The Mighty Avengers have set up shop at the Gem theatre. Their remit is to help anyone who needs it. Anyone. Oh but they don't charge, they are a volunteer organisation.
During Thanos's invasion of Earth, the Inhuman city of Attilan was destroyed and this spread Terrigen mists across the planet, transforming anyone possessing Inhuman DNA. The remains of Attilan lie in the River Hudson under guard by some (possessed) S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, although it has been infiltrated by a representative of Cortex Incorporated, a company trying to steal Inhuman secrets to boost their profits. The recently re-branded Ronin also has interest in Attilan and has recruited Falcon, Spectrum, White Tiger and Power Man to help him.
That left Luke Cage and Jessica Jones at Mighty Avengers HQ when the Superior Spider-Man turned up, with minions, wanting to “discuss” the leadership of this Avengers team.
This issue is split between the events at the Attilan crash site and the “discussions” at the Gem theatre. I'm reviewing them individually for ease but they are nicely intermixed in the comic itself.
In Attilan, Quickfire is still searching for some Terrigen crystals on behalf of Cortex Inc. Little does she know she is being hunted by a three headed hellhound. Outside the crash site and Ronin's team have arrived. He tells the team a little about the Deathwalkers (also known as the four who rule) and how they live in shadow. They have to be careful as if the Deathwalkers see them coming for them they'll just run and hide and won't be found until it's too late. Ronin also suspects the guards at Attilan are being possessed by Lichidus, the third of the four who rule (he's is right and Lichidus is also responsible for the hellhound within Attilan). Falcon uses his S.H.I.E.L.D. credentials to get the team past the possessed guards (Lichidus lets them in reasoning there is plenty of room in his hellhound for seconds!). Falcon stays outside whilst the rest head on in. Spectrum is concerned at leaving Sam behind but Ronin says that having Falcon talk to the guards will help them to resist their possession and that Lichidus hates the sight of blood so everything should be fine!
Inside, the Avengers bump into Quickfire. Her technology has circumvented the magic hiding the lost talisman of Kamar-Taj, something Ronin would like to “borrow.” Quickfire uses her recently acquired Inhuman time manipulating powers to set the hellhound against the Avengers, speeding it up so it can attack Ronin without a hope of defence. Whilst Power Man and White Tiger deal with the beast, Quickfire tries to slow down Spectrum but even when slowed the speed of light is still pretty fast. Monica brushes off Quickfire's gunfire and takes her down quickly. She then focuses on the hellhound, but is out of her league. Fortunately Vic and Ava are more used to taking down mystic beings and tag team to deal with the beast quickly. Safe for now, the team turn to retrieve the body of Ronin but he's not as dead as they thought and has left the area taking the talisman with him.
At the Gem theatre, Spider-Man is proposing to Luke Cage that his team leave the Avengers and join his Spider army as the Superior Avengers (enough of the Superior references already!). Spidey assures Cage that they would be given top minion status! Luke and Jess have heard enough and, after sending baby Danielle away with Dave Griffith, start fighting Spider-Man. The Superior Superhero, having the backing of the Mayor and a Spider Army, gets the upper hand and things look bad for the husband and wife team. That is until their lawyer, one Miss Jennifer Walters, appears on scene to help to "mediate the discussion." Spidey doesn't want to back down, although his Spiderlings think carrying on the battle is a bad idea. She-Hulk points out that continuing this offensive could lead to many lawsuits being filed again Spider-Man and that would be a very costly, very public and very drawn-out affair. Spidey has had enough and leaves, firing his Spiderlings and quitting the Mighty Avengers as he goes. She-Hulk's intervention seems to have mellowed the sour opinion Jessica had of her last issue and the ladies go off shopping together, leaving Mr Cage to man the Gem theatre with several unemployed Spiderlings now looking for a job!
Not a bad conclusion to the story. I'm always concerned when a comic gets “taken over” as part of a tie-in event. The comic itself tends to get over looked and has to tells a story that doesn't really belong within its pages. However, this tale ties in to the Inhuman event nicely but still has it's own voice and warrants its place in the Mighty Avengers comic. This is a Mighty Avengers tale that happened to fit in with a line wide event as opposed to the other way round. This is how it should be.
The comic wraps up a few plotlines but also keeps things bubbling in the background for future stories. I'm guessing the work with Attilan (and Inhumans specifically) is done with but Ewing has set up the Deathwalkers as the next threat. (As Lichidus is the third of the four who rule and has dominion over water, I'm guessing the over three will have power over air, fire and earth if/when they show up.) I also doubt this is the last we'll see of Quickfire or Cortex Incorporated. Loved how Spectrum called her a Black Widow rip off, she clearly read my review of Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #4! I enjoyed the fight between Quickfire, the hellhound and the Avengers; it was well thought out, with the power sets of all parties present being well used. It looks like Ronin has taken a leave of absence from the team having gotten hold of the mystical talisman from Attilan. No doubt he'll turn up again when he needs something! Spider-Man has definitely left the team following his fight with the Cages but more so the threat of civil proceedings from She-Hulk. He doesn't need them anyway as he has the backing of the real Avengers, or so he says. This story must be set before Superior Spider-Man #27.
I've said before and I'll say it again; I find this comic genuinely funny. Not just the captions used to describe scenes, or characters, but the one-liners that a lot of the characters come out with. During his fight, Spidey has his lenses smashed but later on they're back leading Luke to ask if he changed his mask mid-fight and Spidey reply he has an image to uphold! Now how much of this was down to comical scripting or down to a quick line being added to cover up a continuity error by the artist I don't know but it made me laugh.
Going back to the captions, for a part of this issue they are used as a narrator in a similar way to as they were in Mighty Avengers (Vol. 2) #2. Now, I quite liked this; it gave the scenes in which they were used a film noir style, which I though was in-keeping with the infiltration of Attilan. However, some would think this lazy scripting as for three pages the captions told the story and not the art or dialogue. To me it was no worse than “internal monologue” captions we see all the time in many comics but I suppose it has the potential to be annoying if that's the only method used to tell the story.
Finally the art and I really like it. I liked the panel depicting Spidey's idea of his Superior Avengers, with everyone in Spider inspired outfits, very similar to the cover of Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #667. I'm guessing Mr Land has a bit of a She-Hulk crush too, given the manner in which she was drawn here. A couple of full body poses (one front and one back) and whilst they were nothing too gratuitous in a Black Widow plunging zip type way, it did make me chuckle as to the attention she got. I suppose it was understandable as it was She-Hulk's debut issue.
A good issue and good conclusion. A bit more information on the Deathwalkers would have been nice (though it does help maintain their mysteriousness), as would have a scene showing the clean up from the Attilan crash site. Are the guards alright? Was Quickfire arrested?
Just a quick name check following on from my review of the last issue. It turns out that Quickfire's real name is Barbara McDevitt and Quickfire was a codename all along.
Also, as Spidey leaves the team in this issue and Spider Hero is now Ronin, there is no Spider-link and therefore reason for this comic to be reviewed for this SpiderFan website. I'm still getting the comic and this may change, perhaps when Spider-Man is less Superior and more Amazing, but until such time this will be my last Mighty Avengers review.