Earlier this week, Marvel started to tease information about a new book launching during its big Infinity event this summer. For those not familiar with it, it’s the big Avengers-based event that follows on the heels of Age of Ultron. It involves Thanos, so you know it’s gonna be cosmic in nature, and it’s helmed by Jonathan Hickman who is currently in charge of both Avengers and New Avengers as ongoing books. That event will have our intrepid heroes dealing with cosmic-level items, but what about Earth? With our heroes busy there, what happens to our planet? Enter the new team: the Mighty Avengers.
Now, let’s be honest. There has been a Mighty Avengers team before, and the main book in the past has even had the adjective associated with it on the cover for a number of years. That said, I think this book is going to be something different. We have many characters who have been Avengers before and some who are new to the name. Recent faces and some older ones as well. So exactly what is it all about? Marvel SVP, Tom Brevoort, commented on the intent of the book on a liveblog earlier today:
[quote]Mighty Avengers is launching in the midst of Infinity. It’s a pretty key component. The gist of the opening story is that the Avengers are off in space dealing with the Builders and in their absence, Thanos comes to Earth. A number of other characters rise up and join together to oppose what;s going on, arraying themselves around Luke Cage. ‘If the Avengers aren’t here, we’re the Avengers.’[/quote]
So with that, who is on the team? With Brevoort’s quote, and with the hints being dropped all week, the main character is Luke Cage. Previous Avengers architect Brian Bendis had him heavily involved within the pages of the New Avengers right from the get go. Cage becoming an Avenger was not something that I, personally, thought would work but I was happy to be proven wrong. He came to ultimately be the heart of the New Avengers for me, dishing out some hurt when it was needed but also being the guy with a family and who had a reason to come back to the mansion or tower every day.
Along with Cage we get the following team members helping save the Earth from the likes of Thanos:
- The Falcon. I’ve been a longtime Sam Wilson fan, as some of the earliest comics I remember finding were old Captain America and The Falcon comics (as well as a small stint in Spidey Super Stories – I am definitely showing my age). Sam has never truly been a mainstay for the team, and has never been a founding member of an incarnation of the Avengers. He’s just sort of… been there. I am glad that this book will give him a presence I think is long overdue.
- Ronin. I’ve seen a few incarnations of Ronin, and quite honestly at times I think I liked Clint Barton better as Ronin than Hawkeye. But now we have someone new donning the Ronin outfit and we aren’t going to know who he is until later on in the first year of the book if the comments from Marvel are to be believed.
- The Blue Marvel. I’ll be honest, I know nothing about this guy. This is kind of like when the first New Avengers launched – I had no clue who the Sentry was. Having someone like this on the team will give for some unique stories, and since he is purported to have a military background, we can probably expect to see him clash with his teammates at some point. Specifically…
- Spider-Man. Yes, the Superior Spider-Man is joining this team. Even though he intends to do the right thing, Cage has always played it loose as to how he gets the job done. With the Superior Spider-Man on the team, there will definitely be tension but I can also see a level of admiration – both ways.
- Power Man. No, not Luke, the new Power Man. This is a kid who I have only seen in the minseries of Power Man and Iron Fist, and I grew to like him. I picked up the mini thinking it was a Luke and Danny book, only to find Danny mentoring the new kid. I’m looking forward to how Luke and the kid work together.
- She-Hulk. I’m guessing that she’s either a) giving up watching the kids over in FF, or b) pulling a Wolverine and just doing double duty on teams. She-Hulk is a former member of many Avengers incarnations, and in her alter ego she doubles as a lawyer so having that kind of advice will be interesting to say the least. (I’m curious how Spider-Man will take to having her on the team…)
- White Tiger. I don’t know much about the White Tiger. I know I have seen her appear her and there, and I assume I remember her as something to do with the Black Panther or in a Daredevil series somewhere (maybe The Crew), but I am blanking. What this means to me is that previous writers have not made her memorable for me. Hopefully that’s not the case here.
- Spectrum. You may not know the name, but you know the woman behind the mask: Monica Rambeau. She used to be Captain Marvel and Photon, both names have since been taken by others. She will be the field leader for the team, as she has the experience both from her personal life but she is also the only person on the team to formally lead a publicly announced team of the Avengers. It’s nice to see her back in the spotlight.
The book comes to us courtesy of Al Ewing (who really impressed me with his Avengers Assemble AoU tie-in) and Greg Land (who recently helped relaunch Iron Man).
This sounds like a book that will make a great replacement for the Dark Avengers which just ended. I know there may be a gazillion Avengers books out there, but so long as they are interesting that’s not a bad thing. To end off this announcement, let’s look at how Brevoort sums up the team:
[quote]This is a team that initially comes together out of necessity because the world is in jeopardy and the guys who would usually step up to the plate are otherwise occupied. Thereafter, personalities gel and a framework begins to evolve that defines the goals of the team, their vision, their work. The cast will evolve beyond these nine characters.[/quote]
And doesn’t that just sound like the Avengers.