How Brian Michael Bendis Ruined The Avengers For Me

The Avengers was always one of my favorite team books. I started with the Steve Englehart stories, and fell in love with the team. I went back and re-read Stan Lee’s beginnings and Roy Thomas’ run. Stood amazed by the Korvac Saga. I stuck it out through the Crossing. And was completely blown away by Kurt Busiek’s amazing run.

And then Brian Michael Bendis comes in and craps on 49 years of Avengers history.

Now before you read any further, you need to understand I don’t completely hate Bendis. I love his creator own series Powers. It’s one of the best books out there. His run on Daredevil was gritty, grim, and just wonderful. And with Ultimate Spider-Man, he gets how today’s teenagers interact. But he can not write a team book. Nor should he have been allowed to.

Ever since he took over the book with Avengers Disassembled, the feel of the Avengers has been missing. It’s not something I can fully explain, but the previous writers got it. There was just an interaction element that just always seemed to be missing.

But here’s what really ruined the Avengers for me:

  • AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED – Let’s start at the beginning. Busiek did a great job of incorporating chaos magic into Scarlet Witch’s abilities. But Bendis comes in, and instead of trying to write around things, he feels it’s better to destroy the old Avengers so he can start his own series.
  • NEW AVENGERS – Captain America and Iron Man pretty much re-assemble the Avengers with other people that happen to be involved with a jailbreak they have stopped. I have no issue with that. What my problem is,  there were over 40 previous Avengers that Cap and Iron Man could have asked to be on the new team. But I guess Bendis didn’t know how to write them.
  • WOLVERINE – Wolverine an Avenger? Are you serious? Let’s call a spade a spade. Bendis put Wolverine and Spider-Man on the Avengers to sell books. And it’s a marketing tactic that worked. I feel that Spider-Man deserves a place on the team, but Wolverine? NO! He’s a psychopath that works better on the X-Men. Plus the already overexposure of him, putting him on the Avengers was just plain overkill. And can one of the moron editors at Marvel just keep Wolverine on one freaking team, not 10 different ones at the same freaking time.
  • SENTRY – The Sentry started off as this great concept with an interesting marketing plan behind it. Marvel worked with Wizard Magazine to make it seem like the Sentry was a lost creation of Stan Lee. The actual creators, Paul Jenkins and Rick Veitch, came up with an origin, making him one of the first Marvel heroes, influencing a lot of the other Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk. But he was forgotten by the Marvel Universe. The mini series really wrapped up nicely with everyone forgetting the Sentry again. That is until Bendis just had to have him. Some concepts just should never be touched.
  • HAWKEYE – OH MY GOD! This is the one thing that I so want to take Bendis out back and beat the snot out of him. The way he screwed with Hawkeye was freaking ridiculous. First Bendis kills him off in a lame way. Then he brings him back to life as a master martial artist. WTF!!! Look at Hawkeye’s history. He’s never been a master martial artist. He’s a scrapper that gets by. Then Bendis retcons Hawkeye’s origin by saying he was always this way, but Bendis won’t admit it’s a freaking retcon. Then when he brings Hawkeye back, he’s not even Hawkeye. He’s a new character called Ronin. He gives up being Hawkeye because Cap was dead at the time and Iron Man was acting like an ass. NEWSFLASH!! Look at 40 yrs of Hawkeye’s personality. He’d be Hawkeye to honor Cap, and to rub it in Iron Man’s face. And then finally, he drops the Ronin identity and becomes Hawkeye again, WITHOUT A FREAKING EXPLANATION WHY!!! Please Bendis, just stay away from Hawkeye.
  • NO MORE MUTANTS – Bendis came up with a team up between the Avengers and X-Men entitled House Of M. Basically, both teams are looking for the Scarlet Witch. So long story short, the Scarlet Witch casts a spell with the words “No more mutants”, and the number of mutants worldwide goes from millions to only 198. All these mutants just lose their powers, EXCEPT the X-Men just happen to retain theirs. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! And in true Bendis style, NO FREAKING EXPLANATION WHY!! Seriously, to this day, Marvel still REFUSES to explain why the X-Men didn’t lose their powers. This is just hack writing. Plain and simple. A good writer would have made the X-Men lose their powers and then make up a new team of X-Men out of 198 mutants that still remain. Or at least explain the damn thing.
  • NEW NEW AVENGERS – So after this lame event the Civil War (don’t ask), the Avengers split in half with one of those teams being the New Avengers. Talk about not having an Avengers feeling. The team included Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Wolverine, and some others as an underground, on-the-run team. So, no base, no tech, no Quinjet, and they call themselves Avengers?? Yeah, don’t think so. Maybe the Defenders.
  • MIGHTY AVENGERS – I think this was Bendis’ attempt at ripping off Justice League International by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, where they incorporated humor with super-heroes. Bendis takes the Marvel Universe’s heaviest hitters and tries to make it funny. It wasn’t funny. The so-called humor was ill placed and clunky. It was just so horrible.
  • THE HOOD – The Hood was another character that was great in his own mini-series, and staying obscure. That is until Bendis decides to do pretty much the same thing like he did with the Sentry. Screw up another one trick character. He made this two-bit hood somehow in charge a group of super-villains. Some of them wouldn’t follow someone like Dr Doom or Baron Zemo, and they blindly follow the Hood? Bendis described the Hood as like Vito Corleone. Sorry, I just don’t buy it.
  • SECRET INVASION – The point of this one was the shape-shifting aliens Skrulls, would kidnap key people and then impersonate them to take over Earth. Not exactly an original concept, but let’s go with it. Or not. It was a mess, and then there’s a huge battle between the Skrulls and the Marvel heroes, because the Skrulls attack in full force. Did I miss the part that supposed to be a “secret”???
  • NORMAN OSBORN – Osborn was the original Green Goblin, and Spider-Man’s main arch-enemy. He killed Spider-Man’s girlfriend. He died. He came back. He continued to torture Spider-Man. And the whole world knew he was off his rocker. This was all before Bendis. Then it’s Bendis’ brilliant idea to make Osborn in charge of national security. Seriously? Everyone in the Marvel universe knows his past record. There is no possible way anyone would put him in charge of National Security.
  • DARK AVENGERS – Take a group of villains and then dress them up as heroes to gain public trust. But no one knows their villains. Hmmm. Where have I heard that idea from? Oh yeah. Kurt Busiek’s Thunderbolts!! And Busiek did it better!!! Seriously, just get an original concept.

It was all of this that just turned me off from the Avengers. And yet Bendis keeps getting praise for his run. WHY??? He’s turned this book into crap.

Now some people will argue it sold a lot of books. Hate to tell you this, but just because something sells well doesn’t mean it’s good. When was the last time Will Farrell won an Oscar? Exactly! Never. But yet his crappy movies are box office hits. Same holds true with Bendis and the Avengers.

The only saving grace right now is Bendis is leaving the book. There is a God!!

Now just hopefully the moron Idiots In Charge at Marvel will get their heads out of their asses and get a good writer for the Avengers. If they really had any brains, they’d beg Busiek to come back and fix things.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.