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Monday, June 19, 2017 

Bendis is turning Defenders into yet another "street level" vision of his

Blastr interviewed the pretentious Brian Bendis a few weeks ago about his new job writing another volume for the Defenders, which, predictably, he wants to turn into a street level adventure, and even star characters he's already worked with, in a series that's intended to follow up on the Civil War sequel:
The Defenders sees Bendis writing and Marquez drawing a new iteration of the classic Marvel super squad, featuring the same lineup as the upcoming TV Defenders: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist. [...]
In other words, they're also trying to use a gimmick to make the book "recognizable" to anybody who's seen the TV shows. But that doesn't make it readable, let alone faithful or respectable to the source material and/or characters. I'm guessing the TV show using the name Defenders may not put emphasis on sorcery like the older, better series from the Bronze Age with Dr. Strange and Valkyrie did.
Much like the gritty world the Marvel Netflix shows exist in, this series finds our heroes putting their boots on the ground for street-level justice. But don't confuse 'street level' for low-powered action. During a 'Next Big Thing' media conference call that also included Marvel Senior VP Tom Brevoort, Bendis clarified that "street level is not a power set. It's an address."
Sure it is. More likely it'll all be an excuse for Bendis to do things as he alone sees fit, but isn't respectable of how things were done in better times. The idea itself may be what could've been done years before when he was forcing his silly street level vision on the Avengers at the expense of the cast members who gave that series its edge. But it's done much too late, and with a writer who's got no respect for the creations or the audience. And if heroes like Dr. Strange have no part in this rendition, that's one more reason why it otherwise doesn't have a genuine component to make it significant.
He also pointed out that these heroes are doing what superheroes do: saving the day, seeking justice, but they're doing it at the community level, with a sense of immediacy. Marquez also pointed out that the artistic tone of the book is very much noir in design, and even name-dropped Blade Runner and John Wick as stylistic inspiration.
But not Dr. Strange, huh? What if "community level" means SJW activism as it's practiced today? The older series from 1972-86 did have some social commentary, but it wasn't forced like so many of their products from recent years have been. And if Bendis and company are trying to make the series resemble a movie, again, in the words of Sean Howe, that's only a guarantee of failure. Now, here's some of the main interview paragraphs:
Brian, this is one of the few Marvel teams you haven't written before ... though obviously you've written all these characters before. What was the biggest appeal in drawing you to this assignment?

Obviously I have a deep passion for the street-level heroes and stories of the Marvel universe. My intention was to return to the streets after Guardians of the Galaxy no matter what. The fact that all of the pieces that I would need to make this book fell into place just when I needed them to and then they all became big TV stars which made the title of the series obvious :)

These are characters I have a great affinity for. I also really know how they think and relate to each other. Putting that to the test of a new threat to the streets of Marvel was too exciting not to do.
He's boasting and bragging as usual. If he really like them, I don't think he'd see to it that Luke Cage now sported a bald head, for example. In fact, I don't think he'd have his diversity-pandering replacement for Tony Stark, Riri Williams, sport a round-shaped hairstyle when there's so many other styles that they could've used. All he did was make it look like he's stuck too obviously in the 1970s, and wouldn't consider that not all blacks sport those precise styles. His idea for character design is, if anything, absurdly stereotypical, and Cage is decidedly unrecognizable from his original character design.
You said you wanted to do a sprawling epic series set at street level of the Marvel U. Can you share any details of what fans can expect along those lines, like which villains will pop up?

Well we have a very big villain reveal in the Free Comic Book Day issue coming this Saturday but other villains including the Black Cat, Hammerhead and the Kingpin will be front and center. There are some very interesting characters on both sides of the law creeping into this book. Also, with the story set the way it is, there's going to be a lot of opportunity for cameos and team-ups.
What's this he's telling? Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, has been anything but a villainess for years now. When she began, she practically had a sense of honor and respect for Spider-Man too. If he's reverting her back, that's as galling as what they've been doing to Mary Jane Watson, something he certainly hasn't objected to.
What's it like returning to Daredevil and writing that character again on a regular basis?

Well I have snuck him into a few projects over the years including Daredevil: End of Days and other things including New Avengers so I always found a way to scratch that itch. But to get back into him at this level has been like reuniting with one of my best friends after many years away. My very angry Catholic guilt-ridden good friend.
He should never have gotten the assignment to write Hornhead's title either. And his work on any Avengers series, let's remember, was pretty sleazy and pretentious to boot in the past decade when he was working on that franchise, so I wouldn't recommend his Avengers books to any couch potatoes who've seen the Netflix series based on Marvel products.

Since we're on the topic, Blastr also spoke about Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland, and what comics inspired him, or which writer:
“The comics that sort of resonated with me most and I used for my performance was the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. They’re so modern and up-to-date with what’s happening in the world right now. For me, it was just a really, really strong thing to follow and I have so many screenshots on my phone from like lines that were written that I stole to use for the movie.”
Oh, do tell us about it. What's so modern about a book that ultimately led nowhere, and whose doppelganger star was later thrown out by writer Bendis for the sake of a character marketed according to diversity, not good storytelling? In hindsight, it doesn't sound like Marvel was investing much in the Ultimate line to begin with, seeing how several characters were killed off, and resurrection was not an option. If fantasy options were being curtailed, that only destroys - rather than builds - creativity. I don't see what was so great about the Ultimate line that wasn't so great about the Silver/Bronze Age books, and if Holland thinks the Ultimate books are superior in every way to the earlier stories, that just demonstrates what's wrong with today's crowd, which is quite possibly of the "millenial" variety.

Bendis is one of the worst influences on comicdom today, and most Hollywood types are too ignorant to notice.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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