I was asked the other day just what I had against Tony Bedard. As I answered, it occurred to me that I may not have ever satisfactorilly answered that question here. So this is the post in which I talk about Tony Bedard.
Now, I don't personally dislike him. I've never met him, so there's nothing in that regard. But my impression of his writing has never been very good.
The first time I encountered Tony Bedard's writing was as a replacement writer for Chuck Austen on Exiles. Now don't think I had any special love for Austen's run on the book. (In all honesty, I think it was worse than Bedard's run.) But at one time, Exiles was a very special book for me. Pretty much all of Winick's original run was a book I looked forward to reading as soon as I could get my hands on it. It was one of the books that I read first.
Bedard's run though, had a total of two issues that I liked. I'll grant, I do absolutely love those two issues. But Tony Bedard's run ran over forty issues. Forty issues, and I can only recall two that I genuinely enjoyed, both of them extremely early in the run. (The issues are Mission: Impossible and the truly noteworthy Rube Goldberg in which the Exiles save the universe by purchasing a cheese danish.) Excepting those two issues, the rest of the run was mediocre or adequate at best, and I'm ashamed that it took me so long to drop the book.
Standing out among those issues of his run on Exiles was a story, and I'll grant that this one probably wasn't really Bedard's idea, where the Exiles travel from one different universe to another, allowing Marvel to handilly renew their copyrights on the New Universe, 2099 Universe and Squadron Supreme universe. The story dragged on, month after month, and was finally the straw that broke my back regarding the book.
But Exiles is only the biggest example. Tony Bedard has signed an exclusive contract with DC, and his track record at his new publisher hasn't impressed me either. He took over Birds of Prey after Gail Simone left the book, and his first issue was thoroughly mediocre. He wrote a single issue of Outsiders, and apparently it left a big enough impression that DC handed the new Batman and the Outsiders title to Chuck Dixon, instead of Bedard, as had previously been announced. (Granted putting Chuck Dixon on a book featuring Batman is as close to a no-brainer decision as one can get.)
Lastly, Bedard is one of the writers on the beleagured Countdown. I don't think I need to tell anybody what I think of that title, do I?
In the interest of fairness, though, I asked my friend to suggest something good that Tony Bedard had writen, and he put forward the Crossgen series Negation. So when I couldn't find any of the book at Ye Olde Comic Shoppe I ordered several issues online.
I like to think that I'm a pretty fair guy, and I'm willing to give him a shot. I'll let everybody know what I think when I've read it.