It’s funny, I wrote a piece about the uproar that this comic produced, with masses of comic fans proclaiming that the comic shops that were not ordering huge number of the first issue must be racist, and accusing me of being a racist because I didn’t see things their way. I got the first issue and the second and… entirely forgot to review it!
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it and I certainly don’t care what anyone thinks of me if I did, it just slipped through the cracks and it’s time to correct that oversight. Therefore, here is my review of the first three issues of Mighty Avengers!
We start off showing that the Avengers have headed out into space to deal with the Infinity storyline, leaving Earth vulnerable and unprotected. Nah, that’s not true for we see Luke Cage and his Heroes for Hire fighting off the Plunderer and his Plunderers, who are attacking Horizon Labs. They defeat him, with a little help from your not-so-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, who comes by to criticize the Capitalists for Hire, saying that they should do it out of the goodness of their hearts, not for a paycheck. It’s interesting that not too much later, Spidey calls on his own band of hired mercenaries who are only fighting crime for the paycheck. However, with the Avengers gone, it doesn’t take Thanos long to realize he’s got a shot at punishing his archenemies by trashing their city while they’re away. As hellfire rains down from the sky, it’s up to Cage and his hastily assembled group of heroes to fight against the attackers. Avengers Assemble!
The story is actually quite good for the most part, Al Ewing performs admirably, particularly in the action scenes. Where he bogs down though is the slower parts, especially the talk between Luke Cage and Victor Alvarez as they talk about Luke’s life and what drives him. Al really needs to work on that because the rest of the book is really quite good.
Unfortunately, I can’t say that for Greg Land’s art. No one I know of was looking forward to it and honestly, I don’t know many people who like Land’s art anyhow. It’s dull and lifeless and absurdly over-sexed, with big-breasted women, boring backgrounds and unrealistic poses. Land ought to go back to drawing cheesy pin-up art and the sooner Marvel pulls him off this book, the better. He’s awful.
Let’s look at the characters for a moment. As I’ve said in the past, I’ve been a fan of a lot of these characters for a long time. I’ve enjoyed Luke Cage since his original days as Power Man, back in his Power Man and Iron Fist days. I’ve been a fan of Monica Rambeau (aka Spectrum) since she was Captain Marvel in the mid 80s. I’ve liked White Tiger since he first appeared in the 1970s and the current version is the original’s sister. And there’s one more that people might remember, dressed as a neon version of Spidey, Eric Brooks as Ronin, but he used to be known by another name, Blade. Rounding out the team is the new Power Man, Victor Alvarez, Blue Marvel and Doc Ock playing along in his role as Spider-Man. All of these are good, strong characters, most with very long histories and mostly quite popular.
Of course I have to address the elephant in the room since it’s been made a huge deal of, but to be honest, I don’t care if any of these characters are black, Hispanic, white, green (She-Hulk comes on board later) or whatever. It just doesn’t matter to me and it shouldn’t matter to anyone else, which will just get me called a racist. It’s a fun book, populated by characters I enjoy and I don’t care what their skin color or gender is. I never thought for a moment while reading these issues that this character was black or that character was Hispanic or there’s a woman, it was just a comic book with characters I enjoyed and that was the extent of it. I neither think that Mighty Avengers is an overdue non-white team book, nor that it is a book cashing in on minority characters. It’s a comic book, put out to make money and I, for one, hope it does well, not because it’s got black characters, but because it’s well written. Anyone who is primarily concerned because of the skin color of imaginary superheroes has some serious issues to work out. You might even say they’re racist.
Now maybe it’s just me, but can any group of people just declare themselves to be Avengers just because they want to be? I thought that took government clearances and background checks and some kind of validation from the government? Oh well, what Luke Cage wants, Luke Cage gets, I guess.
In the end, I think the first couple of issues have set a good precedent and I’m looking forward to more. It’s not perfect, especially on the art side, but it shows a lot of promise, with a lot of characters who show a lot of promise and that’s all that matters in a comic book. Give it a shot, I think you’ll like it.