I’ve always been a comic book fan in theory, but in practice, I haven’t really read that much. For the past few years, I’ve subscribed to Marvel Unlimited, their app that allows you read most of their back catalog digitally and have been picking away at comics, usually when they are related to the MCU. However, last year I discovered a Podcast called Bendis Assembled that follows the entirety of the Brian Michael Bendis’ run on the Avengers (and some Avengers adjacent events) in the main Marvel continuity.
I’ve been familiar with Bendis without realizing it for a while, because I really loved Alias when I read it after hearing that Jessica Jones was going to be a Netflix show, and because one of the only comic lines I even tried to follow before getting Marvel Unlimited was Ultimate Spider-Man, a book that he wrote throughout. Bendis’ run on the Avengers starts with a storyline called Avengers Disassembled, which I’d seen repeatedly recommended as a good starting point to the modern Marvel mainline continuity, but when I’ve tried to read it a few times before I kept stalling out, mostly because trying to read through all of the connected books was too much work. Bendis Assembled was a huge help here for two reasons. 1) it covers each issue in its own episode, which means a constant dopamine reward of “I finished a book, I get to listen to an episode. 2) Because they are focused on Bendis’ books, following the podcast kept me from going way into the weeds on the side stories.
All of this is to say that Bendis Assembled has helped me get back into Marvel comics in a big, bad way.
I wrote this blog post, up to this point, before the news of Stan Lee’s passing. I have more thoughts about The Avengers, Bendis, and comics in general that I intended to share, but now doesn’t feel like the right time.
Instead, I just want to say that I love superhero comics, and I know that they wouldn’t be anywhere close to the storytelling vehicle they are without Stan Lee.
Thank you, Stan Lee, for everything you gave to the world. You will be missed, and you will never, ever be forgotten.