Comics : Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #1

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This story is part of an Arc: "Infinity tie in"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: Oct 2013.

Background...

Luke Cage used to lead the New Avengers vol. 2 but gave it up in order to to be with his wife and daughter (good man!). However, a guy doesn't just stop being a hero (and also has to pay the bills) so he's restarted his old business Heroes for Hire with a team of Avengers Academy graduates.

Also whilst the Avengers are away fighting the Builders during the Infinity event, the Earth has been left “unprotected” so Thanos had decided to attack with a group of evil cohorts known as the Black Order.

In Detail...

"The Team Forms"
Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #1
Nov 2013 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 1 of "Infinity tie in"
Editor:  Lauren Sankovitch, Tom Brennan
Writer:  Al Ewing
Pencils:  Greg Land
Inker:  Jay Leisten
Cover Art:  Greg Land, Lee Duhig
Lettering:  Cory Petit
Colorist:  Frank D'Armata
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Thanos watches the Earth from his spaceship in orbit with Proxima Mignight. She wants to destroy New York but Thanos is letting Ebony Maw have first attempt (this story is being told in New Avengers). However, Proxima makes her case so Thanos concedes and allows her to attack.

The Heroes for Hire (consisting of Luke Cage, White Tiger and Power Man) are dealing with the Plunderer who, with his team of henchmen, is attempting to steal crates of cargo due for delivery to the Horizon Labs. However, the Superior Spider-Man has a vested interest in protecting these goods so turns up to deal with the Plunderer and insults the Heroes in the process. Spidey's words (how the Heroes for Hire are nothing but mercenaries and heroism should be its own reward) effect White Tiger enough for her to quit the team there and then.

Meanwhile, the Blue Streak has robbed somewhere/someone and is escaping the police. This is quite easy for him as he is pretty fast. Not as fast as the speed of light though, which Monica Rambeau happens to be able to turn into (as well as anything else on the electromagnetic spectrum), which allows her to explosively stop the Streak. This was Monica going easy on the guy as she is trying to rebrand herself, taking the new name “Spectrum” (having previously been Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar). Having tried her new outfit out, Monica returns to her costumier where a figure in the shadows waits for her.

Back in Manhattan, Luke and Power Man are having a coffee. Vic isn't happy that Tiger quit the team and that Cage just let her. Luke says his family now comes first, which further annoys Power Man making him think Luke wants to rejoin the Avengers and so he storms off.

This is when Proxima Midnight and her minions choose to attack New York. Cage, Spider-Man and Spectrum hear the explosions and head to intercept. Spectrum wants the Shadowy figure to help, saying she won't help him unless he helps her now, but he doesn't want certain people to know that he is in the country. Spectrum tells him to change his identity and throws a costume at him. Luke, Spidey and Monica start attacking the minions and are joined by Spider Hero (the shadow guy wearing a hideous neon green and pink version of a Spider-Man outfit). Realising the main Avengers are not around to help out, Luke declares that they are the Avengers.

In General...

So this is the second iteration of the “Mighty Avengers” title (though it's the third team to be called that) and I have to wonder what makes this team so mighty, especially compared to the main team with big hitters like Thor, Hulk, Hyperion, Smasher and Captain Universe in it. I suppose the key thing is the word Avengers, which Marvel knows will sell comics (along with anything that has Spider-Man and X-Men linked to the title) and so what qualifies them as mighty or even Avengers probably didn't get much thought! Anyway, let's see how this issue shaped up.

Well as you'd expect from a #1 issue it's pretty much set up of this new team using the Infinity event as a jumping off point (tying in with Infinity #3). It works quite well and is in line with the original Avengers (and original New Avengers) set up of “one day something so bad happened that a group of heroes had to team together to deal with it.” It may be a bit clichéd, having been done so many times with various teams, but I appreciated it's nostalgic touch. As for the team, it's quite confusing at first. We're introduced to the Heroes for Hire who then immediately disband, will they join the Mighty Avengers? You have to assume so or else why introduce a team, that doesn't feature in their own comic, only for them to go their separate ways after a few pages. We also have this mysterious figure that helps out (again shades of the original New Avengers here and their Ronin character) but clearly he'll be wanting something in return when Infinity is done and dusted. This gives a few threads which will hopefully be remembered and addressed as the comic goes along so nice to introduce them in here.

I think the characters are well presented here and each has their own voice. Cage the family man who wants to be a hero too, Tiger the noble warrior, Power Man the hothead, Spider-Man the arrogant and egotistical protector, Spectrum the media loving heroine and the mysterious shadowy figure being all mysterious in the shadows! They're well written and match the traits I've seen previously with these characters. In fact I quite like the writing in general, the “banter” between Cage and Spidey is good and I chuckled at the captions used to introduce characters to the reader. Even the use of a minor villain was well done.

Other than team set up and introduction, not much else happens – especially if you're following the Infinity event, we don't really learn much new. Finally, the art and I like it. Like the with what I said with the writing above, I think the artist has captured the nuances of each character well. Look forward to seeing more.

Overall Rating...

A nice opening issue, setting things up but nothing truly outstanding story wise. Definitely above average for me though.

Footnote...

It'll be interesting to see what happens to Spider-Man and his Avengers' status in the next few issues. They have been teasing us about him being on probation and how Otto doesn't even really want to be on the team for a bit, so now he's on another team how long will it last? Or will it be like the previous versions of Avengers vol. 4 and New Avengers vol. 2 where Spider-Man (and Wolverine) had enough time to be on two separate Avengers teams and many other titles all at once!