I think it's silly to pit Busiek vs Bendis. Both men did great things for Avengers. Busiek was a godsend after HR. Bendis saved the Avengers from a return to mediocrity, which was a serious danger under both Johns and Austen.
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They need to do a Busiek and go back to the classic core members in the team. Lose the New Avengers book and have Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Baby Cage go off into comic book limbo or to the Defenders.
Avengers Assemble is on the right track, but would be better with a different writer and a better artist.
And I willl again say that I liked NA, though Bendis in Avengers sucks.
I am an anarchist. Deal with it.
Look, my point of view and experience more or less matches Corey W's. Bendis is not the first Avengers run I didn't like. Far from it. Englehart was never my favorite writer, so his initial Avg's run (which I only read after he'd left the book) and his WCA run, while having a lot of enjoyable stories (Time, Time and Again, for exemple) did always leave me wanting for the next writer to come along. HATED Shooters second run (yeah, that's right), found it really boring, and Hank was always a favorite, so there may be some bias there (I liked quite a lot his first run). After Simonson left (#300), for me, the book seemed to drag up until Harras and Epting came aboard. Found Byrn'e run boring (although I was loving him in WCA), Nicieza's (one of my all-time favorites) issues were basically fill-in, and, although moderately enjoyable, were just that and never moved along the story, and Hama seemed to have some good ideas, but just didn't click with me. Of course, It helped that I was loving WCA throuout all this, so I was having my Avengers fix. Austen goes down for me as the absolute worst Avengers run (yes, even worst than Bendis'), and While I didn't like much Disassembled, I could see that it's purpose was to clean house, so I gave it a pass. Although Wolverine's membership stuck (and still sticks) my craw, I liked the first arc. After that it was a little lukewarm up until Civil War. I could see that Bendis was never going to be one of my favorite Avengers writers, but I could stand him a little bit until the next came along. After Civil War (which, I'll admit, had, IMHO, some of Bendis best Avengers related work), I started to get really frustrated and fed up. Bendis' Mighty "Avengery" book was anything but, his New Avengers had nothing in common with an Avengers team, and yet another event was comming along centered on these (at this point, for me, of course) tottaly unlikable characters. So, for me, Bendis greatest "sin" as an Avengers writer was not dumping the classic members, writing boring stories, or even bringing in Wolverine, it was staying on too long. He really should have left after Seige. It was the perfect jumping off point for him, but he chose to remain, and it's been way too long eight plus years for the Avengers fan. I'm happy someone else will have a chance soon.
Nomads1, I think we can all agree that Austen's was the worst. I mean that from an objective point of view. Bendis has supporters. I have yet to see someone defend the Austen run.
Edit: Actually, I'm not going to link it. I found the post, but I was really too light on it. I think I posted it when I was quite new to the Avengers. It's embarrassing to read in hindsight
Long story short, here are the reasons I think Austen was a better writer than Bendis:
- Austen came up with semi-original ideas rather than recycling the same ones (e.g. Austen came up with New Invaders, Bendis did this)
- Austen left his mark on the franchise by introducing a new character rather than getting rid of most of the existing team (i.e. he didn't write Disassembled)
- The stories were well-paced in terms of setup, conflict and resolution. There weren't any long periods of decompression with sudden endings.
- The character voices were unique as opposed to Bendis's "everybody sounds like a snarky teenager" style
- There was balance between character usage - nobody was wallpaper, everyone had at least a few lines.
Yes, Austen's characterizations were often extremely flawed. The same applies to Bendis. Yes, Austen's dialogue was awful, soap-opera-inspired drivel. Same applies to Bendis. Austen had Hawkeye making out with Wasp. Bendis had him change into a ninja costume and execute an unarmed Skrull.
Finally, Austen's run is skippable. Hate it? That's fine, no major status quo changes happen anyway. Move along. Bendis's run, on the other hand, lasted eight years and became Marvel's flagship title. Hate it? Tough shit, it's now the high-selling core of the Marvel Universe.
Last edited by Telos; 05-07-2012 at 08:12 AM.
I suppose it could be possible that Austen gets more flak then he deserves. But, after you read his story about an evil Superman raping a woman to death, it's had to remain objective with the rest of his work.
His Avengers work is the only Austen stuff I've read, but I've heard how bad some of his other runs have been. I'm actually tempted to buy his X-Men run purely for comedy value.
Bendis was terrible from the beginning. Sorry, it's true.
I will say I liked Austen's Exiles, though.
Adults struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life when the answer is obvious to the smallest child: because it's not real. - Grant Morrison