Tagged: Brian Michael Bendis

Identity Crisis: Is Marvel Ashamed of Their Classic Characters?

I have been pretty open about the fact that I really don’t read any Marvel Comics anymore these days and part of the problem for me is that they just don’t intrigue me the way they used to even a decade ago. I guess I was inspired to write my thoughts here as a bit of a response to the recent news that now Tony Stark will be retired as Iron Man soon. That’s fine by me but It seems that Marvel just can’t stop changing their classic characters races and genders. Now don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s always been an interesting concept to take a character like Iron Man even back in the 1980’s & have James Rhodes take over the suit or Bucky & The Falcon taking over the mantle of Captain America. However more recently it appears that Marvel is on a mission to change up nearly every classic character’s identity in some way shape or form. I mean the Fucking Hulk has even changed into The Totally Awesome Hulk with Amadeus Cho as the alter ego.  

I totally understand that Marvel is trying go a long with current social issues by trying to incorporate more diversity into their comic books. I really do commend them for the effort but after numerous changes to the gender, race and identities of Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Wolverine and now Iron Man (there are likely more) it’s beginning to seem like Marvel has just run out of good stories for their classics. Or perhaps people indeed are really fucking bored with the traditional Marvel universe? Marvel these days seems more worried about what race and gender their classic character’s are than giving people truly intriguing stories.

 I don’t mind a little change up here and there, in fact I totally dig it (heck I loved when Heather Hudson took on the role of Vindicator and lead Alpha Flight-it was a smooth, intelligent totally righteous transition) but it seems that Marvel has largely forgotten that they could simply bring more existing characters into the limelight rather than giving all of their classics a brand new identity? I think it’d be equally exciting to get some some brand new superheroes on the shelf rather than constantly changing the classics. I know times have changed and more people than ever read comics, it’s not just the stereotypical geeky men of yesteryear buying them up, so naturally they may want to rethink their strategy. I get it. 

 

It’s actually become somewhat of a  predictable move for Marvel in 2016, deciding to ditch Tony Stark and reboot a new series with a female Iron Man but (a bit odd to still call the book “The Invincible Iron Man” with a female lead, it must be because they don’t want to risk losing any money ditching the name?). I don’t think it’s really that odd of an idea for a woman to design her own Iron Man armor and start kicking ass. Though it seems like Marvel might trying a tad too hard to be relevant in 2016. We all know controversy does sell quite well…

 

For me there has always been a lot of pleasure in picking up a comic book and reading stories that take me away from our daily routines, media trends, political ideals, online debates and reality in general. I want as much diversity in comics as possible but it’s not feeling real genuine to me these days from the big Marvel cash machine doing anything it can to make a quick buck. I’ve heard as well the debates now heating up about the race and gender of the writers and that they’ve got to match the characters of the comic book they are writing…At some point I think all of this becomes a bit of a drag.

We’re talking about characters that were intended for kids that now have become somewhat of hot button for everyone and their mother & father to get all up in arms about. The landscape of comic books has changed quite a bit over the years and at least Marvel’s approach feels like they’re desperately trying to fit in. Perhaps it’s true people are tired of the old gang of Tony Starks and Bruce Banners. Perhaps their story has already been told and feels tired but I’m hoping Marvel will at some point settle on “who’s who” and let us all just get on with some incredible superhero stories. What do you think? Are you bored with the classic characters? Is Marvel setting bold new trends? Let me know what you think!

Comic Book Cover of the Week: Matt Murdock’s Crappy Christmas!!

I love digging up cool comic books that took place around Christmas time and Daredevil #229 fits that bill quite perfectly! This is an especially rad cover of a time when Matt Murdock went homeless on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen due to the Kingpin ruining his entire life. This has got to be one of the lowest points in the characters history as Murdock is down on his luck in this grim story arc written by Frank Miller before he turned into a crazy douche bag. This issue also has one of the most brutal fights between Murdock and the Kingpin as they go head to head in Fisk’s office. It’s bloody and Matt gets his ass kicked big time…damn I’m feeling as I type this the urge to read these issues again immediately! The cover is brilliantly drawn back in 1986 by one of my fav artists David Mazzucchelli and clearly shows how crappy Christmas was that particular year for Daredevil….

Walt Simonson What Happened?!

I have done several posts here about how the “old dog” comic artists need to come back and show the young’ins how it’s done. I have ranted about John Byrne, Mike Zeck, Barry Windsor Smith and Walt Simonson. Well I guess I am going to eat my words here as I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. Walt Simonson’s latest artwork well kinda….SUCKS. There I said it. It’s out there on the table. I was initially thrilled to find out that him and Bendis were teaming up for the latest running arc of The Avengers but upon initially seeing the artwork I was stunned at just how terrible his skills have gotten over the years. So what gives? Did he just forget how to draw? Was he rushed and didn’t give a shit? Or am I crazy and maybe he always sucked? Lets take a closer look…

New Simonson 2012 (these are random images I found online, perhaps I can scan some soon that may really get my point across, however if you are reading Avengers currently you know what I mean) :

Walt Simonson 1980’s:

Well Walt all I ask is that you put a little more effort into it dude! It’s clear you got the skills still, maybe you don’t think you need to prove anything? Well I’ll be watching closely for a return to form

Marvel NOW! is Coming But is Anyone Excited?

So the big word on the streets is all about Marvel NOW! The upcoming relaunch of the Marvel Universe slated to begin in October 2012, launching one new title every week for months into 2013. Thankfully it claims not to mess with the continuity of things that have already transpired. So we can all just wonder why are they doing this? They claim several reasons, the main one being that this is the result to the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-men and the real reason is obviously due to the success of The Avengers. Alex Alonso states “these stories will be accessible to lapsed readers—the guy who likes, say, Captain America, but doesn’t know where to start—and anyone who saw a Marvel movie or heard the buzz about Marvel NOW!”

So now it makes a LOT more sense, it was clear that the movies suddenly started dictating the comic books which is strange because I had always hoped it would be the exact opposite. It’s always a bit depressing when major superheroes costumes suddenly start to mimic the movie counterparts. It made me laugh pretty hard when Nick Fury suddenly appears now in the normal Marvel Universe as an African American guy. It just so happens that the original Fury had a “secret son” Sgt. Marcus Johnson and guess what? He’s black! How convenient! Suddenly now Fury decides it’s time to retire and yes his son decides to start going by his “original name birth name” Nick Fury! Oh yeah he also by chance lost one of his eyes and wear a pirate patch!! Ha ha ha…wow that had to be the lamest move Marvel could’ve made. Which leads to the true reasons for all these changes. Money.

So what will we see next? First up is The Uncanny Avengers, a mix of X-men and Avengers in a new book. I’m fine with that, it might even be totally rad. I just kinda hate these re-envisioning things that happen every x number of years. How often do they really stick? Things usually go back to normal as usual because as it always goes if it ain’t broken it don’t need fixin’! The plus side is maybe it will be amazing? The Marvel Universe is indeed in my opinion needing new ideas, artists and writers on most of their books. We may also get some new fresh titles to choose from. I am excited most about that-new titles. On a closing note what I am not excited about is this weird armor that The Incredible Hulk seems to be wearing in the promo pics. Uggh….Marvel just can’t seem to get the Hulk right in the comics anymore. Well at least we have the movie Hulk! Now that’s a first!!!

Bendis, Maleev and Moon Knight!

Today the brand new debut issue of Moon Knight came out and I have got to say I set my expectations pretty high. What I have been hoping for here is that lightning will strike twice-meaning Bendis and Maleev will bring to Moon Knight what they did for Daredevil years ago. Let me start by saying the Bendis / Maleev run on Daredevil was one of the best reads I have ever had on a comic book. It was easily one of the most consistently great ones at the very least.

Now however Bendis, who lives right around the corner from my store here in Portland Oregon, has become less than impressive in my opinion in the world of comic books as of late. However Continue reading

Bendis Involved With Spider-Man Reboot??

It seems there are some rumours flying about legendary Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis apparently getting involved with the new Spider-Man reboot film! This sounds like a step in the right direction right? I must admit I am a HUGE fan of some of Bendis’s work. Particularly his run on Daredevil which was absolutely epic. His Avengers run started out brilliantly but eventually just lost it’s charm and now today I’m not sure just how much I trust his judgement anymore. I better watch my words though here, beacause I see him around town here in Portland, where he resides, regularly riding his bike! That’s not to say he’s not one of the best comic story tellers of current times and I must admit I am quite happy to hear that he’s being involved somehow since he has been writing Ultimate Spider-Man for like a 10 years…

Bendis Tweeted this recently: Continue reading

Rob Liefeld = The modern Jack Kirby?

I know this may come a little late for some universaldork readers but since I just stumbled across this, I felt it worthy of my reporting time because not only does it bring up a very serious comic book industry issue for me (more on this later), it’s absolutely fucking bananas and makes me feel even more like

Robert Kirkman is full of shit.

105 - Robert Kirkman, Greg Pak, Rob Liefeld, Jeff Parker

First off, Kirkman’s bizarrely confrontational stance here really bothers me. Why does he need to come protect Liefeld from the school bully that is the comic book message boards? In WIZARD, no less!? Two possibilities here:

A. He genuinely believes this b.s. or

B. Image put him up to this.

Unfortunately, I have to go with A, because at the time of this little editorial, Liefeld wasn’t exclusive to Image and in fact was hard at work on the very forgettable Onslaught: Reborn for Marvel. For those who didn’t click on the link, here are a few gems from the commentary:

“But Rob – who else could you compare to Jack? Rob has the same energy on his pages…”

No. No he doesn’t. What’s being mistaken for “energy” is the ability to cause the brain to work overtime in order to accurately understand what dimension what object is coming from.

Continue reading