Comics Creators

Marvel Comics: The CB Cebulski Generation Begins!


To be fair that’s the kind of marketing led idea it is hard to do justice with. I remember reading at the time that Marvel had the idea and ‘auditioned’ writers to tell their story. Paul Cornell was writing Wolverine at the time but had his pitch rejected.
I didn’t read Wolverines but the death story was not good at all (hence I didn’t read Wolverines :smile: ).


I’ve never bought the idea that a marketing led comic can’t be good. That’s what the writers for. If you’re good at what you do you produce a good story within the confines you’re given. There was nothing inherently bad with the ideas within the comic, they just weren’t handled very well.

Wolverines on the other hand had almost nothing to do with Death of Wolverine. It was just a weird mishmash of a comic that kept loosing focus and loosing interest in its own story, constantly shifting and ignoring things it set up. It was a bad comic all around.


I think they can be good and have been but it’s a bigger challenge than an idea you have had percolating for months. Especially as from all I read from Cornell’s side it was all very last minute.


Amen. Preach it.

Back to Marvel and how about we give Bendis his due? Works of his I’ve enjoyed have been:

  • Ultimate Spidey - This is what put him on the map and it remains hugely fun. The biggest problem it had towards the end was its failure to realise the value of the character ensemble it had at the time, instad just wiping it away with an event story. I’m hoping Bendis’ stories of Miles in 616 erase the bitter aftertaste that Secret Wars inflicted on the Miles stories, should there be an OHC / Omnibus of those.

  • Daredevil - This was syperb stuff too, right from the start and Maleev was on fire too. It also culminated in perhaps one of the most effective handovers to the new team I’d ever seen. (Brubaker-Maleev passing the baton to Brubaker-Lark)

  • Avengers - For many, this is where it all went wrong, but I’d argue a different point - that the book became Marvel’s event lead-up / aftermath book at the expense of its own identity. Despite that Bendis did a whole lot of good stuff with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Those pages of Avengers Finale with Cage’s narration is just superb.

  • Alias - Without this would Bendis have been able to transfer Luke and Jessica into Avengers? Maybe not. One thing is for sure, Jess will never be quite as spiky a character as she is here. There’s just something about the comics medium and how Bendis puts it to use, while taking advantage of the Max label, that says this will never be bettered.

Just those alone equals a great many comics, other stuff he did that just couldn’t work for me:

  • X-Men / Uncanny X-Men: In the end I bailed on this pileo’ shite midway through. There were some good bits, yes, like the Trial of Jean Grey and yes, Immonen’s incapable of providing crap art. Looming over all it, in spectacularly destructive fashion, was the X-Office agenda of ‘fuck Cyclops’. To that end we have Wolverine as the paragon of morality, the rest of the X-Men being just fine with Beast bringing the younger five X-Men forward in time, because? Something-something-Phoenix, which Scott is absolutely responsible for! Yeah, many pots are calling the kettle black. Bendis tried, of course he tried, but too big an ask.

Two I’ve been deterred from ever trying:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: How could I? I loved the DnA run and they got royally shafted to make way for this. This was one of the earlier indicators of Marvel comics being told to follow the films no matter what. Everything I’ve heard says this was the same as Bendis X-run, he tried but he was given an uphill task to begin with.

  • Civil War II: It just sounded dire. And the evidence for it being so can be seen that it’s been wiped out as fast as possible.

Two runs I’m hearing enough mixed chatter to give a chance to, as both have an OHC next year:

  • Moon Knight: Bendis and Maleev back together? Could work.

  • Iron Man: Been a bit of positive chatter here about this and that’s enough for me.

What’s your assessment?


Charles Soule’s Daredevil has been really really good, I like it a lot. It started out very heavily Miller-inspired, and worked that angle a lot more effectively than most other Miller love letters we’ve seen, Ron Garney’s art was really strong too. It successfully distanced itself from Waid’s run too, which I think was its major obstacle in those early issues. It even pulled off an ill-advised “now we go back and reveal how we got from bright colourful Waid run back to grimness” arc, even though I’d have preferred them to have just left it alone, it worked when all things are considered. For me I think the series really hit its stride when Charles Soule (former lawyer, I believe) started to play up the courtroom aspect of the series, which very few writers have taken full advantage of before. The legal aspects of the series have been the strongest I’ve personally ever read in Daredevil. I will say that I don’t think it measures up to Waid’s run though, there’s not been one consistent artist on it, and some of the art has been sub-par. And then Waid’s run has the advantage of really standing out from the crowd of most other DD comics since Miller, because it switched up the tone completely and still stayed true to the character, so even on its off-days it had the excitement of being something we hadn’t seen before.


It was just okay. It wasn’t horrible but nothing really stood out. If can read it for free or cheap, you may want to give it a shot.


Yes, I’ve been following it in trade (just finished volume 4 a few days ago - which closes with the story that explains how DD made everyone forget his identity after the Waid run).

I’ve found it a bit hit and miss to be honest. Some bits have been very good, and I like Garney’s art a lot. The initial arc was fairly good, and some of the smaller arcs scattered throughout the run have been some of the best (like the story with Spidey, or the two-parter that involves Bullseye).

But some parts haven’t worked so well for me - I don’t think Blindspot really works as part of the book, and some bits have been needlessly ‘dark’ and overly gritty (the arc with the murderous artist just went too far for me).

Overall, I get the sense that Soule is trying to explore the many different facets of DD that different creators have played on over the years - so some of it is swashbuckling and light superheroics, some of it is dark and serious, some of it is legal drama, some of it is gritty crime/noir stuff, some of it is more fantastical and mystical etc. - which is fine. All of those aspects are part of the character, and it’s interesting to try and explore them all at once (a bit like Morrison’s Batman run).

But rather than reconciling all those elements into a whole, it feels like it explores them separately without really bringing them all together smoothly. So flitting between them, there’s a sense that the book doesn’t quite know what it is, somehow. It’s good, but patchy.


I thought that was really good - especially for an early book when he was learning on he job


Haven’t heard of this one - what was the title?


I was about to check my comixology then it came to me there, I think it was called Strange Attractors


Thanks, might have to take a look for that.


Just googled Strange Attractors and that’s the one

I’d recommend checking it out Ben, I think you might like it.


Yeah I was going to mention how dark the artist arc but didn’t bother. The run has been a bit up and down but I’ve also found I look forward to each new issue which I can’t say for many Marvel titles.


The same is true for me too really. I follow very few Marvel books these days, but I’m sticking with Soule’s DD.


For me, Daredevil was his best book by a wide margin, but I would actually put his Iron Man run second.


Best thing about that book for me: That sweet sweet Ron Garney art =P

Oh and the colorist has also contributed plenty, so credit where it’s due.


Clearly Bendis has been the most important Marvel creator of the last 20 years, it’s just a question of where he ranks all time (I’m not sure he’ll be remembered as fondly as the previous great). I think he not only modernized comics, he reimagined what they could be. He showed the Marvel way was the wrong way. People forget just how lost Marvel was 20 years ago, and the whole Marvel Empire that so dominates today has a foundation stone of Brian Bendis (our own Mr Millar being another of those stones).


The Moon Knight was…OK, but nothing more. It’s fine to read, but the Ellis and Lemire runs really show it up. I liked the first few issues of his Iron Man run, but then it fell apart for me, and was way too much of the Bendis banter stuff.

I also think his DD run was his high point at Marvel; in a way I think it’s forgotten now but his first issue (#27, I think? Edit: I meant 26). It just blew the doors off. And B.B. had serious chops on writing crime/noir with Jinx, Sam and Twitch etc. It was the perfect fit and he aced it. Nothing has come close since.

(I also have a soft spot for his USM, one of the last Comics I bought as monthly floppies; I think I got the first 60 or issues and it was always fun and charming.)


There was a point at which Bendis was doing Daredevil, Ultimate Spider-Man and Alias, all at the same time. What a talent.


Daredevil and USM are two of my favorite runs of the last 20 years. USM was tons of fun with a great supporting cast that managed to keep me engaged for well over 100 issues. Daredevil was just brilliant. Such different books, too.

Alias was also great. I hope that Bendis can find some of that early Marvel magic over at DC. Because the entire comic industry would be better for it.