The Mighty Avengers is now "Captain America and the Mighty Avengers".
Spider-Man (and then Superior Spider-Man) was formerly a member of the group. Then he got evicted when he was revealed to be Doc Ock dressed up in Peter Parker's brain. Still, Spidey has important guest-star power and this book needs his support.
So the web-slinger appears in most of the issues of this title's brief run. At least a cameo. Or in this case, simply a cover appearance without actually making into the inside pages. But that's sufficient to earn it a spot in our database.
Now, recent events. The current team membership is (on the good side): Spectrum, Power Man, White Tiger, Kaluu, Blue Marvel, She-Hulk. And on the (temporarily) bad side (having been recently "inverted" as a result of the "Axis" story-line) are: Captain America (Sam Wilson), Iron Man (Tony Stark), and Luke Cage.
[Of course we all know the whole "Axis" thing is just temporary, and that Cap is going to be back to normal in three issues ready to start the run-up to the next annual Marvel Event.]
The major bad guys are represented by the obviously evil corporation "Cortex, Inc.". In the Cortex sub-plot, bodyguard/Killer/Scapegoat Barbara McDevitt (also an Inhuman aka "Quickfire") is in prison having taken responsibility for some recent evil shenanigans. Smooth-talking Cortex CEO Jason Quantrell reality-warps himself into her cell to trigger a transformation in her which will supposedly allow her to escape.
Then there's the played-for-laughs lower-tier villains – a team of armoured roller-bladers calling themselves "The Fast Five". Those guys launch a noisy bank robbery in central Manhattan. They all have fancy super-villain names, but honestly they're not interesting enough for me to bother going through the list.
The (good) Mighty Avengers (promoted by a call to their 1800 number) do their super-hero shtick and go defeat the junior criminals. It takes several pages and involves far too much rollerblading.
The villains and they both heroes get to display their powers and personalities in a parade that is disturbingly reminiscent of a Miss Universe Pageant. Each of them gets a few panels to display their name, costume, super-abilities, and something which might laughably be called a "characterisation".
But when the victorious heroes return to their home base at the "Gem Theatre", there is strange news. Luke Cage (who is "bad", remember) storms in to declares that he wants to be super-rich and so he has sold the Mighty Avengers to Cortex, Inc.
The (good) Mighty Avengers are naturally unhappy about this. Also unhappy is his wife, Jessica Jones. Much yelling ensues, and She-Hulk points out that thanks to various papers that were signed, the Mighty Avengers are legally a co-operative with multiple stake-holders.
So Luke Cage goes stomping off to be with his other (AXIS-shifted) bad buddies, Tony and Sam, in the "not-Mighty" Avengers.
On the surface, there's a lot going on here. Dozens of characters, multiple sub-plots. Plenty of conflict, both physical and verbal.
Unfortunately, there's nothing in here that made an impact on me. Sure I can see what the writers are trying to do – and I can see them failing. The bad guys are caricatures, the good/bad guys are one-dimensional, and the good guys are shallow. You can change costumes and posture around as much as you like, but boring is boring.
In the quest for "action", the individuals are lost. The characters are unsympathetic and there are too damn many of them. I mean, seriously. We have 2 serious villains plus 5 comedy villains. There are 6 good heroes and 6 bad heroes. Plus Jessica and the baby, plus Spider-Man, and Gideon Mace hovering in the background. There's the AXIS sub-plot, the Cortex Sub-Plot, and the Bank Robbery.
The comic book is spread too thin for me to give a damn about any of this. The concept isn't working, and the harder they keep trying, the less it works. We're well past Dunbar's Number at this point.
Yes, putting Spider-Man on the cover was sufficient to make me buy this comic. Well done, you have my $3.99.
But it isn't enough to make me give it a good rating!