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Published by: Marvel
Release Date: September 11th 2013
Previously on Mighty Avengers: Not much, this is a number one. But as the issue opens Luke Cage is focussing on the family life and running a group of heroes for hire, Doc. Ock is still swinging around New York in his broken-in Spidey-suit and an alien threat threatens a supposedly defenceless Earth.
The best part about picking my own comics to review is that I can cherry pick the good ones I think other people would get a kick out of. I simply don’t enjoy giving out bad reviews. So I was of two minds when I saw Mighty Avengers on the horizon; a ‘lower decks’ Avengers team that allows some of the not-so-famous characters to get in on a little of the Spider-Man limelight sounds great, after all. But then there’s the artist, Mr. Greg Land.
I have great respect for anyone who can make it as an artist, but Land tends to be little more than a photoshop filter with little respect for female anatomy. The thing is, I know that he is capable of some excellent work so when this book was described to me as his least obvious tracing of recent times I thought I should give him a chance.
This was a mistake.
Land’s ‘photographic referencing’ is as blatent here as it ever has been and the effect on the book as a whole is hugely distracting. This is a genuine shame too because there’s some really good storytelling here.
This issue manages to pack a lot into the page count with Ewing allowing each character their moment in the spotlight. It's nice too that the characters are brought together without getting into a huge punching match. They do fight, but it’s a verbal spar on the morality of being super-heroes for hire instead of helping where you’re needed. This is also a fight that lands some heavy blows that I suspect will have further repercussions in later issues. However, the price of spending time with the introductions is that the real threat only comes to light on the last few pages but while it does feel a little rushed, it really doesn't feel like a bad compromise.
In the end the the most enjoyable aspect is the sense of humour in the writing that invokes a 90’s action movie mentality especially noticeable with the freeze-frame introductions of each hero. This willingness to have fun is prevalent throughout the issue especially with Doc. Ock's verbal mannerisms turned up to almost parody levels and it's almost worth the price of admission for the Splendiferous Spider Hero (no hyphen) alone. Almost.
There is a good story hidden in these pages and part of me wants to recommend it in spite of Land's work, but then I go back and see the porn lips and the unfortunate poses and I just can't do it. If you do like his style then you're going to get a kick out of this issue, but for the rest of us it gets two traced O faces and a heartfelt 'please try harder.'
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