Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Avengers News: Bendis Interview and New Movie Pictures

Over at Comic Book Resources, there's a decent little interview with Avengers architect and all around fanboy Brian Michael Bendis about his upcoming plans for his New Avengers, including their upcoming war with a newly formed, supercharged H.A.M.M.E.R., the Wonder Man-led Revengers team, and Daredevil getting tapped for membership.

Click on the link or just hit the jump for some preview pages and excerpts.

As usual, despite plenty of talking and a constant stream of compliments to his artists (though personally I agree on all the Deodato praise--I really love that guy's issues) not much solid information is released. However, whenever Bendis starts talking about his Avengers characters, you can practically see him sitting at home smiling with four dozen long boxes jammed with comics stacked behind him. Considering what he cares about, he has the best job ever. Basically, I want to be him. Except, y'know, with hair.

On Daredevil joining the team:
"The wounds of Shadowland are still a little raw, but the friendships between the characters are that much stronger. The truth about this group of characters, more or less, is they've all been at the receiving end of everyone else's mercy and understanding. They're all characters that built quite a thing around themselves because of the second chances they were given. Matt's not asking for a second chance or even believes he needs it, but once he's given it, he realizes how much he needed it," Bendis explained. "The fact that the invitation to join the Avengers comes after Shadowland makes it that much more emotional. It's like, 'You guys really are my friends.' I think that's what makes the invitation impossible to turn down. If it came to him during the swashbuckling days, it would have been, 'Okay I appreciate that, but…' When it comes, though, after everyone has seen him at his worst and they're still willing to be his friend? That's pretty cool."

On teammembers' prior commitments:
"The biggest shake-ups are coming to the 'Avengers' title. There will be some surprises that we're not showing people yet," Bendis said. "In 'New Avengers,' we'll be sharing Iron Fist and Doctor Strange. Matt Fraction, the writer of the new 'Defenders' series, is one of my closest friends in comics. He's over my house quite often, so we can share these characters. I already share Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Thing.
"That's always been part of this book ever since the very first year it was created," Bendis continued. "'New Avengers' always had the characters doing something else. It lets the characters come and go with a nice fluidity which essentially created a continuity. I like it when things happen in other books, and when I can, I enjoy calling attention to those things in a way that will hopefully lead to one of our readers buying a book they might not normally buy."

On H.A.M.M.E.R:
"What you're going to discover is what H.A.M.M.E.R. has evolved into in Norman's absence. H.A.M.M.E.R. will have become something that involves two or three corners of the Marvel Universe merging together to create one super-organization that there's no way Steve Rogers and his S.H.I.E.L.D. less defense system can battle," Bendis explained. "You're going to see some cool shit. You're going to see Madam Hydra, Gorgon, Norman, Superia and quite a few other characters coming together to create a H.A.M.M.E.R. that can not be defeated. Plus, they have a secret weapon that Norman didn't know about. It's revealed to him and the audience very early in both the pages of 'Avengers' and 'New Avengers.'
"Both teams of Avengers will be handling the H.A.M.M.E.R. situation from their own angles," Bendis continued. "That will be happening in both books, but they'll feature almost completely different genres of stories. The 'New Avengers' will be dealing full-on with H.A.M.M.E.R.'s Dark Avengers, and the 'Avengers' will be dealing full on with H.A.M.M.E.R. as an organization."

On post-H.A.M.M.E.R. Avengers plans:
 "I don't know if you heard, but there's an Avengers movie coming out," Bendis said with a laugh, "A very big movie starring very big movie stars, and Marvel has asked me to think about what I could do to capitalize on that. I have quite a few things on my plate, including some things that haven't been announced yet. Some of these things are going to be very exciting for a lot of people. We're going to break some molds. We're going to do things very differently coming up through the spring and summer. The fallout of the H.A.M.M.E.R. story is going to set up a great deal of what is coming forward; a season that I see as the Summer of the Avengers."

And here I thought next summer was the Summer of the X-Men...or was that this summer? Regardless, I wonder if Bendis just gave us the first tease of the next Marvel event. God knows (pun intended) I want Fear Itself to be over already. And while I do enjoy Bendis' take on the Avengers the past few years, dialogue and all, it's been rather weak and slow since he renumbered them last year. Also, what happened to The Heroic Age? I wasn't necessarily blown away by heroism and a new optimisim. In fact, there are Nazi robots running around destryoing Washington D.C. and women named "Sin" killing Captain America. Things could be better.

The Avengers Cast at Disney's recent Convention

Still, I'm curious what it means when Bendis says he'll tie in/rev up his titles in anticipation of the movie. Hopefully we won't start merging the universes, seeing a black Nick Fury show up or losing Black Widow's accent and Russian spy history. I'm sure there will be plenty of direct movie comics made, so the only thing I can think of Bendis doing is bringing Loki back for some villainous arc (think: Acts of Vengeance 2012 Redux.)

Now enjoy some set pics of Captain America and Thor fighting the unknown aliens, and Cap getting tossed out a window.

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