Have a drink. It might help that mortis attitude of yours.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good Writing vs. Well...Bad Writing

I want to point out that I don’t hate Marvel. I’m not sure why I feel the need to preface all my Marvel oriented posts this way, but I do. Perhaps, it’s some deep-seated guilt about all the 616 bashing I do outside of the Internet. So, despite what you may think, I don’t hate Marvel. I’m just a little more critical of them.

This brings us to the recent split of a singular title into two: New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. The former is written by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by Leinil Yu; the latter is written by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by Frank Cho. The former works; the latter does not.

It’s been two months since the first team of Marvel fractured. It’s enough time for two issues of each title to his the stands; to see Luke Cage lead his team of outlaws on the beginnings of a great journey; to see Iron Man’s team fall apart as a group and as a comic. So how can two titles with the same core, written by the same guy, wind up as polar opposites? The answer is in the writing.

Now we know that when Bendis is on, he can craft a story: Jinx, Alias, Powers, the first two or three years of Ultimate Spider-man. With New Avengers, he is bringing his A-game. The dialogue is snappy, the action pops, the plots moves with thought and reason. The characters, the team has a purpose for being, a solid goal.

This is where Mighty Avengers fails. There is no center to the team, no reason they have to be Avengers. Hell, half the first issue is Iron Man picking his line up. With no motivation, a character is going to be found lacking. As a result the story will be found lacking. This is why the tone of the comic is so incongruous with the rest of the 616 Universe. This is why the book doesn’t feel cohesive, with far too much time spent on unfunny thought balloons and the monologues of a naked villainess.

At its very heart, New Avengers is a story about a group of heroes doing the best they can under terrible conditions. Bendis writes it this way. At its very heart Mighty Avengers is a comic because Bendis wanted an Avengers team that could face cosmic level threats and because Iron Man wanted a “Thor”, a “Wolverine”, and a “ninja.”


Anonymous Baal said...

Oh, I'm going to have to disagree with your assessment about which Avengers title is better. The New Avengers seems to me to be self-indulgent and a little pointless with it's focus all over the place and not anywhere interesting in the process. It also stars characters with lockjaw who fight in the dark (sorry. Yu is so not to my taste). In mIghty we have heroes (for the most part) who want to be heroes, clean art that has a story flow to it, a focus that makes sense when it wanders, and a feeling that Mighty is going to go somewhere rather than the static feel to New. 'Course, it's all down to taste so no one's really right ro wrong ina debate like this.

11:44 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

Well, New Avengers has Luke Cage in it, and Mighty Avengers has Tony Stark.

I'm going with New Avengers. Simple as that.

11:03 AM


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