Tilting at Windmills
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Comics Should be Good
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What do you like better – the current New Avengers format or would you like the book to revert back to the old style of Avengers?
I like my Avengers to be sterling non-douchebag heroes.
What do you mean specifically? Do you mean having spider-man and wolverine in it? I think the current lineup is true to the original spirit of the title. Originally Marvel just took their top 7 or so characters and decided to have them join up together.
The one constant for the mighty A’s has always been change. They rarely went 12 issues without switching their membership.
I’d like them to replace wolverine (especially since he lives in SF now) with someone else from the X-men comics, maybe Cannonball, but that’s neither here nor there.
I don’t mind who’s in the lineup, as long as the Avengers are actually effective and the stories have a point.
Phil, the Avengers went about 400-odd issues having it be an organized team backed by the government (or the international community).
Now it is a loose affiliation of a bunch of Marvel’s more popular heroes, much like it was in the beginning of the series, as you note.
So which do you prefer?
Actually, I’d settle for having the Avengers stand for something again.
Back when Disassembled was going down, the solicits said that this was the beginning of a new era in Avengers history. It’s four years later, and I still have no clue what this is supposed to be a new era of. What is this book’s freaking direction supposed to be?
Definately revert back to its older style. Of all the books Marvel puts out the Avengers should be the one that defines old school super hero comics. This book should be the one where world class villians try to take over the world cause they can, and only earths mightiest heros can stop them. Avengers stories always seem to be at there weakest when they get too soap opera like…leave that to the x-men. Its one of the reasons I wasnt able to get into the Bendis stuff. He seems much more comfortable with smaller scale one on one stories, but when he tries to do big sweeping saga’s his story telling seems to suffer
I never read Avengers as a kid. I started reading comics as an adult because of New Avengers.
I want an Avengers comic with good stories and artwork. It doesn’t matter if it’s New Avengers-style or traditional Avengers style. I mean, I don’t want the title to revert back to ’90s nonsense, or regress back to boring hero-vs.villain stuff, or devolve back into constant melodrama, or relapse back to constant in-fighting.
I bought virtually every Avengers comic since 1968 (with a few brief time outs because it sucked sooo bad). I haven’t bought it in about two years.
I’ll be back when Hawkeye comes back. I mean real Hawkeye, with bow and arrows and a smile on his face.
I prefer the New Avengers over “classic” Avengers. Although I only really got into them after Civil War and before Secret Invasion. The Elektra and Hood arcs are great! Unfortunately the Secret Invasion issues have been terrible. I’m hoping New Avengers will regain the same momentum it did after Civil War.
The biggest problem with the New Avengers status is that they’re a group of characters that the book rotates around. Sure, they had an adventure when they discovered Skrullektra, and when they fought The Hood’s group of villains… but during Civil War and now during Secret Invasion, the book doesn’t actually star The Avengers (New or Mighty!).
I don’t care if they’re a loose collection of Marvel’s Most Merchandisable Heroes. I want to see them DO THINGS, and for all his glory, Brian Michael Bendis hasn’t figured out how to do that without hitting the pause button for every Big Summer Crossover. How painful is it going to be when, during Dark Reign, we get four different books telling Avengersesque backstories in Mighty Avengers, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, and Secret Av… oops, Warriors? There will be, theoretically, four teams, with their respective books just telling backstories of characters that may or may not have anything to do with that team’s roster or status in Dark Reign.
I yearn for the days of “Avengers Assemble!” and being able to read the team’s adventures in the book that bears their title.
I miss my Avengers. So…uh….I guess I’m all for old school. Busiek and Perez did such a great job with retaining that classic feel while drastically moving stories forwards. That’s the model I enjoy the most.
I’m with Anun – it was actually the Busiek/Perez period that made me care about the Avengers at all. It doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be done the way Busiek did, but I want to feel like the writer and artist care about the essence of the title, and what purpose it served in its corner of the Marvel universe.
I’m beginning to notice that when this current core brain trust at Marvel Comics decide that they want to take a title or a character in a new direction, they don’t so much as close the door on the previous direction as they do SLAM the door on it. I don’t care for that.
And even if I hadn’t gotten tired of the way Bendis writes his scripts already, I wouldn’t have given New Avengers (or even Mighty Avengers) the time of day, just because I was so turned off by “Disassembled.”
Y’know, most of the time the Government charter wasn’t a major aspect of the book, anyway. Like I don’t remember it being brought up much in the Thomas or Stern runs. It’s not all THAT big a difference.
I guess I, in theory, prefer the new set-up, if not (oh LORD no) the actual stories.
I prefer reading the Avengers when they have a strong mission statement, such as “to fight the foes no single super-hero can withstand”. Not necessarily that particular one, but something. Something more than “a book with the most commercialist* intellectual properties between two covers”.
* Thanks Walt Simonson!
I’m with Michael.
The only experience I had with Avengers was in the early 90’s, and today I have read a sampling of old stories from the 80’s. The Avengers were the JLA of Marvel, THE group other supergroups aspire too. If all they could aspire to these days are ninjas and brawlers and guilt-tripping ninjas who used to use bows and arrows, then what hope could Marvel have?
Isn’t that what’s eventually going to happen anyway? How long can you be the New Avengers? After a while, you’re just the Avengers.
I just think it’s funny how so many people bitch about the Avengers since Bendis took over. Look at the very consistent, high sales figures for New Avengers right from the first issue ’til the current one. Obviously the book has reached an audience it hasn’t achieved for many years. I hadn’t picked up an Avengers book since the late eighties until “Disassembled” and now I’m hooked. To each their own
Bring back the old Avengers.
In addition to being a terrible book, the New Avengers just doesn’t make any sense in terms of theme or story. How can you the Avengers and the X-Men ever hope to have separate identities if Wolverine is on both teams simultaneously? There’s only one answer: “Who cares? It’s just a comic book.” Therefore, it’s a pre-requisite that you not really care about what’s going on. And inheriting two characters (and ongoing storylines) from an hyper- sexualized adults-only book (because the writer wrote that one too and it got canceled)? That’s so wrong! That’s so sad! New Avengers is a fookin’ tragedy.
I vote for the old style. Or at least someone other than Bendis writing it. I have almost a complete run of the original Avengers series, and I had decided long ago that even if I didn’t like it that would be the one title I continued buying. Bendis finally drove me away from the title around Civial War.
And the original Avengers weren’t so much a case of throwing the top solo characters onto a team together, as they were throwing the top solo Kirby drawn characters onto a team together. Spider-Man especially, but also Dr. Strange were more popular than Ant-Man and Wasp. They just weren’t drawn by Kirby.
Classic Avengers, definitely. “New” and “Mighty” Avengers are just a spotlight on Bendis-like writing and shouldn’t have been called Avengers at all.
Avengers, in my mind, is all about soap-opera stories, but in a lighter, more upbeat tone than the X-Men aim to. Avengers is defined by an optimistic, reassuring flair that has been run to the ground since Disassembled, arguably since The Crossing even.
I don’t particularly have a problem with the current New Avengers roster proper (except for Wolverine. Wolverine has no business ever being an Avenger, even a reserve or provisional one), but for all the interesting character choices that the book has, no one is being written as an Avenger. And Mighty Avengers is a distopian book whose very concept betrays its inaptitude to call itself “Avengers”.
It’s not only the characterization, either. The plot itself is anything but Avengers material. Far too decompressed, far too paranoid, and often far too light-porny.
That’s why I don’t buy either, haven’t since the issue where Yelena was captured in the Savage Land.
Isn’t the Avengers: Initiative & the Mighty Avengers government sponsored teams (remember that lil’ Civil War & the Registration Act…. ??) ???
The matter is that Bendis New Avengers serie started good with the Raft evasion & the idea of some complot going on, taking advantage of the Avengers dissolution but, summer events going on that subplot was lost for some time.
We’re close to the 50th issue & who can remember a high stake, epic story so far ??
They tried it in Mighty but it didn’t work so good.
Finally, don’t forget that Bendis seems to have switch the Lobdell button on by waiting for the next summer event & developing no real theme or story between them.
FOCUS man, please.
New Avengers â‰ Mighty Avengers.
This question was about New Avengers.
And I must say I am a bit surprised/disappointed by your rudeness, bat2supe.
Curious Cat, Robert, stop saying “revert BACK”; it’s incredibly ignorant.
Wow. this. turned into. Bendis bashing. who. would have. thought.
New Avengers sucks? I think that there was awesome character development, making me care about a random assortment of heroes working as one. Not that Avengers before Bendis was bad, but I enjoy what Bendis has done. Recently, it’s stuck in Skrull hell, but that’s to be expected with crossover bullshit.
I wish I had the ability to see the purchasing history of people who bash on writers and books, because I bet that they are bigger fans of the “sucky” Avengers than even I am. The Avengers is a team that changes all the time. Eventually they’ll all come back together into one Avengers team.
Wolverine’s reason for being on New Avengers is due to the “Enemy of the State” storyline. Before the Civil War, it was thought that being on the Avengers would repair his image in the eyes of the marvel universe. You may not like it, but the in-story reason for him to be there kind of makes sense. My problem with his role on the Avengers (and the X-men) is that they put him on the team so he can kill someone. Writers ditched the whole “rehabilitating” schtick Wolverine once had, which I think makes him a weaker character.
As for how he can be with the Avengers and the X-men, well that’s easy. Every six issues of New Avengers is only like 12 hours in comics time. I’m sure Wolverine prefers to be in constant action than sitting around a school teaching kids. Plus if you don’t read any of the other books he’s in, it’s not a problem at all.
All in all I find New Avengers a more refreshing format than the old InterPlanetary crisis of the month format… even though I really don’t like de-compression… It works in a Magnificent Seven/Dirty Dozen kind of way – very different characters coming together by chance and forging a team… I also like the “Unlicensed” aspect…
Hmmm… I prefer the old style BUT we are currently given an ‘old-style’ version in Mighty Avengers, and it is nowhere as good as New Avengers, so… I guess it depends on the comic.
I prefer what we’ve had lately. New Avengers started off rockily, but has been fun superhero action for a year or two now. “Old school” often seems to be a codeword for “boring, retrogressive continuiporn.”
Brian, If my comments seemed like arsh: sorry, it wasn’t my purpose.
If it’s about my feelings about the avengers, it’s only because it kind of lost it’s edge with alot of issues with no great development.
Ok, comparing Bendis to Lobdell is a bit extreme but it’s only comparing the 2 guys structure between 2 events.
FOCUS, wasn’t for you it was for the writer of New Avengers who seemed to lose his grasp on what made the serie so good. I’m impatient to see if the Dark Reign set a good atmosphere.
Give me the classic Avengers anyday. I started collecting around 228, the trial of Hank Pym. I have since gone back and tracked down all but the first nine issues in my collection.
While I have read the New Avengers from the start, the book has been directionless since Civil War, without having a Cap, an Iron Man or a Thor on the team. The title may say New Avengers, but it has felt more like a New Defenders for the last two years.
The main issue I see with the current state of the series is that nothing has been happening. taking from what someone else said, the stories SEEM to be just stalling and set-ups for the next year’s crossover. Yes, SI is finally an Avengers crossover. That notwithstanding, there hasn’t been anything REALLY going on for what… three years?
I’m not objecting to Bendis’ soap opera, melodramatic, “talking heads” issues. Character development issues are critical now and then, especially when the character doesn’t have his own title (EG: Cage). The problem is that we’ve had a LOT of them between crossovers.
I have the whole run – Sept. 1963 to date – and I’ve read them all a couple of times. For the past couple of years…. these aren’t Avengers stories. We’ve always had conflict within the team, and there’s always been an underlying drama, but never to this extent. Think about the Cap/Hawkeye rivalry, Hank Pym slowly going crazy until Yellowjacket erupts, Scarlet Witch and her history (Wundagore, etc.), etc. Those were all there, but UNDERNEATH the main story. Now, they jabber until a fight breaks out, if one happens at all.
The Avengers have always been about big issues – global and cosmic scale – not naval gazing. Sales may be through the roof, but they need to go back to the established theme of the series. Imagine if the X-Men suddenly had NO stories where they were hated and persecuted by the general public? It just wouldn’t work, because that’s not what the book is about. Spider-Man without the guilty responsibility, Ka-Zar not in the jungle, Daredevil not in a street-level setting, etc… It just doesn’t work.
The Avengers need to get back to being a heroic team. Honestly, I don’t care if they’re government backed or not. So long as they’re HEROES, not brooding, emo, depressives without any direction save inward, I’d be happy.
On the other side of the coin, the Mighty Avengers are actually on the right traditional track. What I DON’T like is having them be Stark’s muscle. They’re supposed to be a global protectorate, not his goons. In that respect, let’s have some more international characters. Bring in Sabra, Darkstar, Titanium Man, Radioactive Man, Sunfire (unless he’s dead), etc.
Keep New Avengers as it is. We’ve got Mighty delevering stories told in the classic Avengers pastiche (and I suspect Slott will ramp that up a notch or two when he takes over). I think there’s room for both books to deliever both styles.
Liefeld and Land sell well too. Please, people, don’t pull that out as “proof of quality” when it’s convenient, then dump it when it’s not. And it’s not.
I’m totally for an old skool Avengers. For me the Avengers were the mainstream heroes. They were heroes who had to worry about public opinion and how they were perceived because they stood for something. Be that because they had to fight for a US government charter to aid their work, or had to defend the fact they had Namor on the team etc etc. The X-Men were the cool rebels who didnâ€™t give a heck just had to get the job done, even if the public didnâ€™t understand them.
They were two different team books, telling different sides of the superhero world. When I was a teenager and thought rebels were cool I was X-Men all the way. Then I stopped reading comics. When I got back into comics I gravitated to the Avengers and have ended up collecting in one form or another a complete set of Avengers comics. I love um. I think the reason is Iâ€™m older and now rebels arenâ€™t as cool to me as the rebels are the kids coursing trouble in my college library. Iâ€™ve learnt that life is about compromise and sometimes having to make the tough uncool choices.
Now Iâ€™m not saying the â€˜classicâ€™ Avengers is mature book â€“ thatâ€™d be bunkum, itâ€™s a silly fun Superhero book I happen to really like â€“ but its just the book that appeals to my older more conservative self (with a small c a small c not the Tories for those that follow UK politics â€“ heaven forbid I every become Conservativeâ€¦ Iâ€™m getting off track) as it touches on the more conformist world my life now sits in.
For me the New Avengers are just another bunch of cool rebel heroes. Even before Civil War they just didnâ€™t have the same feel to them. After Civil War, well I didnâ€™t recognise them at all as the heroes I used to love. Iâ€™ve stuck with it as I enjoy some of the stories and Iâ€™ve hoped that Bendis would turn things around. He hasnâ€™t and post Secret Invasion Iâ€™ll make a decision about whether enough is enough.
Yes the Mighty Avengers seems to be set up to be the old skool Avengers BUT the post Civil War set up just hasnâ€™t worked. I had enough of the two team getting to together for something or other and then Ms Marvel having to tell everyone â€“ nah weâ€™ll not arrest them for reasons x, y and z. Stop it already. So again with Mighty Avengers Iâ€™ll wait until after Secret Invasion and see how itâ€™s going.
The Avengers titles just feels like a brand that happens to be written by the most popular writer of the minute and to heck with what it used to mean. It feels to me a bit like putting Coke in a 7up bottle but still expecting people to believe its 7up cos the labels the same.
That said alas it doesnâ€™t matter what I think as while its doing so well and â€˜funâ€™ comics arenâ€™t, good luck to them and maybe its not a bad thing that old skool people like me are being left behind. I have my back issues and maybe the industry needs some new blood.
See the problem is while I think this book should go back ( hah see R.J. Sterling I didnt do it this time) to its more traditional roots it really cant while Bendis is writing it. Honostly I think that Bendis has shown he really dosnt work well with traditional superhero story telling.Even the “traditional book” Mighty Avengers only managed about 2 old school story arcs (that were only about average) before falling back to his usual slow moving character study stories.
And while there is nothing wrong with stories like this, Im not sure if they’re right for what should be the center piece of the Marvel universe. Im not trying to bash him, in fact I think he is a very good writer, but the Avengers should be a action book, and I dont think Bendis is a action writer
I think the organized-ness of the Avengers is what they’re all about. And the Avengers is Cap, Iron Man and Thor, no argument. So yeah, old-style. Bendis makes “Secret Defenders” jokes but that’s what his Avengers comes off as, a collection of random characters with not much idea or logic behind them.
Another thing, what is this “Dark Avengers” bullshit? What’s next, LESSER-SPOTTED AVENGERS? AVENGERS IN LOVE?
Prior to Bendis, Avengers was a book that few people gave a rat’s ass about… it was popular during Heroes Return, if only decent in terms of quality, but waned in interest after Perez left, was largely forgettable during Johns’ short tenure, and was outright bad during Austen. These periods had the Avengers as a generic super-team like the JLA, except defined not by successful proven characters, but by an incestuous mix of characters from the Pym/Williams/Maximoff family tree that had dominated the book for too long.
Bendis’ Avengers had a shaky start, but it was at least a book where things happened that were interesting and entertaining. And since Civil War split the team in two, one the Rebellion and the other the Evil Empire, the franchise has finally gained a conceptual purpose beyond ” generic super-team “.
Marvel would be foolish to regress to the old model of the Avengers being a clique of stereotypical do-gooders that hangs out in Tony’s mansion club-house.
The Avengers should be all about trying new things–the team almost completely changed very early in the Lee/Kirby run.
What they should really be doing, to preserve the “let’s beat up a giant menace” feel, is creating some new ubervillains. The old ones have all been worked into Annihilation, big events and single character books, so it’s hard to work with them. So it would be an exercise in creativity on Marvel’s part to see if they can create a new menace who is original, untied from continuity, and reusable, and that can give the Avengers a real mission.
Avengers (both New and Mighty) is better-written and more interesting & relevant now than it’s been in at least a dozen years, and maybe since Stern was writing it — and possibly since Shooter’s first run in the late 70s. I’m amazed anyone would want to go back to (say) the lazy meandering soap opera of the Kurt Busiek run, or the obscure stuff of the Bob Harras run. In fact, there have been far more bad runs on the book than good ones.
One comment here said Avengers was all about light upbeat soap-opera. Avengers has been a terrible book when it was focused on that stuff (not the occasional story, but when that was the focus). One of the reasons the book needed a drastic reboot like Disassembled was because it was all navel-gazing light soap opera.
I can see how Wolverine might want to be an Avenger to redeem himself.
Or rather, I could, if only he didn’t have just as good opportunities as a member of so many other teams. Besides, he gave up on that fairly quickly, didn’t he? He’s now an X-Force member for crying out loud…
More to the point, he is not supposed to fit into the Avengers. And he doesn’t.
Put me down for Old School Avengers.
I’m not opposed to having membership shakeups or offbeat choices on the team, but it doesn’t make ANY sense to me to have Wolverine, Luke Cage and Spider-Man as Avengers (especially when Wolverine is still an X-Man).
I think it’s funny that someone said it should return to being the center-piece of the Marvel Universe since that’s exactly what it became since Bendis joined the book. Pre-Bendis the book struck me as being “JLA-with-Marvel-characters”.
old style. I only ever read the third volume, Busiek forward and not even all of that, but that was far superior to what they;re putting out now.
Give me the Korvac-era Avengers and big battles with power mad super villains. Give me Cap, Thor, and Ironman working together as friends. Give me more fun stories and less important ones.
And for God’s sake, keep Wolverine in the X-ghetto where he freakin’ belongs! Spider-man can take a hike, too!
And i say it again, I am all that is wrong with comics’ fandom!
So are you glad you’re what’s wrong with what’s wrong with comics fandom or are you negating the other things you say?
If they wanted to put an X-man on the Avengers and have it not be Beast I’d rather it be Storm or Iceman. Or hell maybe when Jean comes back she should move away from the X.
I was a DC kid first,so what interested me in the Avengers was what made them distinct from the JLA.
So, I thought it was cool that they weren’t just a collection of the biggest guns in the Marvel U. They seemed to have some organizing principle that excluded Spidey and Wolverine. It made a group like the Defenders possible, since there were lots of second-tier Marvel characters that weren’t able to carry solo titles, weren’t going live in the X-Mansion and didn’t fit on the Avengers.
As the revolving door kept spinning, that line blurred more and more. I just lost interest in the Avengers.
The fact that they tossed Spidey and Wolverine into the group didn’t shock me. Morrison’s Big Gun version of the JLA was a huge hit and Marvel was bound to try it sooner or later. I’m sure a lot of people like it. It just doesn’t seem like the Avengers to me.
I find it amusing that the current line-up is more in tune with the original line-up than it has been in years. It was originally about taking the big stars of Marvel other than the FF and putting them together in one book.
Also, with Mighty Avengers we get both, especially now that Slott is writing.
I don’t buy Luke Cage or Iron Fist as that big a stars. Hawkeye could never carry a solo comic, especially in a different title.
Dr. Strange has also frequently failed to succeed in solos.
So you think Slott’ll be more like say the 70’s to 90’s?
While I don’t think that Spider-man and Wolverine are characters that are bad for the Avengers, It always came across to me that the Avengers was a team of heroes who weren’t overexposed or could hold their own in a solo series.
Neither, JB. I’m just trying to defuse the inevitable, “ah, man, you just want everything to stay the way it was when you were 12″ comments by embracing them.
Quite frankly, when it comes to mainstream super-hero titles like the Avengers or the Justice League of America, that is precisely what I want. That’s not to say comics can’t evolve or that super-hero comics can’t explore other themes and stories. I just don’t think that evolution or exploration should take place in mainstream super-hero titles.
Another cliche of mine: Just because I grew up doesn’t mean Superman has to grow up.
Vincent, I understand from your post the idea that there should always be good ol’ superhero books on the shelves, even while other books go in different directions. But why should it necessarily be Avengers or Justice League of America (for example) that stay the same? Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis’ Justice League was a fairly radical departure from mainstream superheroes at the time, and it remains one of the great runs on the book. So why can’t the Avengers be a more adult-oriented book for a while?
Mainstream superhero readers still have plenty of titles to choose from – Amazing Spider-Man and Trinity both come to mind, or for that matter the present Justice League of America.
Captain America’s always been a more classical superhero book, except when Steranko wrote it and it became an espionage thriller that appeals more to adults; it reverted to being a normal superhero book again, most of the time, for the next 30 years, until Brubaker went back to the Steranko style. And someday it’ll probably become a superhero book again.
The Avengers were an extremely straightforward superhero book, for a long, long time, and Bendis is the only one that’s tried to do the adult thing with it in many, many years… actually he may be the first ever, with that particular title. It was probably one of the last titles left that had never really got a dose of that whole post-Watchmen “What would these heroes be like if they had real, adult emotions and failings and so forth?,” whereas the Justice League had gotten it right away.
I do think the Anengers book(s) needed some grounding in a healthy dose of reality, and the characters merit some exploration as humans. And I’m not even a huge fan of Bendis’ Avengers. I think he demystifies the characters far TOO much, to the point that they’re not even heroes anymore half the time, and I don’t think he pays enough attention to who the characters are before he gets his hands on them (only whom he wants them to become)… but it was still about time we saw an Avengers run that wasn’t all superhero theatrics.
Stefan, our discourse may be doomed before it’s begun simply because of the example you use. Y’see, I’m one of the few people who would not agree that the Giffen & DeMatteis run of Justice League was “one of the great runs on the book.” As a kid who grew up with the Satellite JLA, the sitcom-era League irked me to no end. “This is the “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes” I’d ask myself. And still do, I suppose.
I’d say that a book like Justice League of America or the Avengers should primarily about “super-hero theatrics.” If the writer is skilled enough to weave some other themes into the big hero / villain fight, cool. If not, he/she shouldn’t try. In short, don’t write “important” at the expense of fun.
Part of my anger is directed at all these “important” stories like Civil War and Identity Crisis. My reasoning is thus; if I read a bad story about a battle between Dr. Doom and the Fantastic Four, I’m bummed for the length of that comic. But, I figure, maybe next month I’ll read a good story about a battle between Blastaar and the FF.
OTOH if I read a bad “important” story about Hal Jordan going nuts and killing a whole lot of people, I’ve got that crapt staring me in the face for years.
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