Story: Al Ewing
Pencils: Valerio Schiti
Colours: Frank D’Armata
Review by Patrick McAleer
There’s something very special happening over at Mighty Avengers. For those of us lucky enough to be on board since issue #1, we are witnessing writer Al Ewing take what is essentially a lower tier team book and mold it into the one comic with the most heart and charm of any on the shelves. Whilst Mighty Avengers may have to live in the shadow of its more illustrious and venerated cousins in the Avengers line-up of books, it doesn’t have to be burdened by it. So whilst Cap and Iron Man et al are off saving entire worlds and brokering intergalactic treaties, leaving little room for anything approaching downtime or regular everyday interaction and tribulations of family life, Mighty Avengers has it in spades. Don’t get me wrong, that is not to say this title lacks action and spectacular set pieces. This book clearly has those, but writer Al Ewing is crafting a beautiful balance between the ‘powers’ and the personal.
This sixth issue in the series tends more toward the latter (after the Infinity tie-in arc) as we see Luke Cage and Jessica Jones moving into their new apartment. There are some sweet moments (such as Iron Fist entertaining the baby) and a nice splash of in-jokes for old fans of some of these characters. We see moments of tension, particularly between Luke and Adam Brashear (Blue Marvel). The dynamic between these two will be very interesting to watch as the series progresses. The dialogue is full of wit and quite biting in places. Ewing has an economical sense of conversation and it all feels natural and flows beautifully.
There’s a second narrative thread interspersed throughout this issue as we see a right wing arsonist try to escape justice. It’s an intriguing little sub-plot as we watch the bad guy on the run and it also highlights the street level nature of this title. I do occasionally enjoy seeing Thor eviscirate a supreme Alien being with Mjolnir but nothing beats seeing a hoodlum get his comeuppance in a back alley.
As for the art, Valerio Schiti replaces former artist Greg Land in this issue. I’m aware some weren’t happy with Land’s style, but to be honest I thought he was solid. I do however prefer Schiti’s more organic style. It’s less posey than Land’s and evokes the mood Ewing is going for in each scene a bit better in my opinion. Colours from Frank D’Armata are tight, particularly in the darker tone of the arsonist sub-plot where D’Armata’s subdued palette lends weight to the accompanying prose.
Overall this issue of Mighty Avengers marks it out as the title of choice for those who like street level action, and prefer their team books full of wit, charm and fun. Al Ewing and Co are close to catching lightning in a bottle here. The Mighty Avengers are open for business, you should drop by and give them your support.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.