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Thursday, March 29, 2012 

Just what "emotional" connection does Brian Bendis have with the MCU?

USA Today's written about the now debuting Avengers vs X-Men crossover, which has been co-written by none other than Brian Bendis, and whatever they tell is predictably wretched and induces sighs and head-shakes:
"As fun as it is to yell and scream at each other about the minutiae of ROM: Spaceknight, there are a great deal many readers who are much more casual and/or this is the first time they're ever meeting (Wanda or Hope), so we just want to put our best foot forward and introduce the characters."

While lots of people will like all the punching, Bendis has been more interested in the emotional connection with these characters. "Some of them are in very sensitive places in their lives to start with, and then all this is happening," he says.

"We're definitely going to get to more punching and hitting very quickly," promises Tom Brevoort, Marvel's executive editor. "There will be a significant amount of eye gouging and knee biting."
Even if that's just a shock tactic Brevoort is coughing out, it's in poor taste and insulting to suggest they're going the gory route. And it's not fun to yell at each other, nor is the punching any good if it's only between superheroes.
There has been a lot more attention and emphasis placed on Hope in the X-books in recent years, Brevoort says. But she and the Scarlet Witch, who has been a staple of the Marvel Universe since the 1960s, both have as much of an emotional impact as Jean Grey in the 1980s and the seminal "Dark Phoenix" saga.

"It's absolutely our intention to make them vibrant and characters that connect with the audience and have a real emotional weight and resonance to them," Brevoort says.

Bendis was the writer on one of the bigger story arcs in Wanda Maximoff's long history, "Avengers: Disassembled," where she lost control of her magical powers and it ended up being one of the Avengers' darkest days. That led to the alternate-reality event series House of M and her depowering of most of the mutant population.

She has fought for redemption and forgiveness in the recent Avengers: Children's Crusade series, and she continues to in the AvX prologue, confronting both friends and family.

Bendis says the crime-fiction writer in him loves a character like her, who has everything to gain and nothing to lose at the beginning of AvX.

"She's faced with a situation that could either redeem her, which would be crazy awesome, or make things worse, depending on the choices she makes and the sides she takes and the moments she chooses to interact with the story. That's pretty interesting stuff," Bendis explains.
Even if Bendis finally reverses the situation he put Wanda into 8 years ago, he's not going to redeem his own overrated reputation, nor will it clean away the bad taste he left in the wake of Disassembled. Turning Wanda insane, which isn't clearly stated here, and then largely obscuring her for several years, contradicts his claim that he loves her as a character and casts doubt on the claim he's making this an emotionally weighty story. His sleazy bragging and boasting doesn't help matters either. For all we know, he could write that Scarlet Witch finds redemption and still end up making this story so awful it wouldn't make any difference.
There has been lots of talk within the comic industry recently about the portrayal of female characters, and there are two major ones at the heart of AvX. Brevoort doesn't know if Marvel's particularly fortuitous or just ahead of the curve, but he feels it's simply an outgrowth of their natural stories that have led them to this point.

"We try to do characters of every shade and certainly we always use more good, strong, vibrant, emotionally true portrayals of women," he says.
The dishonesty and double standards Brevoort and company keep going by are simply astounding. If they really wanted to portray the female cast that way, they wouldn't have turned Scarlet Witch crazy in the first place, nor would they have erased the Spider-Marriage and marginalized Mary Jane Watson (and soiled Gwen Stacy's background), or even published that story where Tigra was assaulted by The Hood or where Spider-Woman ended up naked while hostage of the Wizard.
And in the Marvel Universe, Bendis finds Wanda to be "crazy important."
That description is easily a signal for why this story should be avoided regardless of how things turn out for Wanda.
"It's a little self-serving, but the last time she was involved in a story like this, the mutants went bye-bye and that stuck for quite a few years now," he says. "I'm happy about that just because it made the story matter and it proved us to not be full of crap when we're doing stories like this.

"It just reminds people when they're reading this that when we say the Marvel Universe will be different at the end of AvX, if you think of the end of Secret Invasion or Civil War or House of M, we do stick to our guns and things do change."
And not for the better. Just for the worse. All that changed was that the Marvel universe became a more violent, amoral, editorially mandated mishmash with a severe lack of plausible character drama and considerable disrespect for past storylines and characterization. None of which have brought them any new audience and have only driven away much of the older ones.

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The last good run on the Avengers was Busiek's, from 1997 to 2002, when it ended with the Kang Dynasty arc. Ever since then it hasn't been anywhere near as imaginative or good for that matter.

Carl

Wow. This was a great piece. You just gave me an idea for a blog post, so thanks!

I love stopping in here every few weeks to see what you've been up to. Keep up the great work.

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