19.5.09

Dark Avengers

I've started reading Bendis comics month-by-month. It's the first time I've done so. Now I understand all the yelping about ridiculous decompression in comics. Reading Dark Avengers with month-long gaps between issues has been pretty uninspiring. You need to read it all in one go, so you notice the use of repeated frames and scenes over different issues, how effectively they reveal new information and build satisfying patterns over a story arc. Not only that, the long dialogue exchanges (the distinguishing feature of Bendis's work) swamp the pacing of an individual issue. Reading the whole story at once ups the tension, so momentum isn't lost when the talking starts. In all, my feeling is Bendis comics are really better read in trades.

Does this herald the end of floppies? Certainly not. Buffy Season 8 and Phonogram have been doing stories specifically designed to be read in single issues, and they've worked very well.

One other thing. A notable aspect of Dark Avengers is it's chaotic framing - tilts, overlaps, weird shapes. Compare this to the ongoing New Avengers, also by Bendis, where frames are straight and regular. Pretty nifty way of conveying the nature of the two teams, don't you think?

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