Although this title is a direct result of the Civil War, it’s actually branded as part of “The Initiative,” so there’s no checklist involved in this review. The next three days will have three more Civil War branded reviews (the Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and Black Panther crossovers) which will get us caught up until “Civil War: Battle Damage Report” ships on Wednesday. I’ll be out of town again, so that review won’t come until next weekend.

General Information

Title: Mighty Avengers #1

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Pencils and inks by Frank Cho, colors by Jason Keith

Original Publication Date: Cover dated May 2007

Cover Price: $3.99 US, $4.75 Can

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Iron Man assembles a team of registered heroes under the Avengers name and the leadership of Ms. Marvel.

High Point

“Focus on the monsters, you unbelievable tramp.”

Low Point

The last panel of the third last page of the story depicts the kind of damage that character shouldn’t be able to walk away from. That’s going to need quite the exposition to take care of, unless they’ve got some more huge plans on the way.

The Scores

This isn’t really about originality as much as it is about bringing back an old school feel from the classic Avengers story. In their prime, the Avengers had a diverse set of team members, many of whom didn’t get along, and team dynamics depicted through thought balloons. We’ve even got the return of two classic villains. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is by Frank Cho, who shows more proficiency with male characters than one might expect from his reputation. The action is clear, the faces are emotive, and (unlike his Liberty Meadows work) the four main female characters have four different figures. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is interesting. We’ve got the formation of a new team just in time to deal with a new threat, which turns out to be a much larger threat than anyone expected. We’ve got a more reasonable team formation than, say, the “look who happens to be here” style of the original or New Avengers. We’ve also got fun action and a new version of an old threat. I give it 5 out of 6.

Most characters get little characterization. Tony and Carol do, in their lead roles, and there’s also some for Sentry and Ares, likely because they’d be the least well known members of the team. What they have is consistent, and often revealed through the thought balloons Ultimate Spider-Ham was missing so much a few weeks ago. I’d have preferred to see more from Black Widow, Wonder Man and Wasp, but I admit it’s hard to squeeze any more in with this much action. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was good. As I mentioned, there’s fun banter and good action. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is disrupted a bit when the scene switches from past to present, conversation to combat. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a sold start to the second of the four ongoing Avengers titles that will be running shortly. (The Avengers: The Initiative miniseries was just upgraded to an ongoing, and they’ve announced Avengers Classic in the format of Classic X-Men launching in June.) I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Mighty Avengers #1 receives 31 out of 42.