Mighty Avengers #5


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Mighty Avengers #5


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Frank Cho
  • Inks: Natalie Lanphear
  • Colors: Jason Keith
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 17, 2007

I really wanted to hate this issue.

When Mighty Avengers launched in March during the fallout from Civil War, I was ready for a second helping of Avengers, a friendlier, lighter Avengers, an Avengers who battled Mole Man and a deranged new version of Ultron. However, seven months have passed, and MA is still dealing with its inaugural arc.

The New Avengers have already uncovered the beginnings of a Secret Invasion and landed themselves smack in the middle of the Mighty Avengers’ second storyline, a battle with everyone’s favorite 90s aliens: the symbiotes.

So, it’s more than understandable to open the first page of issue five, see the majority of the team battling rogue Iron Man suits, and think to yourself, “When are they going to get to the good stuff?” But thanks to the dependable Bendis charm and a plethora of hilarious T&A shots from Frank Cho, this issue finally seems to hit the book’s stride.

The biggest strength Mighty Avengers has going for it is the sense of over the top goofiness Bendis has imbued into nearly every panel. Characters use thought balloons pretty frequently, and although I hope they drop this element in future arcs, it really works here, evoking simpler times when writers could actually get away with an Ultron takes on the Avengers story.

But these Avengers’ thoughts are so asinine—at one point Ms. Marvel even thinks to herself, “What a dumb thing to say.”—that you can almost see Bendis winking at the proverbial camera. Add in the numerous butt shots Cho built his career on, including an incredibly ridiculous pose of Carol Danvers straddling a launched missile, and you have a surefire recipe for escapist fun.

Then there’s the pacing. Bendis doesn’t let up for a moment and often lets Cho’s art command the story. There’s an intensity to these pages that mimics the breakneck speed of the old Lee/Kirby days. A brief hiccup does occur, however, when the Sentry discovers his wife, slain in the previous issue by Ultron. This story beat feels a bit out of place in this Silver Age throwback tale and quickly becomes unbelievable. The Sentry possesses the power of a thousand exploding suns but can’t even defeat Ultron when his powers and rage are finally unchecked? It completely goes against established continuity but it does allow for a hilarious Ares plot which looks to take center stage next issue. Against all odds, Ares has quickly become the most likable member of the team.

Despite the rampant lateness, Mighty Avengers has been a pretty entertaining ride so far as long as your expectations are in line. Just don’t expect this first arc to really affect the Marvel Universe at large. With Mark Bagley jumping onboard as artist in issue seven, it’ll be interesting to see if Bendis sticks with the goofy sensibilities of the first arc or if that’ll give way once both Avenger teams cross, leading the way to next summer’s mega event, Secret Invasion .

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