Tag Archives: Greg Land

Mighty Avengers #6 Review

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Published by Marvel Comics, Mighty Avengers is a character-driven series.  The series  focuses on the interpersonal relationships of the predominantly minority-led superhero team, led by Luke Cage.

Written by Al Ewing, Mighty Avengers #6 is filled with crisp dialogue, and excellent character interactions.  I especially like the interaction between Luke Cage and Blue Marvel.  I also liked the mishaps of Kenny Driscoll, leading up to Falcon’s intro.

I plan to continue reading the series, especially to learn more about Power Man’s abilities.

The art team consists of Valerio Schiti (artist), Frank D’Armata (colors), Greg Land and D’Armata (cover).  Characters are realistically drawn, and I especially like their facial expressions.  They actually match the dialogue.  I didn’t like Luke Cage’s appearance at first.  I felt he looked too hip-hop.  I didn’t care for the ripped jeans, unlaced shoes, chain loop hanging from his belt, and all those rings on his fingers.  But I didn’t complain much, because I know that just because you dress a certain way, doesn’t mean that you behave in that fashion.  And the Mighty Avengers is a team of intellectual characters.

When I blogged about the debut issue, I stated that Marvel had set this title up for failure.  I still feel that way, but Marvel is not acting alone.  There’s someone else that’s also setting  up Mighty Avengers to fail, its readers.

Supporters of this title need to spread the word about the book.  Get on your blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, message boards, and other social media sites and get the word out about this book.  Post about your favorite characters or scenes.  This is a character-driven series.  Talk about their interpersonal relationships.

There is always someone looking for new comics to read, and this is our chance to make sure that this title lands in the hands of those readers.

We all know that Marvel will cancel a title in a split second, so we need to bust our asses and get the word out about this awesome book, before it heads to that damn chopping block.

We also need to make sure that we talk about the creative team.  Al Ewing is a great writer.  We are six issues into the series, but he’s still in the shadows.  That’s because people are so busy complaining about Land, and Monica Rambeau’s hair.

Speaking of message boards, stop posting a bunch of nonsense and talk about your favorite comic books before they get CANCELLED.  I rarely visit message boards.  When I do visit, I don’t always comment because I don’t see any interesting discussions.

That was the case recently.  I went to a message board to interact with other fans about the current issue.  There was nearly 40 pages of discussion about the current issue, but the majority of the posts were in reference to Monica’s new hairstyle.

If you are a poster on message boards, please post something of intelligence about your favorite comic books.  Many site visitors feel compelled to comment, so this is your chance to facilitate a constructive discussion.

I posted a link to my blog post about Monica’s hair, and of course most of the responses I received were sarcastic.  Yes I said to leave Monica alone, and she should be left alone.  Talk about the damn story, not a hairstyle.

Bring Ewing out of the shadows, and put him up on a pedestal.  He’s an excellent writer, and it’s time to spread the word about his work.   Schiti is a great artist, and hell, even Land’s art is not unbearable.

I have supported Mighty Avengers since the first issue, and I will continue to support it.  I am going to tweet, Facebook, Tumblr, and blog about this book until I get tired.  I will take a 5-second break, then continue to tweet, Facebook, Tumblr and blog.

I created my Tumblr account a few weeks ago.  I still don’t know what I’m doing, but at least I know how to publish a post.  That’s one more social media site for me to blast my support for my favorite comic books.

I also discuss comic books at the comic shop.  That’s a great way to interact with the store owners, employees, and customers.

Comic book readers, there are people looking for comics to read.  Not just new readers, but readers looking for a jump-on point.  We can help them out by spreading the word about our favorite comics, especially low-profile titles.

Verdict (drum roll please)

Mighty Avengers is an excellent character-driven book that I strongly recommend.  This issue gets 5/5 stars.

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Monica Rambeau: What’s Hair Got to do With it?

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I knew from the beginning that Mighty Avengers, the predominantly minority-led superhero team by Marvel Comics, would draw a lot of slack.  But what I didn’t expect was negative comments about Monica Rambeau’s new appearance, specifically her new hairstyle, to pour in by the masses.

Monica Rambeau, aka Spectrum, is a beautiful, intelligent, strong, and determined  African-American woman.  I am also an African-American female, with hair of black texture.  Monica is representing to the fullest.  So if you’re talking about her, then you’re also talking about me.

In case you don’t already know, this blog consists of my HONEST comic reviews, and my HONEST rants and tantrums.  Every blog post consists of my thoughts only, because I am not influenced by anyone.

I am literally shocked by the comments that I have been reading since Mighty Avengers debut issue.  Out of 20+ pages of this wonderfully crafted comic, written by Al Ewing, the only thing a lot of people mention is Monica’s hair.  The haters and complainers of Mighty Avengers are complaining about Monica’s new hairstyle, as if her hair is a character.  Last I checked, hair didn’t talk or fight.  Well at least mine don’t.

What disturbs me, most of all, is the fact that I can tell that MOST of those comments about Monica’s hair are not even written by African-Americans.

First of all, what the hell does Monica’s hair has to do with anything?

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 Nothing at all.

How is it affecting her role in comics?  It’s not.

Second, please stop with the notion that we (black women) relax our hair to conform to the standards of white beauty, because that’s just a pile of bullshit.  Black women have worn relaxed hairstyles for years.  We relax our hair to make it straight, just as white women perm their hair to make it curly.

And as for the mother mentioning the “burn” in the current issue, and above picture, a relaxer is a chemical.  Chemicals burn irritated skin, especially relaxers that contain dye.  So if you scratch your scalp before a relaxer application, it becomes irritated, and a possible burning sensation from the relaxer dye may occur.

So fucking  what Monica Rambeau is no longer wearing braids and a damn trench coat.  Getting rid of braids, afro, and opting to relax our hair instead, does not make us less black.

I read comments that stated a lot of black women like to stay natural, stick to our culture.  Well that may be the case, but for those women.  It’s not like that for all of us.

The main reason black women relax their hair is manageability/flexibility.  Relaxed hair is easier to comb and style, and we’re not spending a lot of time in the mirror trying to “make do.”

Hair of black texture is coarse and dry.  Our hair comes in three grades, fine (or good hair), medium, and coarse.  My hair is medium grade, and I haven’t relaxed it in almost a year.  But so what, it’s my choice.  Just like it’s Al Ewing, Greg Land, and Valerio Schiti’s choice to design Monica’s appearance however they like.

Let’s take a look at Misty Knight.

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Hairstyles, just like clothing, has to appropriately fit the occasion.  Misty Knight, the African-American badass from The Fearless Defenders does not have the same abilities as Monica.  She’s neither a beam of light, nor does she fly in the air.  She kicks ass on the ground.  Therefore, Misty’s braids and ponytail is befitting to her appearance in the comic.

On the other hand, I definitely would not want to look up and see Monica flying around with braids or a ‘fro.  That would look totally ridiculous.  Just as ridiculous as all those silly comments I read.

In other words, leave Monica Rambeau the hell alone.

With Schiti as the artist for the current issue, I thought maybe there would be more comments on his work, and Ewing’s writing.  And less negative comments about Land’s work and Monica’s hair.  I was wrong.

After reading the dialogue between Monica and the mother, I just knew all this nonsense about her hair would cease.  Wrong again.

I like to visit comic message boards to interact with other comic fans.  I don’t always comment, but I like to read a variety of posts and comments.  But lately I’ve found it hard to find intellectual discussions about some of my favorite comic books, especially Mighty Avengers.

By the way, if you think black women wearing straightened hair is conforming to white society, then wait until this summer when I attend the 2014 World TSC Conference in Washington, D.C.  My hair is going to be waist-length, silky-smooth and straight.

Since black heroes are not allowed to change their hairstyles,

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then I guess Luke Cage should still look like this:

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Mighty Avengers #1 Review

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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.