Robot 6 has reported that the two Bendis written Avengers books will have backup features in each both written by Bendis. This comes on the announcement that New Avengers will relaunch with a new number one issue titled New Avengers. That’s right it’s the exact same name and clearly the usual ploy to try and inflate sales numbers. Marvel has been doing it so much lately that it’s becoming harder for them to sell these sort of things, but they still think it’s a good idea. On the positive side they will at least have 30 pages of content to go with the $3.99 price tag and the backups will be written by Bendis so it will not have the problem Captain America has with the backup feature not completing the main feature. Better late then never. No word on if the Secret Avengers will have a backup feature as well but given that Brubaker’s Captain America books have featured 30 pages of content it will more then likely be the same for Secret Avengers either with backups or 30 page stories.
This solves the price problem but it still leaves a big creative problem. Bendis will be writing Avengers and New Avengers. With the backup features that will four different Avengers related plots each month from the same writer whose work has not be stellar of late. The trouble is Marvel will not want to do the wise thing of giving one of the Avengers books to another writer given the huge drop off in sales numbers that Mighty Avengers took when Dan Slott took over. Slott has done a pretty good job over all but he does not draw the numbers like Bendis does.
From everything I’ve seen so far it does not look like the Heroic Age is going to do well for Marvel as they continue to shed readers and general interest. Sadly things will have to get much worse before Marvel will make the changes they need. At the very least, hopefully this announcement of more backup features means they will do the same for the Ultimate books which are hurting badly by being over priced right now.