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Mighty Avengers #1 is a Team Book with a Lot of Potential

Mighty Avengers #1 is a Team Book with a Lot of Potential

Might Avengers #1STK618965

Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Greg Land
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Publisher: Marvel

In the face of a cosmic threat, along comes Mighty Avengers #1, a book focused on street-level heroes coming together. Luke Cage, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), and White Tiger (Ava Ayala) are the Heroes for Hire who are soon joined, mid-fight, by the Superior Spider-Man. Elsewhere on Manhattan, Spectrum (Monica Rambeau, formerly Pulsar, Photon, and Captain Marvel), fights another D-List villain and takes a break at her costume shop, where she meets a man who doesn’t like leaving the shadows to chat. Nothing like a little mystery and intrigue, eh?

Most of the good guys wind up together at a big pow-wow in Times Square, where Thanos’ henchmen start launching their assault on Earth. Shadowy-man even gets his own introduction here, which should be fun to watch play out.

It’s a pretty standard team-get-together book and that’s not a bad thing: The heroes-fighting-a-common-enemy trope has worked for a few Avengers books in the past and does here. The threat seems pretty severe considering the villains we saw these folks fighting to start the issue but it also makes sense—Heroes for Hire, Spider-Man, Spectrum, they were all handily kicking ass. Now they’re fighting Big Bads and need the teamwork that comes with calling  themselves Avengers.

What is really attention grabbing is the dynamic between Luke Cage and Power Man. During Spidey’s intro, there’s one panel that establishes their mindsets—Power Man’s mad about name-calling and Cage is concerned with Spidey’s new adjective. When Cage sits down with Power Man after the opening fight, there is what will  hopefully be an on-going conflict: how is one a superhero with bills to pay? Is it okay to charge for one’s services? (This is similar to the first season of Angel .) This should be explored more, and these two are the characters to watch, with Spider-Man creating tension between them.

The bad comes from the need to tie this book to Infinity. Thanos and company come off as hokey sci-fi with their particular speech patterns and plans. TheyThanosMighty feel like they were put in the wrong book. Greg Land’s art is Greg Land’s art. It’s a little too posed, a bit too fresh-faced and glamorous, but it’s what I’ve come to expect from his work. You can let it get to you or accept the posed pretty. 

First issues have it tough. The writer and artists have to find the characters and the voice and also set-up relationships and a villain. Then it all has to work together. Mighty Avengers #1 gave readers the players and a couple of intriguing concepts that ought to be explored. It’s well worth a read for its potential.

– Joey