If anyone is thinking that the main Avengers titles have gotten too highfalutin and stodgy under Jonathan Hickman, you should check out Al Ewing’s Mighty Avengers, because that’s where you’re going to find some slam-bang fun-time team-up action. It’s worth noting that the only white guy on the team is the Superior Spider-Man (and he’d probably argue the assertion that he’s actually on the team), but it’s not even a big deal. The book’s just cool.
Okay, so we’ve also got no idea who the Splendiferous Spider Hero is, either, but he’s good with nunchuks and he knows a lot about magic (Blade, maybe?). Plus, he’s dressed up in a garish Spider-Man knock-off costume that constantly irritates the real Spider-Man (who is technically not the real Spider-Man but Dr. Octopus in his body, but that’s for another book). What’s not to like?
Anyway, last issue – holy crap, Shuma-Gorath attack! Black Order member Ebony Maw has sunk himself deep into Dr. Strange’s mind, and unleashing some bad magic hoodoo on the Big Apple. Mighty Avengers #3 opens with the new teen Power Man Victor Alvarez re-recruiting White Tiger back into the fight, after ol’ Supey Spidey demoralized her entirely, and he does it with some solid truth that actually puts a twinkle in the Tiger’s eye. Cut back to Times Square and GIANT EYEBALL TENTACLE MONSTER WHO DESCRIBES BABY SOULS AS ‘SUCCULENT’ is going down, while Maw’s pal Proxima Midnight has worked some freaky zap-face on Spectrum (Monica Rambeau) that’s got her on death’s door. Thankfully, Dr. Adam Brashear, aka the Blue Marvel – a Superman-caliber powerhouse who retired because he’s also a scientific genius and he doesn’t care about being a superstar – shows up to rip a hole through that big eyeball. Oh, and Spider Hero apparently knows the guy… and Spider-Man is a fan of his body of scientific work.
Adam also saves Spectrum’s life, allowing her to make a Janet Jackson joke out of nowhere that’s silly enough to amuse, just in time for Power Man and White Tiger to show up, letting the team come together to figure out how to fight a dark I WILL DEVOUR THE HUSKS OF YOUR DEAD DREAMS god on its own turf, and decide to actually call themselves the Mighty Avengers. Seems they got a hashtag and everything.
Good times, Mr. Ewing, good times. Fun dialogue, solid action, high adventure, plenty of smack talk, and even Kat Farrell making a cameo. As much smack as I’ve talked about Greg Land, he is a capable artist when he wants to be, and there are some really good panels here – the tentacle-mouthed freakshow is very solidly grody. If he could just learn to draw an honest smile that doesn’t make the smiler look like a smug douche no matter the situation, maybe I could stop complaining so much. Seriously, nothing about Dr. Brashear indicates that when he’s working on saving Monica’s life, he should smile like a frat boy getting a hummer.
Overall, though, Mighty Avengers is jam packed with entertaining superhero action. Read it, support it, and make sure that nobody can make the dumb argument that non-white characters can’t sell a book.