The release of the Jessica Jones- and Luke Cage-centric New Avengers #38 has Don MacPherson feeling nostalgic for the old Brian Michael Bendis:
New Avengers #38 recaptured the strength of Alias, and it’s clear that Marvel knew this particular issue would appeal to those of us who remember that mature-readers series with fondness. It brought back Gaydos to illustrate the issue. Yes, the visuals were much brighter this time around, but the characters are in a much different mode now as well. The argument between Jessica and Luke allowed Bendis to show off the wonderful beats he can bring to dialogue and the convincing tone with which he dazzled so many readers early on in his career in comics.
Mind you, the 38th issue was really an aberration in the overall picture of New Avengers. Lately, it’s been far more focused on plot than character, on action rather than substances. It’s been criticized (justifiably so, to a certain degree) for misogynist leanings, and despite a strong start, it’s been spinning its wheels with its current “outlaw Avengers” riff. The “Return to Alias” issue show what a strong title it could be, but it also doesn’t leave the reader with the impression that the creators plan a creative shift, with a strong focus on characterization, for the title.
MacPherson launches into a re-examination of much of the Bendis catalog, from Fortune & Glory to Ultimate Spider-Man to Powers to Mighty Avengers, and comes this close to penning a eulogy.
The essay, of course, sparks a thread on Bendis’ message board, where a surprising number of members agree with MacPherson’s assessment.
And then Bendis himself responds:
or i could do what he wanted and he’d write: i used to like bendis but he does the same thing over and over and now i’m bored.
the good news here is i wasn’t aware don was still writing.
bravo for a thought out piece of critism that wasn’t the usual hit and run the internet has allowed to become the standard.
but i love a critique that eats its own premise by acknowledging i just did the thing he liked THE WEEK BEFORE!!
i got to where i am, in my basement , making off beat choices and i will continue to do so. even back when he ‘liked’ me i was making choices he hated. i remember him not liking them.
the reason i am still running with the bulls is you really don’t know what i will do next. so, may i say, i bet this critique will be dated before the summer’s end. so nyah.
Much more at both links, of course.