Kudos To Bendis With SPOILERS!!

As I spent the majority of December with no computer access and couldn't pick up my books due to Hurricane Sandy, I am majorly behind on these discussions on current books. I am planning a blog about Uncanny Avengers soon (hopefully). However I would be remiss not to acknowledge Brian Michael Bendis' epic run on the Avengers which just ended. Though I have not agreed or even liked some of his decisions and choices, I must give credit that, upon exiting, he left the toys as he found them. Some may say that this defeats the purpose of dramatic narrative but there is something to be said for resetting the board for the next player.

After Avengers #34 and New Avengers #34 (both Ja'13), he has:

  • restored the friendships of Thor, Iron Man and Captain America, healing the rift of Civil War.
  • had Steve Rogers resume the mantle of Captain America, his rightful role.
  • had Henry Pym give up his weird Wasp II persona and once more become Giant-Man and became more emotionally stable.
  • Negated his own Avengers Dissembled storyline by bringing Hawkeye, the Vision and Ant-Man II back to life.
  • Downplayed his Secret Invasion finale by revealing that the Wonderful Wasp was still alive and rescued her with the Original Team!
  • Made the Scarlet Witch sane again and returned her to the only family that loved her.
  • Rehabilitated Wonder Man and had him make peace with the team.
  • Finally made longtime Marvel heroes Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Thing, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Iron Fist and Storm REAL Avengers!
  • once more named Doctor Strange Earth's Sorcerer Supreme!
  • Brought back Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel (now Captain Marvel) and the Black Widow to prominent positions in the MU.
  • hinted that Luke Cage will once more be a "Hero For Hire".
  • And killed off his own character, Victoria Hand to close out his Dark Avengers series.

All-in-all, a very tough act to follow!


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  • There's a famous quote by John Byrne in which he describes himself as "playing fair"... he defines that as making no radical changes in the characters that cannot be "undone" or at least, at the end of a writer's run, that he returns the characters to their status quo so that the next writer has basically a clean slate to begin with again.

    This unfortunately also sounds like an echo of the "appearance of change without real change" philosophy that was in place in the 80s at Marvel.

  • But that approach would work if the characters don't forget that the changes happened. We have to see how, for example, the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man are treated in the Marvel NOW era.

  • A lot of those changes he made were very perfunctory and thrown out that they are kind of insulting to anyone - if anyone there  be- who bought into the drama in the first place.  So again you are saying that continuity - in this case, how things were before Bendis began- trumps any worthwhile story arguments.

    It's pretty damning that the best you can say about his run is that he's reversed most of the changes he made during it before he left.

    Making more Marvel proprties inter-changeable Avengers hardly seems like a great innovation to me.  Using the Avengers to continue what he'd begun in Alias and his work positioning Luke Cage more centrally to offset the whole outdated predominance of blue-eyed white boys in MU are probably the things I'd hail of his time.  Also the too-late-to-matter lampooning of W's presidency that he did with Siege is worth a mention.

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