IGN interview with Bendis on the New Avengers relaunch

#1 Posted by DMC (2004 posts) - - Show Bio

For those curious about the New Avengers relaunch and the new roster, here's (most of) IGN's brief interview with Bendis
 IGN Comics: Can you detail how this series is positioned versus Dark Avengers and Avengers? Thematically how does New Avengers stand apart?

Bendis: Well I don't want to give too much away. This is tough because I don't want to be coy… the New Avengers are a revamped line-up of what was the New Avengers. But now they're not in the conspiracy mode, they're in the Heroic Age mode.
Hmm… I'm trying to figure out what to say… I don't want to ruin it, but I want people to buy the book… They've worked really, really hard to come out of this age, and now they're really Avengers – now what?
 IGN Comics: So do they have a really different mission statement from the other Avenger teams or are there just different squads?

Bendis: No. They're in a different place, a different physical location, they are in a different situation politically than the other Avengers. They're not at odds though the past Avengers titles have been. These two teams are co-habitating of their own free will. The New Avengers were at first together because Cap wanted them together, and then they were together out of necessity, because they couldn't let each other out of their sights. Now it's not out of necessity or out of a battle like Civil War. They've earned this.

The reason I don't want to give it up is I think it's one of the best things I've written in five years – who they are, why they are and who lets them be there. That, I think, is worth the price of admission. 
 IGN Comics: I wanted to ask you about Spider-Man and Wolverine. They're on the cover of Avengers #1. Are they on two Avengers teams now?

Bendis: It's a fluid situation. But what's going to happen, which is funny, is the fluidity is going to become an issue. There's going to be one place where everyone is hanging out, and another place they're supposed to be.

IGN Comics: Jewel and Cage, I think, make sense to most readers. They're stalwart New Avengers, particularly as of late. But Ben Grimm… that one came out of left field to me. What is Ben Grimm doing on an Avengers team?

Bendis: So, this isn't Luke's team… but it's pretty close. And we put together recently, in the latest arc, that Luke Cage is in trouble and all of his friends come to help him. I had to dig through some of the older Luke Cage stories to find who had been his friends, and I think people forget about Ben Grimm being one of those friends. Luke had been helping out with the Fantastic Four… there's a lot of history with the characters. And I thought that was pretty cool. I'm sure you have friends like this where you don't see them every day, but when they call, you'll be there in two seconds. So that's what Ben and Luke's relationship is like.

What really sealed it for me was when I wrote that Ben showed up in New Avengers last year, Stuart's rendition of him was fantastic… no pun intended, I promise! I was just giddy about how he drew The Thing and I just liked him being in the book. So I came up to Jonathan Hickman batting my eyes, asking if I could put Ben in my book without hurting his book. I reminded him when Marvel Two-in-One ran, nothing was ever hurt! But he asked why I thought Ben would be on the team, and when I told him, he loved it. He said he could work with it. Which was good because I didn't have to remind him how many times I plugged Nightly News in Powers. –laughs- 
 So the tone of Ben in the book is fantastic. He's so good. People might come for Spider-Man, they'll stay for the Thing. What a fun bit of business to write.
 IGN Comics: Can you say who the first villain will be?

Bendis: Well the first villain is kind of a new villain, but what we'll be doing in the first arc is not only establishing the tone, but revealing some surprises as to who is on the team and what number of Dark Avengers will still be on this book. There are quite a few, and you'll see them in the first issue. There's also an entire aspect of the Marvel Universe that needs… if not reinterpretation, then reinvention. That will be addressed immediately.

IGN Comics: So that's about all I have on the book at the moment – is there anything else you wanted to add?
Bendis: I know there are fans of Alias that will seethe at me for putting Jessica Jones in a costume again… you have to allow for character growth. And I completely see this point, but then I got the teaser image of Jessica. And I sent it to all of my peer friends. It's Jewel, in costume, looking like an Avenger. And holy s**t it looks so good! So good! Honestly if that image had looked like s**t, I might have bailed on the whole idea. I'll be honest with you, that might have convinced me she shouldn't be doing this. It looks fantastic though. The argument of whether the character should go in that direction… right there in that image.

But yeah, the art for the first issue of New Avengers is done already. That's another great thing. I have two powerhouse artists that hit their deadlines and will be able to do as long of a run as they want to do. And I think particularly with the first volume of New Avengers, people were really excited about all the amazing artists we had, but I think it's time for a consistent artistic run. So hopefully we'll be able to keep that going. Of course no promises, I can't control it, but the stage is set to let that happen for as long as these guys want that to happen. I know for a fact Stuart wants to go, so fingers crossed!  

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