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The 176th reason I’m excited for Avengers? Maria Hill.

If she’s that low, your priorities are wrong.

176?? Come on. Maria Hill is a BAMF.

Maria Hill is just the worst.

Why’s that? Maybe I haven’t read enough stuff with her in it?

It’s probably more what she’s come to represent than the actual character. She’s pretty much the embodiment of that whole post-Civil War era of Marvel, where everybody was trying to replicate that and failing. Not to mention she’s Bendis’ version of that whole Warren Ellis archetype, the more gung-ho version of the Greg Rucka archetype, though I can’t quite tell which came first.

From Tucker Stone’s review of Punisher 10:

Greg Rucka is working extra hard to make it seem like this version of Tough Stoic Lady Character is different from the ones he did in Batman, Checkmate, Huntress, Queen and Country, Whiteout, Ultimate Elektra, Batwoman, and Stumptown.

That pretty much sums it. That whole sort of archetype has been done so much that it all sort of blends together, and the fact that it’s Bendis warming over that particular Tupperware container of leftovers is just another brick in the wall keeping me from appreciating the character.

On a somewhat unrelated note, when did Marvel writers forget that SHIELD was a UN enterprise, rather than the US ARMY BADASS FACTORY/G.I Joe-lite it seems to have been interpreted as since pretty much since The Ultimates in what seems like an effort to make it a distillation of the worst elements of the Call Of Duty series in one big veiny arm of the government? This is obviously excepting Jonathan Hickman, whose SHIELD series(es) have made it the sort of thing I actually want to read about, rather than a big-ass Army Reserves ad with a superhero on the front.

If I had to choose something to symbolize the era where Marvel stopped really taking chances, which pretty much started when Joss Whedon’s first issue of Astonishing X-Men hit the stands, and was cemented with Civil War setting the pace for all the events that followed, Maria Hill, the walking bland cliche that replaced Nick Fury, is who I would pick. That or the Sentry, who can be summarized with “Holy hell, have you seen this Supreme book Alan Moore wrote? Let’s do that, but make it DARK and EDGY! That’s what we all were supposed to learn from Watchmen, right? Get Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee on the horn, we’re gonna run this bitch into the ground!” I’m pretty sure when the best thing about your character is the somewhat out of continuity series by your kids’ line writers, you either just shit in a punchbowl, or you are wasting great talent by having them write things that nobody will read. The hardcore fanboys won’t read it because it’s not in continuity, maaaaaaaan! The Fantagraphics dweebs that eat up the Nancy and Peanuts reissues(and don’t get me wrong, I am a definite Fantagraphics dweeb myself, and I definitely fit into some of these other categories, so this is not from a place of malice) won’t read it because it’s cape shit, maaaaaaaaan! The few teenagers who read comics won’t read it because that shit’s for babies, maaaaan! Bring on the Wolverine! The kids who were supposedly meant to read it won’t because they don’t know who the Sentry is, Maaaaaaan! Where’s the Spider-Man? The babies won’t read it because they can’t read, maaaaaaan!

And that’s why we can’t have nice things in comics.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those you hold. You’re going to have to deal with that. Also, this was pretty much just ranted off the top of my head, so it might not be all that readable. Sorry.)

Also, Tucker Stone is one of my favorite comics reviewers.

Also also, being a “BAMF” does not make a good character or a good story. Doomsday was a BAMF. Cable was a BAMF. Hush was a BAMF. The majority of the original Image Comics characters were BAMFs. They were created to be BAMFs. Anyone can be a BAMF. It takes more to have an actual personality.

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