Comics : Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #3

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This story is part of an Arc: "Infinity tie in"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: Dec 2013.

Background...

Whilst the Avengers are away fighting the Builders during the Infinity event, the Earth has been left “unprotected” so Thanos had decided to attack with a group of evil cohorts known as the Black Order. When Proxima Midnight and her minions attacked, only a team of Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Spectrum and a mysterious character wearing a “Spider Hero” outfit stood in their way. They were successful, although Spectrum looks down for the count, but Dr Strange (under the control of the Order's Ebony Maw) has sent the demon known as Shuma-Gorath to attack. Back up is on its way though in the form of the Blue Marvel.

In Detail...

"Mighty Avengers v. Shuma-Gorath"
Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #3
Jan 2014 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 3 of "Infinity tie in"
Editor:  Lauren Sankovitch, Tom Brennan
Writer:  Al Ewing
Pencils:  Greg Land
Inker:  Jay Leisten
Cover Art:  Frank D'Armata, Greg Land
Lettering:  VC's Cory Petit
Colorist:  Frank D'Armata
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Issue
Review

The issue starts with a mini flashback and we find out what White Tiger and Power Man were doing when Proxima Midnight attacked. Not a lot it turns out, but Vic does manage to give Ava a pep talk and convince her to rejoin Luke Cage's team.

Luke's new team meanwhile is trying to deal with Shuma-Gorath. It's not easy with Spectrum apparently dying and the demon threatening Luke's daughter. Blue Marvel turns up though, flying through Shuma-Gorath, which buys the team some time. He then heals Monica and makes her more powerful in the process. Shuma-Gorath is recovering too though and Ebony Maw gets Dr Strange to cast a shield over the demon to further protect it. The demon also starts possessing the civilians in the area, making them fight and adding to the Mighty Avengers' problems. White Tiger and Power Man turn up at this point to help whilst Spectrum tries to counter the spell producing the shield. Monica doesn't really know what she's doing, she's just copying the symbols seen in the shield. This leads to Spidey complaining about the ridiculousness of magic (or junk science as he calls it). Spider Hero sticks up for it though, saying “Nine-tenth of magic working is believing” (!). Luke Cage then suggests that the way to fight something with the powers of a god, is to use a bigger god. Blue Marvel gives Spectrum some more power to keep Shuma-Gorath at bay whilst Spider Hero helps Power Man to focus the chi of New York into White Tiger and power up the tiger god that gives Ava her powers. The tiger defeats the demon on the spiritual plane, leaving its physical side vulnerable to an old fashioned laser attack from Monica!

With the demon defeated and the citizens of New York returned to normal, Ebony Maw takes his leave and the new team of Mighty Avengers hold their first ad hoc press conference. Luke Cage eloquently says that one thing Avengers want to say is “Assemble” and that's what this team did today when it was most needed. However, Luke didn't just mean the superheroes, he meant everyone present – they're all Avengers, and they're all here to help each other. Now it's time to get to work!

In General...

I really enjoyed this issue. Interestingly the recap page of this issue listed White Tiger and Power Man as part of the team, which they weren't really at the end of the last issue. That got addressed in this issue though with them not only joining the team but also bringing with them the Mighty Avengers name. I thought this was done in a nice way and so justifies their team title, something I was concerned about when reviewing the first issue. They might not be as truly mighty as Thor and Hyperion, but social media has spoken! How dated the hashtag reference will become, only time will tell (I think their on safer ground then Dan Slott was with the musical references he made early on in his “Big Time” run!)

We got to see Blue Marvel in full on action mode this issue and he looks pretty handy. He teamed quite well with Spectrum and seems to recognise the mystery man under Spider Hero's mask. I'm still loving the constant bickering between Spider-Man and Spider Hero, all started because the latter is wearing a knock off copy of the former's costume, but added to now by Otto's science against Hero's magic. Some great barbs exchanged between the two: “bugman”, “nunchuk Norris” – Lovely! Spider Hero's link to the mystical world, which was hinted at last issue, is reinforced this issue with him helping Power Man and White Tiger defeat the astral form Shuma-Gorath.

I quite liked the way the team managed to scrape together a method of defeating the demon, this I thought it was very in keeping with the ad hoc manner in which the team was formed and each member played a part in the overall battle.

One slight downside for me was the art. It wasn't that it was bad, there were just a few questionable panels composition-wise. Spectrum's position kept changing from panel to panel and for someone dying that would have meant she was moving around a fair bit! One panel she was on top of a building with Spidey on the side, next she was on the side of a building with Spidey on a different one – just seemed a bit random and no real reason behind all the position switching. I quite like continuity in comics and it can get lost over the years, but from one panel to the next?! Also one of the possessed New York citizens appeared to be walking around in her underwear. Now being from England I'm not fully qualified to say if this is appropriate and fitting dress for New York, but to me it just seemed an excuse for the artist to draw a scantily dressed lady. For shame!

Also, I thought the end with Luke calling everyone Avengers was a bit cliché (in keeping with those from the last issue), which was a shame. Let's see how many of these "Avengers" turn up next issue!

Overall Rating...

Great conclusion, the team are official in the eyes of the public and seem well balanced overall.