run and enjoyed it but missed the classic trappings of the Avengers. Then I heard Bendis' run was spectacular especially with Spidey and Wolvie joining the Avengers. So I picked up the Omni and I am immensely enjoying it. Especially because he does not have a cynical outlook on heroes, even after Disassembled there was optimism and I love it.

    I tried finding some sites to help me figure out all of the supplemental reading (and there is A LOT, man he wrote SO much), and there are lot of comic sites and forum posts that were highly critical of his run.

    My question to you is, why? I mean he must have been doing something good he wrote so much and for so long and I'm assuming it sold a lot. He created so many iconic characters and concepts (Daisy, Maria Hill, Secret Warriors etc).
    The main criticism is of the usual, knee-jerk, fanboy variety - that Bendis' Avengers wasn't another same old, same old Avengers book and therefore it was a travesty. Comic fans love to fly into a rage over anything that might appeal to fresh eyes and isn't just catering to what they find familiar. Clearly, though, Bendis had a very long and successful Avengers run so despite the online hate, I think a lot of fans really loved his time on the book.

    The other criticism is the kind of that applies to all of Bendis' work - that it's too dialogue heavy, that the characters tend to all sound alike, that his storylines are unnecessarily padded. To that I say you either like Bendis or you don't. Either you love the way he writes or it drives you nuts. Definitely his style isn't for everyone but it's unmistakably his and I think it worked to give The Avengers a different vibe than it had ever had.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member MindofShadow's Avatar
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    It is a Bendis thing. He has a style that works really well for some and not others.


    BUT


    dude sells. There is a reason he has so much power at Marvel... he sells books. Wherever he goes, save for maybe Moon Knight, it sells. So the "criticism" is largely the online, fanboy base. Hence, why it is ignored by Marvel and Bendis gets to do what he wants.
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  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member jackolover's Avatar
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    I feel there are some fans that just blast on Bendis. I don't know if it's hate or jealousy, but they can him for the sake of canning, in an illogical sense.

    Another thing about Bendis, is he writes them like a screen play, not fanciful, comic-book, outlandish, power sets. To me, he depowered the heroes. Look at his Doctor Strange and Thor Odinson. They were lame first-time novices, compared to their abilities before Bendis. I think that grated with readers. Myself, I liked this approach by Bendis. Not all his stuff, as I disliked his Mighty Avengers, and instead liked Slotts Mighty Avengers with Pym in charge. But Bendis' supreme superb story was the Dark Avengers. It was like AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED was just to get Norman Osborn to lead a team of dysfunctional villains as heroes. It was a triumph.

    Did Bendis dissociate the old tradition of the Avengers? He could have, but the essential elements were always there. I can see the Avengers and Cap movies full of his approach to screen playing for the movies. Almost as though the comic books were anticipating having to adjust their over the top power sets to a more acceptable limit to reflect the movies and thus not be too grating if a movie viewer went back to the books for the first time, and doesn't get culture shock.

    Civil War by Millar and McNiven was a great aid in reducing the over the top power sets of the Avengers, and just show them as ordinary people with ordinary problems like everyone else. The movie slipped straight into that drama comfortably, and it was augmented by Bendis' approach to the Avengers.
    Last edited by jackolover; 05-17-2016 at 08:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    1. Bendis's run on Avengers was specifically designed to be the end of the old, traditional Avengers. Avengers Disassembled began by destroying the mansion, and rendering many of the longtime Avengers members dead (Hawkeye, Vision) or unusable (Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk). People who liked these characters, or the Avengers "tradition," felt the run was against them, because to some extent it was. Many people who dislike Bendis's run are simply fans of particular characters who don't like how he treated them. People are still asking him on Tumblr if he hates Scarlet Witch, and it's been over 10 years.

    2. Somewhat related, Spider-Man and Wolverine had never been Avengers and traditionalists felt that it was breaking that tradition for the sake of pumping up sales (which, again, is true).

    3. Bendis's style and mannerisms don't lend themselves well to writing the kind of soap opera and hammy villains who are associated with traditional Avengers comics, so it was criticized for not being a "real" Avengers book. Mighty Avengers was actually his attempt to prove that he could do a more traditional Avengers book, complete with thought balloons, but there is disagreement on how well that worked.

    4. He was on the book for a long time and eventually he seemed to run out of ideas, as writers do when they're on a book for a long time.

    I think that while Disassembled was not good, New Avengers was a good book up until it was interrupted by Civil War, and then the fracturing of the team and the constant events seemed to take its toll on the writing. But I do like it better than Hickman's. Even though Bendis was replacing the old Avengers, the consciousness of what the team was, and what it has been, hangs over the book and makes it an interesting examination of how you preserve tradition while moving forward.

    And I also think that though the breakup of the old team could have been better handled, some kind of shake-up was due. The Avengers couldn't go forward with the same old members and the same old villains, and the characters Bendis got rid of probably had been in the book too long.
    Wow, thank you for the thoughtful response. I completely missed out on this era of Marvel so it's weird to me that people would be against a changing of the guard. Now you can't even think about the Avengers without Spider-Man or Wolverine and Scarlet Witch has become such a dynamic and interesting character. I just think about how the X-Men line was revitalized and how the Avengers became a franchise with multiple titles. We had the introduction of the Illuminati which was awesome and revitalized the Hulk line. We also got Norman Osborn become a Marvel wide threat, humanized Thor and literally brought him to Earth.

    I also can't understand how some criticize of his dialogue though, I mean the entirety of the MCU is that, isn't that why people fell in love with a one time B-List hero like Iron Man?

    I do agree on the event fatigue though, man, just looking at all of the crossovers gave me hot sweats. How can any reasonable person even afford to buy all of the event books and tie ins that he wrote. And I do think he was the origin of annualized major events that hi-jack a lot of books (*cough* Civil War II *cough*), I mean when you only get 12 books a year and 4 of them become entangled in a line wide crossover does suck.

    Is there anything I should look out for while I am reading his run? I really like getting other peoples perspective on important runs.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Incredible Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    I feel there are some fans that just blast on Bendis. I don't know if it's hate or jealousy, but they can him for the sake of canning, in an illogical sense.

    Another thing about Bendis, is he writes them like a screen play, not fanciful, comic-book, outlandish, power sets. To me, he depowered the heroes. Look at his Doctor Strange and Thor Odinson. They were lame first-time novices, compared to their abilities before Bendis. I think that grated with readers. Myself, I liked this approach by Bendis. Not all his stuff, as I disliked his Mighty Avengers, and instead liked Slotts Mighty Avengers with Pym in charge. But Bendis' supreme superb story was the Dark Avengers. It was like AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED was just to get Norman Osborn to lead a team of dysfunctional villains as heroes. It was a triumph.

    Did Bendis dissociate the old tradition of the Avengers? He could have, but the essential elements were always there. I can see the Avengers and Cap movies full of his approach to screen playing for the movies. Almost as though the comic books were anticipating having to adjust their over the top power sets to a more acceptable limit to reflect the movies and thus not be too grating if a movie viewer went back to the books for the first time, and doesn't get culture shock.

    Civil War by Millar and McNiven was a great aid in reducing the over the top power sets of the Avengers, and just show them as ordinary people with ordinary problems like everyone else. The movie slipped straight into that drama comfortably, and it was augmented by Bendis' approach to the Avengers.
    You know I didn't even realize he reduced their power set, but not thinking about it, it makes total sense! Why have a team of nigh-defeatable heroes and kind of spread the wealth of powers.

  8. #8
    Scarlet and Proud! Star_Jammer's Avatar
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    At the end of HoM, he had (I believe) Carol Danvers say "What does it mean? What does it mean?" when they found Hawkeye's empty costume on the Avenger's Mansion grounds.

    When the New Avengers discovered Elektra was a Skrull, he had another character (I forget who) say the exact same thing.

  9. #9

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    i don't like the "voice" that he gives his characters. and it's so much a part of his style that it has become a deal-breaker, for me. plus, he has a tendency to prop up characters he likes at the expense of others. jackolover mentioned tamping down some of the powersets of individuals. but I think that he did the exact opposite with favored characters; like Jessica Drew and Luke Cage. if you share his tastes, you will like his work. hate should really come into play. there are plenty of books to choose from.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    To me Bendis started the "dumbing" down of the Marvel U. By that I mean putting characters into books even when it made no sense character wise just because they were the most popular. People say "well his books sell" and to that I say you could have given any writer a book with all of Marvels most popular characters and it would have sold just as well. Bendis to me is an oportunist writer who always wants to be writing the biggest and most popular characters to keep his name in the headlines. It is like when he took over the Guardians book right before the movie and started saying he had always loved the characters and was dying to write the series which was total bullshit and he only wanted the book because of the movie and he knew they would be the next "high profile" series.

  11. #11
    CBR's Good Fairy Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    Most popular things have haterz (though often there is valid criticism for all work, that is true of Bendis). Often people don't like "the voice" he has, it's his style, a form of realism "speak-talk" that grates on some more than others. His work often gets the best artists (that helps), but often his work ALSO has a lot that is not said, and you need to think about what is being said AND NOT SAID to get the full effect (which I love, reading should be active). Bendis can deliver some wonderful work; and he's won numerous awards (so he can't be all bad). He's best at gritty and dark (Daredevil and Powers are perfect for him; Daredevil being his magna opus). But he can do teams and POWERFUL teams too (Dark Avengers and Uncanny X-men). Plus = humour, love it. I'm a big fan of his work, and he's one of the most LGBT supportive writers working at Marvel. So hey, that makes me smile too.
    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 05-17-2016 at 10:37 AM.
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  12. #12
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Bendis is very hit or miss for me. His dialogue ticks can be annoying and are became popularly parodied around the 'net. I liked Dark Avengers and Mighty Avengers but New Avengers not so much. Another thing was the overuse of the Hood did not exactly excite the readership. I liked his concept of the Cabal in Dark Reign but he really didn't exploit it very well. They never really did anything of much importance as a group.

    But it's the padding that really gets old after a while. Take Invincible Iron Man for example. There are some plot elements that he has been teasing for 9 issues with no new developments. IMO that is far too slow in this day and age.

    Then there is this hilariously bad dialogue...


  13. #13
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    Bendis doesn't know how to write team books. Nearly all the characters in his Avengers run sounded practically the same all the time, and he didn't treat well the female characters (his run in Mighty Avengers proved that as Carol, Janet and Natasha were wallpaller and Out of character all the time). In his team books female characters tend to be useless wallpaller characters that must be rescued by their male teammates, or annoying Mary Sues, he never knew how to write female characters in team books (look at jessica Jones for example. In her solo run, she was a likable character...but when she started to appear in the Avengers book, she became a wallpaller character who only talked to complain about Luke Cage's parenting skills).
    Last edited by Johnrevenge; 05-17-2016 at 10:42 AM.

  14. #14
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Aside from Carol and Bobbi, he's never done much favors for the classic Avengers ladies like Wasp, Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Aside from Carol and Bobbi, he's never done much favors for the classic Avengers ladies like Wasp, Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk.
    He hadn't done favors to Carol either...during the Mighty Avengers run she was practically useless and during his New Avengers run during the dark reign and heroes reborn, she was only there for the wallpaller factor...

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