Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mighty Avengers, Volume 1: No Single Hero Review (Al Ewing, Greg Land)

Marvel Exec #1: We’re going to reintroduce the Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage and everyone in their own series. 
Head Honcho: I don’t hear the word AVENGERS or X-MEN in the title. 
Marvel Exec #1: … that’s because they’re the Heroes for Hire. 
Head Honcho: Are you fucking retarded?! Nobody knows who the fuck that is! It’s gotta have AVENGERS or X-MEN in the title! This is a goddamn 21st century Marvel comic, Thor-fucking-dammit! 
Marvel Exec #1: Sir, maybe… maybe not every comic needs to be branded as either Avengers or X-Men? 
Head Honcho: So, who’s in this thing?
Marvel Exec #2 (after Marvel Exec #1 is carried away, his groin thoroughly kicked by Head Honcho): Luke Cage, Power Man…
Head Honcho: They’re not the same thing?
Marvel Exec #2: Not any more, sir, and Superior Spider-Man, and… 
Head Honcho: THAT’S GREAT! Let’s call this Superior Spider-Man and the whatevers! People LOVE Superior Spider-Man and I LOVE money! 
Marvel Exec #2 (shielding groin): We’ll call it Mighty Avengers or something, sir, that seems more representative of the series. 
Head Honcho: Whatever. I’m gonna go look at the sales figures for the New 52 and laugh til I pee on a statue of Superman! 
So this is the new Heroes for Hire comic titled Mighty Avengers, a superhero team designed for street-level action even though they do the exact opposite during this entire first volume! 

Let’s get Greg Land, the “artist” for this series, out of the way first. Print out a photo of a human. Take some tracing paper and place it over the photo. Then, using an unsharpened pencil, turn off the lights and get to work copying that photo! Turn the lights back on. Congratulations, you’ve surpassed Land’s abilities with that worthless scrawl in front of you! 

You know those comics scripts you sometimes see in the backs of collected editions? I’d have actually preferred reading this book in that format. Get some eyewash when you’re done with this comic, you don’t want any Land getting in there - it’s nasty stuff! 

Writing-wise, this isn’t a bad comic but doesn’t seem to be the likeliest of foundations for a lasting series. I mean, it’s immediately tied into the Infinity event comic when the Avengers all left Earth and Thanos and his fleet invaded. Luke Cage, Superior Spider-Man, Power Man, Jessica Jones, White Tiger, Spectrum, Falcon, Blue Marvel, a mystery man wearing a Spider-Man knockoff suit, and, in a cool cameo, She-Hulk, are all left behind, and decide to form a rudimentary Avengers team. 

They battle Thanos’ emo lieutenants, a Lovecraftian monster, some rogue Inhumans, and Superior Spider-Man himself because Otto’s a dick and he can’t help himself! But, with Infinity over and done with, do they need to remain a team? Weren’t they brought together because of the dire situation Earth was in - with the Avengers back on Earth, aren’t they basically redundant? 

Al Ewing’s script is fine but not amazing. He’s got Cage’s voice down and Otto’s, and the book moves along nicely, even if there’s nothing very original happening on the page. That said, there is a super-corny moment when ordinary New Yorkers stand up to Thanos’ troops, lobbing bricks at them and yelling AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! 

Maybe I’ve become too cynical but I would’ve loved for the granny that started all of that to get her head punched off by one of Thanos’ men. But no, like Hulk Hogan, the chant gives a felled Luke Cage the power to stand up and fight. You can practically hear Real American playing in that scene. 

(When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside, 
Ya gotta take a stand it don’t help to hide! 

Seriously, I bet those lyrics were central to Al Ewing’s pitch for the series. ) 

I wasn’t too bored with Mighty Avengers nor was I terribly impressed either. It’s a middle of the road Marvel comic with some middle of the road characters (despite being in this first volume a lot, Spidey’s gone by the end). I suppose though for an Avengers comic these days, it’s pretty decent.

Mighty Avengers Volume 1: No Single Hero


  1. I really wanted this one to be good. You have to admire the intentions here: a team made up of mostly non-white and non-male heroes. Unfortunately, this book seems to be going the way of Static Shock and Mr. Terrific.

    I like the idea of more diversity, but the big two don't seem committed enough to the idea to give these characters the best writers in the industry. We need a Fraction-led Black Panther, a Morrison-led Mr. Terrific (don't tell me that wouldn't be awesome). I've got some hope for Morrison's Multiversity featuring the black president Superman (who I'm just calling Superobama- not hatin'), but it's a small hint of light in an otherwise grim looking future.

    1. Oh man, Mister Terrific written by Morrison - you sir have unlocked a gem of an idea! Now I'm hoping he shows up in Multiversity somewhere!