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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 

Brian Bendis' blundering 2004 interview

I found an old interview Brian Bendis gave to AvengersForever.Org back in 2004, where he really made himself look laughable. Copying anything here to comment on wasn't easy, because the ASP software they use here is downright weird, but I managed to overcome the odds and get some things. For example:
Q) Your mission is to take the concept of the Avengers as we know it into the future and that fans can look forward to this real step forward without fear of Marvel losing sight of where the title came from. Continuity is quite a hot topic in the comics industry these days and so I am compelled to ask how you feel this destruction and then resurrection of the Avengers title will take into consideration as well as respect that which has transpired over the last 40 years or so? A pretty daunting task . . .
A) Absolutely, and I adore it. It's so much fun. I take continuity very seriously, first as a respect to the characters, but also as respect to the writers that came before me. I would never contradict what has come before.
Maybe he wouldn't contradict, but, as he's proven already, he sure hasn't done much to respect the cast. As for respect, it's most unfortunate that it had to be, if anything, for John Byrne's abysmal run on West Coast Avengers in 1989-90, where Scarlet Witch was put through the wringer, turned into a one-dimensional cartoon villianess.
Q) What do you think longtime Avengers fans from the 1960's, 1970's, and even the 1980's think of your upcoming work on Avengers Disassemble?
A) I have learned long ago that it is 1000% impossible to make everyone happy, it can not be done. What I can do, is make a comic I would buy. And I am a huge snob, I need to be dazzled, or I am gone. I am a tough audience for myself.

When this first was announced, I got hammered by Avenger's fans. One email header said: "Kill She-Hulk, I hate her." The next said: "Do not touch She-Hulk." And that says it all. I cannot make everyone happy. And that is very freeing.
This is where I want to take a moment to note how the kind of mentality signaled in an email calling for the death of She-Hulk is something that really shocks me: what exact kind of people are reading comics, who would want someone to write a book for the sake of killing off any of the heroes? Those are exactly the kind of people comicdom can do without. It makes no sense to me why anyone who would call for killing off heroes and even their supporting cast members bothers to read these comics in the first place.

Or was Bendis just putting words in people's mouths?

Now, here's where Bendis really blows:
Q) What about favorite Avengers, Brian? Who are they and why? I am not asking for spoilers but rather wondering about the characters you enjoyed and or identified most with when you were reading the Avengers title.
A) I love Hawkeye, I love Scarlet Witch - all time best costume. Big fan of the power three, Cap, Thor, Iron Man, I like the dynamic between them. Janet, on the other hand, was a horrible costume designer.
Since then, it's been proven that Bendis does not like Clint Barton nor Wanda Maximoff, and certainly isn't writing this book out of true love. And from what he says about the Wasp, I guess he doesn't like her either, if he can't acknowledge that if she was a lousy costume designer, it's the writer's fault, not hers.
Q) On the other side of the coin, there have just plain been a lot of heroes added to the Avengers roster over the years – some good and some not so good. Now don't be shy Brian, you can tell us, in your opinion which Avengers should have never been granted team membership?
A) Hank should have been kicked out after the first Janet slap and never heard from again. Also, the Ultron f*** up should have been the end of him. Jack of Hearts was an asshole too.
And here's something that I find very bothersome about writers like him of recent: that they dislike certain characters to the point where, instead of trying to improve them, they'd rather maim and hassle them, and they certainly don't try to criticize past writers for their faults. Why couldn't Bendis have said that the slap to Jan was a bad idea to begin with that should never have been written? And why must he even say that Jack of Hearts was an ass? A lousy costume the guy has, but again, that's the fault of the writers and artists, not the characters.

If he doesn't have the courage to criticize the earlier writers and editors for their faults, it just shows what weakling he is.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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