Mighty Avengers #1 Review

mightavenge1

The Avengers are somewhere in outer space on an unknown mission, so Thanos decides to use their absence as an opportunity to overthrow New York City. But he and his crew will soon learn that another team of Avengers has stepped up to the plate.

The story begins with Luke Cage leading Power Man and White Tiger on a “Heroes for Hire” job at Horizon Labs. As they are fighting Plunder and his henchmen, Superior Spider-Man drops in and captures Plunder. He calls out the Heroes for Hire as being mercenaries, thugs. White Tiger agrees with Spider-Man and call it quits.

Meanwhile Blue Streak is on the run from the police, racing all over the city like a maniac holding a large sack and wielding a gun. But Monica Rambeau, aka Spectrum, quickly put a stop to that madness. Spectrum was actually testing out her new costume when she ran into Blue Streak. When she returned to the costume shop, she was informed that a man stopped by to see her. The man was still in the shop but his name and identity remained hidden. He tells Monica that he can’t be seen in-country so she dons him in a knock-off Spider-Man costume!

Proxima Midnight and her minions arrives in New York and immediately began their plan of destruction. As Cage, Spider-Man and Spectrum fight the gang of marauders, Spectrum mentions that a guy may be on the way to help. Just as Spider-Man begins to brag that he can have back-up in a matter of seconds, Spectrum’s friend with the knock-off Spider-Man costume shows up with a pair of nunchucks.

I enjoyed this debut issue and I definitely plan to read the next one to see where the story is headed. The predominately black superhero team is not the sole reason that I bought this title. I also bought it because some of my favorite Marvel characters are in this comic, such as Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk and Superior Spider-Man.

Written by Al Ewing, the story is full of fun and easy-to-follow dialogue. I like the distinctive personality of each character. Cage is re-evaluating his life and trying to figure out what’s best for him and his family. Monica is re-branding herself which includes a new attitude, hairstyle and costume. Her new alias, Spectrum, didn’t grab me at first but then I realized the name is just a reflection of her powers. I like Power Man’s attitude and how he likes to challenge authority. I am a huge fan of Superior Spider-Man and I’m hoping that Ewing keeps him “Superior” in this series…arrogant, attitude and always demanding respect.

The art team consists of Greg Land (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks) and Frank D’Armata (colors). I have no complaints at all in this area, probably because most of my focus was on Luke Cage (sorry Tony Stark and Starlord). Land drew Cage as handsome as handsome can get, especially those muscles. I like Monica’s new look, especially her new hairstyle. If I’m reading a good story, then I expect the same with the art and this team has delivered just that.

MARVEL HAS SET THIS TITLE UP FOR FAILURE.

Mighty Avengers is a predominately black superhero team, includes Superior Spider-Man and is drawn by Greg Land. It’s a conspiracy to make sure the sales go nowhere but down. I don’t see this title lasting more than a year, if that long.

A superhero team dominated by blacks and led by a black man. That alone is enough for low sales. Was this title put together to appeal to the “there’s not enough blacks…” hype?

Marvel added Superior Spider-Man to the team’s lineup knowing damn well that he constantly gets hated on. I follow Dan Slott on Twitter and his hate tweets had gotten so bad and in abundance that he had to start blocking those followers. There is a lot of hate about Superior Spider-Man circulating on the internet. So of course this should tell you that Spidey haters most likely won’t even glance at this title.

A lot, if not most, people look at the creative team of a comic to help them decide if they want to give it a try or not. So when I learned that Greg Land, porn face as some call him on the internet, would be the artist, I mentally prepared myself for the negativity on blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook and wherever else people go to complain on the internet. I heard and read about Land before Mighty Avengers was announced. I also read a few articles and comments about him a few days before this title was released and they were ALL NEGATIVE. There were people already saying they wasn’t going to buy the book because his name is attached. I don’t read reviews of comics that I plan to blog about until after I have published mine. This is that one exception, because I knew what to expect. The reviews, blogs and comments all had negatives that greatly outnumbered the positives.

A lot of the comments were from people who didn’t even buy the book. They’re stuck on the artist, saying things like if only it wasn’t Greg Land or if only it had a different artist. I also read several comments from people who claim they don’t like the new Monica. These are not only post review comments, but from previews as well, so the comic was judged before it was read in its’ entirety.

There is never-ending hate for Land so let me talk about Monica Rambeau. Monica is a beautiful African-American woman who is getting hated on for her new costume and hairstyle. I am well aware of the trench coat, afro and braids. People change, even in comics. So what that Land has given Monica a new look. She’s re-branding herself, a fresh start. There’s nothing wrong with that. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with her hair. I got most of my hair cut off a few months ago. I have always worn my hair medium-long length. Why cut it so short? Because I am also rebranding myself. My hairstyle is similar to Monica’s and it appears that we are both sporting a hair color from the cinnamon family. Black women change hairstyles all the time. I have worn my hair long, short and I even wore braids at one time. We’re not trying to make a statement, we are just trying something DIFFERENT.

I read a few positives on Twitter and A LOT of negatives. People claiming they would read it if there was a different artist, or if Monica still wore the trench coat and braids. Or there’s already too many Avengers titles. Really? Have you complained about all those X-Men titles? Retailers tweeting the low sales, but none of them said anything about if they read the comic or not. They’re claiming low sales due to people hating the art. Blaming low sales due to the artist and Monica’s new look is nothing but pure bullsh-t.

Retailers ordered extremely low amounts of this comic because they knew a black-dominated story wouldn’t sell well. But….sales wouldn’t be that bad if they helped promote the title, or better yet, read it and then Tweet, Facebook, blog or whatever it takes to help this comic sell. But that’s far from reality. Too much like doing the right thing. Don’t want to be seen or heard pushing a team led by a black man.

If the creative team consisted of the big guns, then all hell would’ve broken loose. Imagine If Bendis, David, Fraction, Yost, Ramos and Stegman were on the this title, and there was a rare variant by Quesada.

  • Comic Book Resources and Bleeding Cool would have neverending threads of people giving praises.
  • eBay would be loaded with hundreds, if not thousands, of not only the book but those rare variants. And don’t forget about Young’s baby variants.
  • Comixolgy would have crashed on the release date like it did for Marvel 700+ free digital issues.
  • The lines of Yost and Stegman would wrap around the building at Detroit Fanfare next month. Stegman would have to turn fans away because of his overwhelming sketch load, and they wouldn’t even complain about the $150 that he charges for commission sketches (I’m not one of those complainers. I proudly gave him my $150 for my Superior Spider-Man sketch a few months ago).
  • CGC would get a shipload of Mighty Avengers #1, some of the owners of these comics would have already created a listing on eBay, having already guessed its’ grade. CGC would be totally exhausted from witnessing and processing Signature Series at conventions.
  • The crowd and lines at comic shops would be record-breaking. I’m sure that belligerent guy at the comic shop last week that I blogged about (I now call him Flint the Flipper) would have put on a much longer show.

I have read comics with either crappy stories, so-so art or both. Some of them I didn’t read past the first issue. But when I read the reviews, nothing but praise was given. That’s because popular names were attached.

What if Marvel had put a black creative team on this comic? Retailers would have sliced their numbers in half, and many of them wouldn’t have ordered at all.

My employer started a mandatory sensitivity training for all employees. There’s a lot of people out in this world that needs this training as well.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this title.

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6 thoughts on “Mighty Avengers #1 Review

  1. The problem with Monica in this book is she looks like every single other woman Land has ever drawn. He’s not drawing an African-American woman. He’s tracing his usual photos of models. Without the colours, it would actually be impossible to tell that Monica is black. Greg Land is a hack. He is an awful artist, a blight on the comic book industry. His constant tracing is ridiculous. The fact that he actually does trace porn makes him offensive. I bought this issue, and I honestly don’t know if I can bring myself to buy the second, because I loathe Greg Land that much.

    Al Ewing’s writing is excellent. It’s sharp, clever, and full of solid characterization. But every time Land draws a woman with her mouth open, it makes me want to hurl the book away, because I’ve seen the exact expressions so damned many times in other things Land has drawn.

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    1. I’m glad that, despite your disgust with Greg Land, you gave this issue a try. I didn’t know much about Land until recently, and because of your honest comments, I have decided to check out some of his work on previous titles. I stand my ground as to Marvel setting this title up for failure, Greg Land being one of the reasons. This is not fair to comic fans, but the real victim is Al Ewing. The more fans kick and scream about Land being on this book, the further Ewing is tossed in the corner. Ewing deserves better than this.

      After I review other artwork by Land, I plan to send Marvel an e-mail. I’m sure it won’t get acknowledged but I’m too vocal to sit back and do nothing. Thank your for sharing.

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      1. Land’s very controversial, but until recently, he seemed to get steady sales on the books he was on. The thing is, he usually did high-profile books. Uncanny X-Men, Iron Man – those books will do well no matter who the creative team is. I think Marvel figured that his style would bring in readers. The first time you see Land’s work, you think, “Hey, that looks really good.” By the third time, you think, “Huh, a lot of this looks really familiar.” Soon after that, you start shaking your fist and shouting, “LAAAAAAND!”

        So I think what Marvel’s hoping for, by putting Land on Mighty Avengers, is that he’ll actually bring in readers. Odds are good he’ll leave after the first arc, before the people who aren’t familiar with him get totally sick of him and his tracing nonsense.

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      2. Leave after the first arc? But how will I get a chance to shake my fist?! I’ll definitely be getting the next issue because I like the story, but I will be inspecting Land’s art with a fine toothed comb. I want to thank you for breaking it down, it really helps with decision making if Land gets a job on a title I currently read, or plan to read in the future.

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  2. This is a great piece covering a lot of topics. I agree with you that the title seems to be set up for failure, but I’d like more speculation as to why the title has so many handicaps. To spend the thousands of dollars just to prove that a “black” title won’t succeed doesn’t seem too realistic. With the story being marginal to the Infinity Crossover, could Mighty Avengers be more of a low-cost testing ground for certain characters and creators?

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    1. I read where the idea for the series was first discussed back in February, Black History Month, and that it was inspired by the late Dwayne McDuffie. If this is Marvel’s way of paying homage to McDuffie, then they should have brainstormed a little longer. Yes McDuffie would have wanted a minority-focused title, but he also would have wanted black creators on the book. Instead the title has been set to self-destruct.

      Although I have them all, I haven’t gotten the chance to read Infinity yet so I can’t comment much on it. I like your idea of a testing ground for certain characters and creators, but I wish Superior Spider-Man wasn’t in the series and that another artist was on the book. True homage would be paid by adding black writers and artists to more titles, not just Mighty Avengers. They threw a monkey wrench in on this one.

      Thank you for your response to this sensitive issue.

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