Brian Michael Bendis

Jessica Jones 4 (March 2017)

Jessica Jones #4Someone’s killing capes. It’s good to see Bendis is as original as always. Besides an annoying talking heads sequence with Captain Marvel, this issue is probably the best one so far. Well, except the scene with Misty and Luke Cage talking about Jessica, that one was just cheap. I guess the last scene is okay. You know, wait–the more I think about the comic, the worse it seems.

CREDITS

Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; artist, Michael Gaydos; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Alanna Smith and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Jessica Jones 3 (February 2017)

Jessica Jones #3It’s another non-starter for Jones. No “case” either, which makes the promotional materials referring to each issue as a case more annoying. Lots of boring talking heads with occasional PG–13 curse words. Bendis’s big reveal is weak, the art is boring (not Gaydos’s fault though).

CREDITS

Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; artist, Michael Gaydos; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Alanna Smith and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Jessica Jones 2 (January 2017)

Jessica Jones #2It’s an entertaining issue, with some rather good Gaydos artwork, but Bendis is covering a lot of the ground situation as revelations to cover up for the narrative failings. Jessica Jones doesn’t have its own tone. Alias: The Sequel it’s not, but it’s nothing else yet either.

CREDITS

Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; artist, Michael Gaydos; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Alanna Smith and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Jessica Jones 1 (December 2016)

Jessica Jones #1I loved Alias, I really did. I can’t even bring myself to read the trades again. I even have the hardcovers. Loved that comic. I didn’t realize Jessica Jones was going to be Bendis and Gaydos, I thought just Bendis. Jessica Jones is like a remake of Alias, only without the shock value, without the intrigue, with some superhero soap opera thrown in. Reading it, I had to remind myself the comic doesn’t do done-in-ones, so not to expect too much.

Overall, it’s better than expected, but Bendis is treating Jessica like the subject of the comic not the protagonist. He’s got cameos from Misty Knight and Jessica Drew and the latest crop of New York heroes. Because New York is back–Gaydos’s New York from the regular people’s perspective, that amazing thing he does with it. And it’s cool. It’d be better if Jessica were a stronger character, it’d be better if the mystery were actually engaging, it’d be better if it didn’t rely so heavily on Jessica’s post-Alias backstory. I can’t believe Bendis expects the reader to keep up with it all.

Will Jessica Jones get to Alias-levels of quality? Nope. Will it get better if Bendis has enough time to get through setting up his elaborately deceptive ground situation? Probably. It’ll have Gaydos art and the art is almost worth the price of admission alone.

CREDITS

Writer, Brian Michael Bendis; artist, Michael Gaydos; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Alanna Smith and Tom Brevoort; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Daredevil 1.50 (June 2014)

Daredevil #1.50I'm really glad Mark Waid cares so much about Daredevil to craft the comic, and Matt Murdock, such a sweet story for the fiftieth anniversary of the character. It's a nice story. It's also completely pointless.

Waid tells a future story with Matt Murdock as former mayor of San Francisco (or something) and gives him a crisis to resolve–some mystery villain has made most of the city blind, including little Jack Murdock. Mom is a mystery but Foggy's around. He's probably supposed to be fifty too. He looks like a thirty year-old.

The story is slight and saccharine. Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez's art's decent, never anything more.

Then, to amplify the self-indulgence, Brian Michael Bendis does a text piece with Alex Maleev art. Comic book text pieces are real bad. Every time.

Finally, Karl Kesel and Tom Palmer do something goofy. It's bad, but they appear to enjoy themselves.

C 

CREDITS

The King in Red; writer, Mark Waid; penciller and colorist, Javier Rodriguez; inker, Alvaro Lopez. My name is Stana Morgan…; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; artist, Alex Maleev; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth. The Last Will and Testament of Mike Murdock; writer and penciller, Karl Kesel; inker, Tom Palmer; colorist, Grace Allison. Letterer, Joe Caramagna, editor, Ellie Pyle; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 100 (November 2006)

Skitched 20130714 064724Eh.

So Gwen Stacy is Carnage. Yippee.

And Aunt May is pretty nasty. Bendis doesn’t redeem her much, even if she has been through a lot apparently. She hasn’t been lying to Peter his whole life, just the last few years.

It’s an interesting thing, making Aunt May unlikable. Has anyone else tried that gimmick before? Bendis gives her a heart attack at the end though, so she’ll eventually be forgiven.

And Peter Parker’s dad is an awful character. Not a bad guy, but a simpleton. Not at all believable as a genius. Bendis tries to insert this genetic engineering cold war between the CIA and SHIELD into the series and it’s just silly.

The art is so haphazard I thought they were using different pencillers. Dell goes overboard on Bagley, Drew Hennessy goes under. The result’s incredibly disjointed

Poor Spider-Man doesn’t even appear in his hundredth issue.

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part Four; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, John Dell and Drew Hennessy; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 99 (October 2006)

282745I’m not sure Bendis actually does good writing this issue but he sure does go out on a high point. He establishes Aunt May as a super villain. She’s been lying to Peter his whole life. She’s a bad guy.

Wow.

Bendis will never stick with it. It’s too much.

There’s some good stuff with Peter and the Gwen clone. The stuff with Aunt May kind of ruins it, since Bendis has this big confession scene from Peter and there’s absolutely no payoff for it.

It’s sort of a catch–22. If he backs out of these revelations, he’s being cheap. If he doesn’t stick with them, he’s being cheap. Bendis has become so disingenuous with the series, it’s hard to “trust” him not to be as sensational as possible.

The Gwen stuff almost makes up for it. There’s decent “move the story along” scenes with the Fantastic Four too.

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part Three; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, John Dell and Drew Hennessy; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 98 (October 2006)

282744Bendis should have done more with the Fantastic Four this issue. They’re really funny. The stuff with Peter calling himself “baby” in his internal monologue? Makes me hope he’s a clone not the regular character but I think it’s more just Bendis laziness.

There’s another big fight scene this issue; Peter fights some black costumed redhead with spider powers who doesn’t identify herself. It’s a bad fight scene. Then Gwen comes back and she’s confused. Then there’s another Peter clone, apparently.

Maybe it’s Eddie Brock. Not sure how much I care, as it’s clear Bendis doesn’t care.

I’m trying to think of what else goes on this issue. A great cameo from Nick Fury? A strange scene between Peter and Mary Jane’ mom; I don’t think she’s shown up before this arc. At least not enough for her to be memorable.

Bendis has lost his focus on Peter in Ultimate.

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part Two; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, John Dell and Drew Hennessy; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 97 (September 2006)

281626Okay, great, John Dell has help from John Sibal and together they don’t ink Bagley well. I couldn’t even tell the guy in the Scorpion outfit was a Peter Parker clone. He just looked way too bland.

Otherwise, the issue’s okay. Bendis is doing his rushing thing to get rid of Kitty Pryde, just like he rushed breaking up Mary Jane and Peter. Contriving stuff for the villains is fine, but now he’s contriving the regular cast’s arcs and it’s getting painful at times.

For instance, why is Mary Jane so buddy buddy with Peter all of a sudden. Bendis even accelerates it more this issue.

And Peter’s callousness when it comes to Kitty is a surprise. He never acted callous before with Mary Jane, so what’s the point of this new romance? Sales bump from crossovers?

Oddly, the lengthy, meticulous action sequence is the best thing in the comic.

CREDITS

Clone Saga, Part One; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inkers, John Dell and John Sibal; colorist, Richard Isanove; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Ultimate Spider-Man 96 (August 2006)

281625First off my apologizes to Jimmy Palmiotti… his inks weren’t screwing up Bagley’s pencils last issue. This issue makes it clear John Dell–who is solo, so no confusion–really shouldn’t be inking Bagley or Ultimate Spider-Man. He ruins the tone at times.

The issue concludes the Morbius adventure, but it’s pretty slight. Ben Urich is in danger of becoming a vampire, Peter tries to save him, running into good guy vampire Morbius. Lots of fight scenes, lots of vampire nonsense.

Bendis can’t sell the vampire nonsense and he tries really hard. It becomes desperate at some point. And Bagley–regardless of an inker–does a terrible job on Morbius. One shouldn’t want to snicker whenever a guest star appears on page.

The incident gives Bendis an opportunity to develop Peter and Mary Jane’s new relationship, which is a good thing… though he skips explaining her change of heart.

CREDITS

Morbius, Part Two; writer, Brian Michael Bendis; penciller, Mark Bagley; inker, John Dell; colorist, Justin Ponsor; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, John Barber, Nicole Boose and Ralph Macchio; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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