During the last incarnation of the Mighty_Avengers (Vol. 2), Spider-Man was Superior and left the team under less than graceful circumstances. Now he's Amazing again, a guilty Peter feels the need to build a few bridges (although most have accepted it was Otto in charge back then).
However, due to the recent AXIS event it's not just Spider-Man that has recently changed his character...
The first page shows opinions of various people (in a very unsubtle parallel to the real world reaction) to the appointment of the new Captain America – people saying who they would have picked instead, a gay man saying he's hot, a white woman saying it's political correctness gone made and a black family being inspired. Thanks, now on with the rest of the comic.
Sam Wilson flies over New York, reminding readers that he will defend America and of his bird powers, specifically how he can use the pigeons as his eyes and ears to monitor any transgressions. He's not too good with the Captain America's shield yet but manages to ruthlessly take out two hoodlums, causing them to crash their car into a building at high speed. Flying off, Sam bemoans Human rights whilst the NYPD scrape the victims off the sidewalk!
At the Gem Theatre (home of the Mighty Avengers), Dave Griffin is giving Soraya Khorasani (one of their new hotline operatives) the tour. She gets a little starstruck by Power Man, White Tiger and a sharply dressed Luke Cage. Just then, Spider-Man turns up to apologise for being a jerk when he was Superior (even though it was really him). Luke Cage refuses his apology, knowing full well that Otto Octavius was that Spider-Man, but complaining that it took Parker so long to turn up and clear the air. Peter is dismissed.
Across town and Cortex Incorporated are having a meeting led by Jason Quantrell (previously seen trying to get some Attilan tech in Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #5). This meeting is interrupted by the Plunderer (last seen in Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #1 trying to steal from Horizon Labs) and his men. Unusually, (and after casually dropping into conversation a recent trip to Genosha whilst Red Skull and Magneto were fighting) they announce they are there to steal on behalf of starving orphans as opposed to themselves! The all-new Captain America promptly turns up (having been tipped off by bird on a nearby roof) and handles pirates aggressively, killing one in the process and advices Quantrell not to call ambulances! Quantrell was in the middle of a phone call discussing business with Luke Cage!
Finally, Sam flies to Avengers Tower and meets up with a holographic transmission of Tony Stark. Both are tired of “the Mighty Avengers” and so decide to destroy them.
As typical with new #1 issues, especially Avengers titles and their spin offs, this "new" comic ties in with the latest event in the Marvel universe – namely AXIS. That's Avengers and X-Man Inversion for those (like me) not picking up the event comics. Basically an inversion wave was released and those caught in it had their moral compasses flipped. Good guys are bad, bad guys are good, friends become enemies, enemies become friends, etc...
Except its not quite that easy. Sam Wilson isn't just outright evil now, he still cares for America he just takes the tough option to handle enemies, even minor ones. Luke Cage seems more self centred and money focused as opposed to helping the helpless. Tony Stark is drinking again and is using his tech to further himself and his funds as opposed to his previous philanthropist nature that benefited mankind. The plunderer still robs people, only now he gives it to the poor. All of these changes in behaviour whilst keeping something of the original traits in place are well written. Al Ewing also does wonders, as usual, bringing back past characters and plot-lines and you can tell this comic is a direct continuation of the previous Mighty Avengers line (albeit with a shiny new title and #1 that Marvel love using so much at the moment). I liked the way he retconned the Plunderer into part of AXIS storyline, subtle and believable. The art too is as good as I've come to expect.
As set up issues go this isn't too bad, though the issue is more “Captain America” and less “and the Mighty Avengers”, which is a little off as he does have his own solo title. Spidey's appearance is brief, turning up to set things right (even though he arguably hadn't personally done anything wrong – typical Parker guilt I guess) and an inverted Luke Cage firmly tells him no. You've got to wonder how long it will take for the Marvel cast to figure out something has happened to some of their finest. It took them long enough to address the Superior Spider-Man's inversion so it could take months! Although there are a few more characters changed this time as opposed to one spider.
None too shabby. Sets up things, follows the AXIS event, includes some plot-lines from the previous title and some nice nods to continuity. Nothing truly outstanding but I can't complain!