Comics : Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #2

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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: Nov 2013.

Background...

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. When Proxima Midnight and her minions attack only a team of Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Spectrum and a mysterious character wearing a “Spider Hero” outfit stand in their way.

In Detail...

"Mighty Avengers v. Proxima Midnight"
Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #2
Dec 2013 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 2 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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Review

In scenes probably mirroring those in New Avengers (I'm not picking it up so don't know with 100% certainty), we see the Ebony Maw influencing Dr Strange into doing something bad whilst Stephen's sometime enemy/sometime ally Kaluu tries to stop this (more later). We then switch to the underwater laboratory of Adam Brashear a.k.a. the Blue Marvel. He is minding his own business running some experiments with portal technology when Uatu the Watcher appears. As anyone in the Marvel Universe knows he only turns up when a significant event is about to occur but cannot interfere. Adam thinks it wise to see what else is going on in the world and discovers a level 7 attack in New York.

The Mighty Avengers are doing their best against the alien horde. Spider-Man calls for reinforcements from his Spiderlings but they are getting a beating too. Spectrum's “living light” abilities are proving quite effective against the invaders so Proxima Midnight takes Monica down with her spear. Just when the Avengers are down and Proxima's forces look like they are getting the upper hand, a group of local civilians stand up to her. Their stance is insignificant but inspire the Mighty Avengers for another round. Luke Cage starts wailing on Proxima just as an earthquake begins. A disappointed Thanos recalls Proxima from the battle, who promises to return for any survivors. She also frees Spectrum from her spear but it looks as thought the damage has already been done to Monica.

We then see what Dr Strange has been up to. He has summoned Shuma-Gorath, a green tentacled demon, from beneath New York. Blue Marvel flies onto the scene declaring it has just become a level 8!

In General...

Despite this being issue 2 this is pretty much another introduction, but not done quite as well as the first. Here we meet the Blue Marvel, who through his conversation with the unresponsive Watcher downloads a lot of information onto the reader; how he lives in his lab after the loss of his wife and since the kids have moved out of the family home. Clearly he's a Reed Richards type character, happy running experiments unaware and only stepping in when things are really bad. Maybe as the Blue Marvel has been absent from mainstream Marvel for a while, a bit more of an introduction was needed it's just a shame it was done in such a crude way especially when compared to the snappy way issue 1 introduced a lot more characters. This also probably sets up the underwater base as the new HQ for the Mighty Avengers; I can see that portal technology being quite helpful to get to place to place. Though I struggled to believe that with all that tech he didn't have an automated system in place to detect threats “level 5” and above. Kind of defeats the purpose of have a threat detection system if it doesn't actually detect threats unless activated – if you're actively looking for threats you don't need a system for it!

We also have the Watcher appear in this issue, which I'm not too keen on. It's a classic Marvel way of forcing the reader to believe the situation is really bad (I suppose he turns up at really good ones too, but they rarely happen). Again it's a bit of a crude way of saying how significant an event is – Oh wow! The Watcher is here, this must really matter. The Watcher does appear to have some history with the Blue Marvel so fortunately this meeting is not quite as forced as when Uatu normally turns up.

How about the rest of the issue? Well that's good on the whole. Could have done without the locals uprising inspiring the heroes scene (that too has been done to death in comics – Oh wow! These powerless people are fighting where we had given up, let's get to it heroes!). However, the dialogue is good with funny moments. Spider-Man complaining about his Spiderlings is amusing as are the exchanges, or rather barbs, between Spidey and “Spider Hero”. The mysterious character clearly has some kind of link to the mystic world as he could detect the demon being summoned; how long will we wait before his identity is revealed? Loved the captions again, with their grandiose title followed by a simple explanation underneath. They may have been overused in explaining how bad Proxima's spear was going to be against Spectrum – the villainess could have monologued something similar in true baddie fashion!

The art is rather nice too, let's hope we get to a bit of significant action next time with a new threat being teed up here.

Overall Rating...

Not as good as the previous issue with a few too many introductory scenes and let down by a few too many clichés for one comic. Not awful though so it scores the average mark.

Footnote...

Some nice nods to Stephen Strange's past, bringing back Shuma-Gorath and acknowledging Kaluu's involvement from when last the demon was fought. If Strange was a main character in this book, as opposed to a guest, these nods to continuity may have earned another half a mark!