Wednesday, September 25, 2013



WRITER: Al Ewing
PENCILS: Greg Land
INKS: Jay Leisten
COLORS: Frank D’Armata
LETTERS: Cory Petit
COVER: Greg Land with Lee Duhig
VARIANT COVERS:  Bryan Hitch with Laura Martin; Carlo Barberi with Edgar Delgado; Leonel Castellani; Skottie Young
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2013)

Rated T+

In comic books, how does one master the art of creating the first issue?  I say “art” because I think that producing a great first issue and continuing that into an exceptional comic book series, is an art.  The number of creators who can (1) produce a great first issue, (2) continue that into a distinguished comic book series, and (3) accomplish that feat more than once is relatively small.  I say Alan Moore, Peter Bagge, Kyle Baker, Brian Michael Bendis, Howard Chaykin, Daniel Clowes, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, and Frank Miller, among others.

[Of course, there are creators who produce great first issues which only result in uneven series.  Can you say Grant Morrison?]

And then, there are the creators you wonder about.  They deliver an unspectacular first issue, and that makes me suspicious about the rest of the series.  In a market crowded with superhero comic books, the creative team has to open with a bang.  The new reader/customer needs something that seems like more than just the first chapter of an upcoming trade paperback collection.

Out of Marvel Comics’ “Infinity” event comes a relaunch of Mighty Avengers.  British comic book writer Al Ewing and reliable artist Greg Land deliver the ultimate cookie cutter Avengers comic book in Mighty Avengers #1.  This comic book is not a bad cookie, but it is not a $3.99 cookie.

It is more like a cookie you can get in a $1 bag of cookies at a dollar store (Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, etc.).  So Mighty Avengers is not even the equivalent of a “quality” mass-produced cookie brand (Nabisco?).  It is certainly not a boutique shop cookie baked by two broke girls who just opened their own cookie shop with daddy’s money.

So what happens in this new comic book called Mighty Avengers?  The Avengers are off-world, handling someone else’s business, so who is handling their business back home?  Thanos sends a badass bitch named Proxima Midnight to take advantage of an Avenger-less Earth.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Luke Cage, Spectrum (formerly known as Negress Captain Marvel), Superior Spider-Man (more like Snobby Spider-Man), Power Man and a few others have conversations about themselves.  Then, they fight.

I think Mighty Avengers is supposed to be clever or at least funny in the vein of the old Keith Giffen-J.M. DeMatteis-Kevin Maguire Justice League.  It is neither.  So much for that wry British humor.  The computer program that Judith Krantz, Danielle Steel, and other bestselling authors supposedly use to write their novels must be similar to the tech Greg Land uses to draw his clone superhero comic book art.  The result of Ewing and Land’s efforts is a comic book that is neither mighty nor spectacular, but it isn’t completely bad.  It is Avengers and if you like Avengers, well...

I have heard people describe Mighty Avengers as the “ethnic Avengers” or even the “black Avengers.”  I guess those could be somewhat accurate descriptions, but not when it comes to the creative team.  Marvel Comics editors act like they’re scared of n*gg*s... or at least can’t find Black comic book writers amongst their friends and colleagues.

Anyway, fans that just gots to have an Avengers fix will want Mighty Avengers, although (if you ask me) they need to diversify their reading list – if just a little.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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