A number of people commented that my assessment of Brian Michael Bendis’s writing effort on All-New Spider-Man #1 was too harsh and too personal. I said that he phoned it in, relieving Marvel of “easy money.” I also referred to the Marvel editorial people involved as “bozos” who are “clueless.”
I’m sorry. I don’t know Bendis, and as Tom Brevoort pointed out, I wasn’t there. I don’t know how hard he tried and I don’t know if he was snickering when he cashed the checks.
I also shouldn’t have said the editorial people were bozos. Clueless, yes, I’ll stick with that. I’ll stick with my unfavorable assessments made elsewhere of the creative management at both Marvel and DC (Didio/Lee, Fine/Buckley, et al), and my negative opinions of the tippy-top brass at both companies who inexplicably allow the madness below.
But my remarks about Bendis? No excuse. It was over the top. But I offer this explanation.
I wanted to like that book. I really wanted to like that book. Bendis is Marvel’s top gun. I expected to like that book. But the writing really let me down. There wasn’t much of it, some of it was weak and there was not so much as a nod to the fact that the work was done for a serialized presentation.
And it was a Marvel book.
They—I almost typed “we”—should be better.
Somewhere in my dark little heart of hearts, I still have some Marvel in me. I remember the days I was Editor in Chief when DC out-promoted us, out-advertised us, had better production values, had movies while we had none, had more household name characters and we still outsold them three to one. Why? Because, in the words of our circulation V.P. Ed Shukin, we “beat ‘em between the covers.” We were better. We won with good stories, well told. Generally better than theirs, anyway.