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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
    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

  4. #4

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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.

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    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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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    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.
    THIS! And also that he only knows how to write characters HE LIKES while neglecting or purposely destroying characters he don't know about.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    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
    Although is either of the two actually members right now? Logan is dead and although there is a spider-man on a team it is not Peter.

    I do think to you should remember that some of those Things you mention really had nothing to do with Bendis. Like Thor changes these last few years.

    The criticism of his dialogue is the fact that it can feel VERT VERY VERY VERY VERY stretched to many readers.

    Dont get me wrong I like a lot of his Work, Ultimate Spider-man is one of my favorite long runs ever, but there are some issues that are just to much. But considering how many issues of various titles he has been on that is not really that strange.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bor View Post
    Although is either of the two actually members right now? Logan is dead and although there is a spider-man on a team it is not Peter.

    I do think to you should remember that some of those Things you mention really had nothing to do with Bendis. Like Thor changes these last few years.

    The criticism of his dialogue is the fact that it can feel VERT VERY VERY VERY VERY stretched to many readers.

    Dont get me wrong I like a lot of his Work, Ultimate Spider-man is one of my favorite long runs ever, but there are some issues that are just to much. But considering how many issues of various titles he has been on that is not really that strange.
    Ahh, I was talking about Thor's return in Straczynski's run, and I haven't been keeping up with the current books (in my OP I stated I stopped after Secret Wars and started working backwards through time). I do however, agree with you about Bendis' decompressed type of writing, his Ultimate Spider-Man was uber guilty of that; I would chew through 10 issues in 30 minutes. But, I do not see that in his New Avengers, yes there is a lot of dialogue, but that is what is so enjoyable (to me) about his run and I understand it might not be for some. I see his run as an extended tv show, they aren't constantly fighting, they have quiet times between mega fight scenes.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Scarlet Witch has become such a dynamic and interesting character.
    I wish this were true. But she was dynamic and interesting before. That just fridged her, and pulled her from comics for seven years. She's never restored her status with the Avengers.
    Was Curlytop

  11. #11
    You guessed it mr_crisp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    I wish this were true. But she was dynamic and interesting before. That just fridged her, and pulled her from comics for seven years. She's never restored her status with the Avengers.
    Or some readers. I can't look at her the same way again.
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  12. #12
    Incredible Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenericUsername View Post
    I wish this were true. But she was dynamic and interesting before. That just fridged her, and pulled her from comics for seven years. She's never restored her status with the Avengers.
    Unfortunately, I never read Avengers prior to Bendis, so my only experience of her is from his run.

    Any particular storylines I should check out?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Unfortunately, I never read Avengers prior to Bendis, so my only experience of her is from his run.

    Any particular storylines I should check out?
    Nights of Wundagore
    Vision and the Scarlet Witch
    Abnett's Scarlet Witch mini from the 90s
    Busiek's Avengers
    Robinson's Scarlet Witch

    Those are the easiest to find and read, that are collected in trade.
    Was Curlytop

  14. #14
    Incredible Member Supermutant2099'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.
    That exactly my problem with the book. I'm sorry wolverine and spider-man don't belong in avengers. There is reason why spidey was just a reserve member He always out of place. Then bendis comes along come and goes "I know better" Wolverine was in just about every x-men at one time and then in avengers books. Two of them too. Where beast was a member he wasn't with the x-men at the time. He was running in about 18 million places making people wonder if wolverine had clones. Treatment of Scarlet Witch, Vision, She-Hulk, Wonder Man, Hawkeye, Tigra, Wasp was horrendous and that short list of classic avengers get shaft from bendis. Civil War II FCBD makes me wonder if bendis even knows how to write She-Hulk properly or even like her. Though 0 issue seems to handle her decently. I mean I haven't one person come up with good reasoning behind what happens in FCBD issue. His style didn't work for the Avengers or X-Men. When he can't make something for his style he changes it to unrecognizable degree. What he started was a bad trend of writers using non traditional characters who have no business being in Avengers. Some characters I like (like deadpool) and some I don't (like Red Hulk). The people after him have continued a wrong trend which left me with Avengers Dead to me. I tried reading recent new avengers and was meh. A-Force is good but creative team keeps changing.
    I always get annoyed when people say he keeps selling. Yeah he does with shrinking fan base of comics. Shouldn't companies move away from creators that obvious no longer bringing in the audience they once did? Try something else but no Marvel and DC just double and triple down on the stupidity.

  15. #15
    Incredible Member xpyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermutant2099 View Post
    I always get annoyed when people say he keeps selling. Yeah he does with shrinking fan base of comics. Shouldn't companies move away from creators that obvious no longer bringing in the audience they once did? Try something else but no Marvel and DC just double and triple down on the stupidity.
    The problem is he keeps selling because every book he writes is given some solicitation or a tag "the road to" or "beginning the mystery creation of that no one really asked for". Every story he writes is given a tag that makes it seem like the end all be all of the Marvel Universe.

    Granted, he wrote Daredevil well. He did a great job with Ultimate Spider-Man. He did Dark Avengers well too. But the Avengers and X-Men are garbage. Go back and read the Avengers again and realize how terrible it actually is. Everyone thought he was going to revive the X-Men the way he revived the Avengers and he crapped out after what was it, three years? There are far too many people who refuse to admit that some writers are bad after a while. Look at how Dan Slott revived Spider-Man and all of a sudden everyone hates Slott and says "Doc OCk should have stayed Superior Spider-Man". Why? Did Doc Ock have the 50+ years of stories? He found a way to beat spider-man and suddenly everyone loves him and wants him to stay. When Slott brings Peter back, everyone wants Slott gone from the books. Its pathetic. And not only that, but when opinions against said writers are brought up, either 10 people come and attack the one post, or the post goes completely ignored.

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