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Friday, April 4, 2014
Does the world really need another Avengers team? Surprisingly the answer is yes!
With the Avengers now rivalling the X-Men for the largest number of series now being published each month, the question must surely be asked: what makes this new title any different from the rest?
Mighty joins the adjective-less Avengers, Avengers World, Avengers Undercover (formerly Arena), Secret Avengers, Avengers AI, New Avengers and Avengers Assemble, which means its raison d’être has to be something pretty special for it to carve out a niche of its own.
Fortunately, writer Al Ewing has managed to shape an individual voice for his particular band of heroes, in the process giving them a mission statement which differs dramatically from the other Avengers teams, and also populates their ranks with a diverse and interesting selection of characters. Tick, tick, tick on all the required boxes then.
The artwork by Greg Land is beautiful, but somewhat unnatural, with a lot of posturing by perfectly sculpted superheroes who really should know better, but after a while you tend to overlook these shortfalls and enjoy the storytelling instead.
So after all this build-up, what is the Mighty Avengers actually about? Formed in the midst of the Infinity crossover event (the alien invasion of Earth seen in various other titles), this street-level volunteer organisation offer their services as non-profit heroes either for free or for a charitable contribution.
The man in charge is Luke Cage, the former Hero for Hire, who is joined by Spectrum (Monica Rambeau), a mysterious new Ronin, Blue Marvel, Power Man, White Tiger, Falcon and She-Hulk, although the self-declared “Superior” Spider-Man (in reality Doctor Octopus’ mind in Peter Parker’s body) drops in for a few issues before he is unceremoniously booted out.
Although the books collected in this volume are unfortunately caught up in various crossover events, that doesn’t actually impinge on either the story of the team’s foundation or its subsequent exploits. At its heart this is a people-piece, and it’s the interplay between the different heroes and the challenges they face which drives it forward.
So there are various plot threads which are unresolved at the end of this collection… So what? That’s what all good ongoing fiction does to keep you coming back for more, and Mighty Avengers certainly succeeds on that front. It will be interesting to see where this series goes in the future, and how this team interacts with the other Avengers organisations, but for now this reader is happy to tag along for the ride.