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Thursday, October 22, 2009 

A superficial article about Bendis

Suite101 publishes a sugary article about Brian Bendis' decade at Marvel:
His success has been largely attributed to his use of dialogue, being unafraid to let the character interaction provide the ‘action’ in an issue, whereas other writers might feel compelled to add a fight scene every month, even if it adds nothing to the plot. This approach has proven controversial, especially within traditionally action-heavy series such as Avengers, but continues to succeed, and appears to be an influence on many others in the industry.
Not mentioned here is how his "character interaction" is really slow, to the point where it stops everything dead in its tracks. And in what way does it succeed? Only with his most addicted fans who were the reason why it sold as well as it did in the first place, and recently, even that's begun to wane. And if he's having any influence on others in the industry, it's not for the better.

They even tell of one of the places where Bendis began as a writer:
Prior to his Marvel Comics debut, Bendis was becoming known as one of the rising stars of the independent comics scene. His work, primarily in the noir and crime genres, including Jinx, Goldfish and Torso, and he provided the art for many of his own stories.

His move to the larger comic publishers came when he was hired by Todd MacFarlane to work at Image Comics on Sam and Twitch, featuring the policemen from the successful Spawn series. He also soon started working on Hellspawn, a more horror-themed take on Spawn, although his work on both these titles ceased soon after he started at Marvel.
Ah, now I see where he got his start: on some Image titles that have been since regarded as junk.
In 2005, Bendis took on his most high-profile project to date, the Avengers series, which he reworked substantially from the very beginning. Relatively new characters were introduced, such as The Sentry, not to mention established Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and Wolverine, even though they had little prior involvement in Avengers. Despite the hesitance of some readers, the relaunch, entitled New Avengers, was a success and spawned multiple spin-offs, such as Mighty Avengers and Dark Avengers, also featuring scripts by Bendis.
Predictably, this is not a critical article, so they won't tell how silly it is that he was in charge of almost the entire Avengers franchise, although Dan Slott has since taken over the not-so-Mighty.
As his tenth anniversary at Marvel beckons, a collected edition of milestone issues from his time there is planned, along with new hardback reprints of his earlier indie work. A major Avengers storyline, Siege, begins in January, which will apparently tie up storylines going back to the very start of his time writing the team.

So, with ten years under his belt, Brian Bendis is showing no signs of slowing down. Hopefully this will be a very happy anniversary for him, and begin another innovative, successful decade.
But not a happy decade for Avengers fans who've been alienated by Bendis' cynical, overrated work. And it's unlikely that any storylines of his from the past 5 years will be tied up, and even if they are, more incoherence is only likely to follow, mainly because this is the Quesada regime that's in charge.

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