Tag Archives: brian michael bendis

The Defenders #1 Returns For Second Printing

Individually, they’ve kept the city of New York safe from its biggest threats. Together, they’re a force to be reckoned with – and the world agrees! Ahead of its highly anticipated second issue, Marvel has announced that Defenders #1 has sold out and will immediately return for a second printing.

Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist have all had their share of hard fights while protecting the streets of their city. But with Diamondback having returned from the dead, The Defenders are now being targeted – and it’s a fight they can only win if they stand together. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez bring their A-game to the story.

Read our review!

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Preview: Invincible Iron Man #8

Invincible Iron Man #8

(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Stefano Caselli
Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 21, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Riri Williams strikes out on her own as her idealism is pushed to the test by a world she does not understand yet. How far is Riri willing to go to do what she knows is right?

Review : The Defenders #1

You know that feeling you get reading the final few issues of a book that’s been cancelled? That “these-creators-are-obviously-running-out-the-clock-but-I-guess-I-want-to-see-how-it-all-wraps-up” feeling? Welcome to all of Marvel Comics circa summer 2017 — even the brand-new series.

“Now hold on just a minute,” I hear you say, “this might be a first issue, but there’s nothing ‘brand-new’ about The Defenders. They’ve been kicking around in one form or another since the early ’70s. Whaddaya got to say to that, smart guy?”

Technically speaking that’s true, I suppose — we even get the old-school logo on this one — but who are we kidding? This latest iteration of the franchise bears precisely zero resemblance to Steve Gerber‘s “un-team,” and is in fact yet another example of Marvel’s Hollywood arm yanking its print division around, since we already know that the Defenders name was plunked from semi-obscurity to serve as the catch-all title for the “team-up show” that would mark the end of “phase one” of the MCU’s “street-level” Netflix sub-division. Writer Brian Michael Bendis swears on a stack of Bibles that he actually first pitched the concept of DaredevilIron FistLuke Cage, and Jessica Jones joining forces for a monthly series some time ago, and while that may (or, hell, may not) be true, I bet it was called something different when he first broached the subject with his bosses. Not that I guess it really matters.

Which, to be painfully honest, is sort of how I feel about this comic. Yeah, sure, Bendis does the whole “dark and grimy” corner of Marvel’s corporate universe better than he does its cosmic, Mutant, or cross-over “high-rent districts,” but this whole endeavor has the ring of a rather forced set-up to it — “okay, Diamondback isn’t dead, so let’s pool our resources and take him on together, and let’s hop to it quick because our TV show is rolling out next month.” It all makes logical sense, sure, but it’s about as inspired as a Denny’s breakfast special.

Of, sure, the script in this one hits all the right “character beats,” fair enough, but in much the same way that Bendis’ current Jessica Jones title is a pale shadow of Alias, this reads like the product of a guy going through the motions and only occasionally “nailing it” as successfully as he used to a decade ago. This is unquestionably the kind of comic he knows how to write — but he knows how to write it by heart, without even really trying, and that’s the problem. We already had half this team working together month-in and month-out in David F. Walker and Sanford Greene‘s flat-out superb (when it wasn’t getting needlessly dragged into “blockbuster event” cross-overs, that is) Power Man And Iron Fist, and that was bulldozed out of the way to make room for this? Please.

I can’t be as hard on the artwork of David Marquez, I admit, given that it’s sleek, professional, and stylish, but even with Justin Ponsor‘s shadowy and atmospheric colors, I honestly have to wonder if it’s all a little too “sleek, professional, and stylish” for a book that’s supposed to be aiming for a more gritty and “street-smart” feel. It looks good, sure — but it would look better in the pages of Captain America or X-Men than it does here.

Last on the list of grievances we come to the economic one — I realize that at this point it’s just plain customary to bitch about the $4.99 cover price that Marvel slaps on almost all of their first issues, but what the hell? I guess I’ll avail myself of the opportunity to do just that given that I shelled for it out of pocket and everything. So what does your extra buck get you this time out? Two more pages of story and art than the company’s 20-page standard, and six pages of backmatter in the form of a mock Luke Cage magazine interview ostensibly conducted by Ben Urich. It’s both entirely fine and entirely pointless, not much more to say about it than that.

Still, for all my obvious lack of enthusiasm for this comic, it’s safe to say that its publisher is even less jazzed about it than I am. As I said at the outset, Marvel’s entire print division is running out the clock at this point. They promised that Secret Empire was going to be their last company-wide “event” for at least 18 months, but when it became obvious that even that wasn’t going to get them out of their current sales doldrums, news came down the pike that it would be quickly followed up by the Generations “event,” which would lead directly into Legacy and an across-the-board hitting of the “reset” switch a la DC’s Rebirth. In other words, then, even if you liked The Defenders #1 a hell of a lot more than I did, there’s no point getting too attached to it — or to anything else currently coming out of the so-called “House Of Ideas.” There are, after all, three lead-pipe-cinch guarantees in life at this point — death, taxes, and yearly Marvel re-launches. I give this title eight, maybe ten, months tops.

Story : Brian Michael Bendis Art : David Marquez

Story : 4 Art : 6 Overall : 5 Recommendation : Pass

Who is the Other Miles Morales? Check Out Marvel’s Spider-Men II #1

THIS IS IT, TRUE BELIEVERS! The moment five years in the making is finally here! The first time Peter Parker and Miles Morales met ended with a question — WHO IS THE MILES MORALES OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE?! Now that the Miles you know and love is with Peter in the Marvel Universe, you’re finally going to get that answer to who the OTHER Miles Morales is! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli bring you the next heart-stopping adventure for both Peter Parker and Miles Morales with Marvel Comics’ Spider-Men II!

Featuring covers by Pichelli and Justin Ponsor, Daniel Acuña, Kadir Nelson, Julian Totino Tedesco, and Jesüs Saiz. Spider-Men II #1 is on sale July 21, 2017.

Review: Defenders #1

DefendersCoverWriter Brian Michael Bendis returns to the characters and type of stories that made him one of Marvel’s star writers in Defenders #1 as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Iron Fist team up to fight the literal diamond dropping supervillain, Diamondback. And he kind of, sort of gets his groove back by penning the time of superhero adjacent crime stories that made his work on Daredevil and Alias modern classics. Artist Dave Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor are the real MVPS on the book replacing their sleeker work on Invincible Iron Man and Civil War II for something more in the shadows. I especially loved Marquez’s powerful take on Luke Cage, who has a personal connection to Diamondback and physically takes up a whole panel while he whales on his old nemesis.

Any kind of character development of the heroes is sidelined for the most part in Defenders #1 as Bendis, Marquez, and Ponsor immediately throw the Defenders into the fray. However, since Bendis is so familiar with these guys, he and Marquez hit some solid character beats between the punching and explosions. There is the clever, sarcastic private eye Jessica Jones, who got put in the hospital by Diamondback in an off panel attack, immediately knowing who her attack her. Also, Black Cat goes from being the feline kingpin of New York, who is bemused by Diamondback trying to make her work for him until he beats the stuffing out of Luke Cage. To be honest (And based on his nauseous cheesiness in the Luke Cage TV show.) , I thought that Diamondback was just a villain of the week and an easy first win for the Defenders. However, he’s gotten a bit of an upgrade (Probably from Inhuman Growth Hormone because MGH is so 2005.) and is the force that brings these street level vigilantes together into a team.

Even though Civil War II was a hot mess of a comic, Dave Marquez showed he was the DefendersInteriorking of drawing superheroes in their element whether in solo or group shots. He brings a similar cool to the introduction of each member of the Defenders. Instead of settling for a simple pose, he creates a poster-worthy background image that visually tells their backstory without clunky exposition. Arguably, the best of the bunch is Jessica Jones’ intro, which is part of a larger double page spread and has her life as a mom and the superhero Jewel on one page and her job as a P.I. for Alias Investigations on the other. It symbolizes the tension of how she’s been characterized since Alias because she went 10 years between solo comics , but thankfully, Jessica plays a more active role in Defenders.

A lot of Defenders #1 takes place in bars, clubs, rooftops and dark paces. This allows Dave Marquez and Justin Ponsor to make the majority of the pages in this book ooze with atmosphere. Spending more than one page on an explosion is a little too Michael Bay for my tastes and kind of depersonalizes Diamondback’s attack on Luke and Jessica. However, Ponsor finds a deep blue for the skies above New York that complements Black Cat’s black outfit nicely and shows readers that Brian Michael Bendis is back to his crime roots. Shadow is everywhere although Marquez’s work still has sheen to it that can be a little awkward like when Diamondback does his gangster thing in the opening scene.

Defenders #1 feels a lot like a veteran musician revisiting the sound that made him great (And won Bendis Eisners.) over a decade ago. It’s not super fresh, but there is a real staccato zest to Bendis’ snarky dialogue, Marquez’s art, and Ponsor’s colors that is best exhibited in a scene where each Defender “interrogates” Diamondback’s men in their own way. More scenes like this where Bendis and Marquez play off the unique personalities of each Defender, and the series could be a hit for Marvel and not just a Netflix cash-in or a nostalgia trip for fans of Marvel’s street level books in early 2000s.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Dave Marquez Colors: Justin Ponsor
Story: 7.7  Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Defenders #1

Defenders #1

(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) David Marquez
Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 14, 2017
SRP: $4.99

Daredevil! Luke Cage! Jessica Jones! Iron Fist! Individually, these four heroes have been on the front lines of the battle to keep the streets of the city safe and secure! But now, with a deadly enemy from the dim past making a major move to unite the underworld, they will need to become more – they will need to become DEFENDERS! Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez unite to bring you the next great super-team, in the tradition of NEW AVENGERS!

Marvel’s Brian Michael Bendis to Make his 1st Ever UK Con Appearance at LSCC 2017

LSCC has announced that Brian Michael Bendis, one of the comic world’s biggest names, is confirmed for this year’s London Super Comic Con.

Brian Michael Bendis is an award-winning comic book creator (writer and artist), New York Times bestseller, and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics today. For the last fifteen years, Brian’s books have consistently sat on the top of the comic book and graphic novel sales charts. Brian has won five Eisner awards, the prestigious Inkpot award for comic art excellence, the Cleveland Press “Excellence in Journalism” Award and was named “Best Writer of the Year” by both Wizard Magazine and Comics Buyer’s Guide.

Starting out with crime and noir comics, Bendis eventually moved to mainstream superhero work. Along with Bill Jemas and Mark Millar, Bendis was the primary architect of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, launching Ultimate Spider-Man in 1999, writing every issue. He was also the creative force behind most of the Ultimate titles including Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Marvel Team Up, Ultimate Origin, Ultimate Six, Ultimate Cataclysm and the Ultimate Enemy trilogy.

Event goers will be able to get up close and personal with the comic legend at a limited exclusive writing workshop as well as being able to attend discussion panels on each of the three days. There will also be a number of signing sessions scattered throughout the weekend where fans will be able to get their comic books and other memorabilia signed.

More details on how you can attend work shops, panels and signing sessions to follow.

Preview: Spider-Man #16

Spider-Man #16

(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A) Sara Pichelli (CA) Patrick Brown
Rated T
In Shops: May 03, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Spider-Man needs a win. After an insane universe-jumping crossover with SPIDER-GWEN and his tumultuous home life, Miles needs an honest-to-god Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Adventure. He’s got his sights set on the unfinished business with Black Cat! We never said Miles makes the best choices.

Preview: Jessica Jones #8

Jessica Jones #8

(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A) Michael Gaydos (CA) David Mack
Parental Advisory
In Shops: May 03, 2017
SRP: $3.99

With her life spinning out of control, Jessica struggles to get to the bottom of the latest dark mystery of the Marvel Universe! But this is a secret that some dangerous people would prefer remains buried!

Preview: Infamous Iron Man #7

Infamous Iron Man #7

(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Alex Maleev
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 26, 2017
SRP: $3.99

The Reed Richards from a dead reality calls himself “The Maker” – and his plans for the world are far more insane than anything Doctor Doom ever attempted. Now Doom, as Iron Man, is the only one who can stop him. Doom is the hero? Richards is the villain? It is a world gone mad!

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