Or – “Well, At Least The Damn Talking Has Ended…”


It’s been three issues, and FINALLY, we get to see the Mighty Avengers do something other than snipe, get recruited, or talk about how they can’t fight the horrible, horrible menace. There’s still some questions in the air, the damn thought balloons are still here, there’s a couple of inexcusable cheesecake shots (like 2/3 of the cover), but at least there’s no Iron Dictator in evidence, forcing the other heroes to step up and actually act heroic. How did they do, you ask?

Man, what IS it with the covers anymore? Over at DC, Dawnstar’s working at Scores, Marvel’s busy giving teenage girls more body image issues by having Jean Grey’s MA1.jpgspine about to snap from only the weight of her head, the ladies of Ultimate Power are ready to give it away, and here we have Black Widow and Tigra who seem to be willing to at least negotiate on the price of a good time. Good god, comics industry, WTF? Aaaanyway, previously on Mighty Avengers: Tony Stark and Carol Danvers let all the good heroes get away, and so they’ve picked a squad that consists entirely of powerhouses too dull-witted to have picked a side in the Civil War, and people who already work for SHIELD. Oh, and also The Wasp, rocking a Betty Boop haircut straight from the age of the Charleston that is NOT doing her any favors, I might add. With their leader subsumed by the menace, and the world’s weather patterns completely out of control, the Mighty Avengers first mission should absolutely be could be their last. After spending an entirely issue standing around and talking while occasionally getting struck by lightning, we pick up where we left off, with the heroes standing around like a bunch of schlemiels waiting for their take-out order…


Here’s my thoughts on this sequence: Didn’t Carol and Ares have this fight every issue so far? Why does Frank Cho want Wonder Man to look like a weak-chinned schlub with a cereal bowl haircut wearing Herb Tarlek’s Sunday blazer? And, as for ‘not throwing everything into the sun,’ Sentry, let me take a page from Jules Winnfield and retort: “Yes you did! Yes you did, Bob! You threw every @#$&ing thing in the motha@#*$ing sun! WHAT DOES MODOK LOOK LIKE?” *BLAM!* Heh… sometimes I crack me up… Anyway, most of the team leaves, and blonde Clark Kent remembers that he’s faster than speeding bullet, and more loco than a powermotive, and explains to Ultron what makes Mr. Hand into Mr. Fist.


Is it just me, or does this remind anyone ELSE of the Matrix? “Neo… I want to tell you about Massive Property Damage.” Bob eschewed the red and blue pills for the radioactive beaker, and thus does Naked Ultron takes his sooper-punches, over and over until finally she decides that we’ve filled enough pages with fighting this issue for the plot to do something. “There is no place for you in this new world, Robert. You have the ability to lave this planet and start your life elsewhere. I suggest you take the opportunity.” She may have forgotten to put on any clothes, but you can’t fault her for politeness. The rest of the team clears the debris field, and heads for the helicarrier, where the Wasp asks for a phone… Suddenly, the cheesy 70’s music kicks in again, and it’s time for Salieri’s favorite gameshow, the show that reminds you that not EVERYBODY Stan and Jack created is treated with reverence and respect… Crap! ON! YELLOWJACKET! *crowd cheers* Remember, folks, say the secret word, win $1000 dollars!


Wait, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Hey, Matthew!” …which, when you think about it, is an odd thing to be thinking to yourself. But nevertheless, you’re thinking, “Hey, Matthew, how is having Marvel’s bikini clad sex-kitten all over him a bad thing for Henry P? Isn’t this his reward for doing scut duty all these years just ’cause Shooter thought he should backhand Janny-poo?” Cut immediately to SHIELD agents BUSTING down the door, training their laser sights on Hank (whose pants are about his ankles) and totally cock-blocking him on ever getting another shot at Ms. Tigra with a terse, “Your ex-wife needs to see you now.” Oh, I’m sorry, folks, the secret word was “emasculation!” “Emasculation.” With less than a minute to go, let’s get back to final jeopardy, as Naked Ultron continues her slapfight with the Sentry, and the Avengers try to come up with a way to humiliate Hank more, possibly by making him save the day wearing a bib, a diaper and a t-shirt that says “I Eat My Own Farts.”


Even Maria Hill can’t believe this plot, and she’s little more than a cardboard cutout that says “bitch” on the front. Ms. Marvel asks from her energy soup how The Sentry is doing, and The Wasp responds, “They should sell tickets…” at the precise millisecond that the helicarrier goes dark. The screens fill with hundreds of traditional (read: not cribbed from Maxim’s ‘Girl Next Door’ contest) Ultron faces, as Naked Ultron catches Sentry in mid-punch, and smiles serenely. “Your physical defeat has been calculated, and executed.” The helicarrier suddenly drops out of the sky at Bob…


…and I am SO done with this crap. The first time they crashed a helicarrier (in 1985!) it was shocking, but Marvel has now officially gone so far overboard with the “Can You Top This?” that I can’t even be brought to care about a football-field-sized craft crushing New York. C’mon, people. Blade crashed a helicarrier. BLADE! I think even Flatman and Squirrel Girl have dealt with a crashing helicarrier at this point. GET A NEW PUNCHLINE. And what’s the deal with the “Simon! Go!” from Carol? Putting aside the “Fetch, Fido!” tone of voice, Wonder Man flies by use of miniature jets on his belt. Even if they’re sincerely powerful miniature jets, he’s not going to be of any help stopping a mass of this size. Indeed, all he’ll do is burn out his flight belt and hit the ground first… but miraculously, she and Wonder Man help Sentry carry the ship to a four-point landing. The well-trained SHIELD agents on board quickly revert to acting like Moses Horowitz and his brothers, because all military types are useless without orders in triplicate, right Brian Bendis?


I can’t decide if that look is the realization that she’s in charge, or the realization that she’s surrounded by incompetents. I haven’t seen a military unit of this caliber since Pauly Shore and Andy Dick joined the Army, folks. We’re pretty much only missing Larry The Cable Guy, Shemp, and the guy who created “Real Housewives Of Orange County” for the complete evolutionary chart of “duh.” Thankfully, Natasha is a clever hero, smart and tactically sound, even though she’s been known to playfight wearing leather panties. Also, she’s seen how her counterparts are treated when they don’t play nice, so she channels her inner czarina, and quickly and efficiently takes command.


In the rush to save the city and the thousand on the carrier, The Avengers have lost sight of Ultron. Generally speaking, a 7-foot nude silver woman is pretty conspicuous, but this is, after all, New York. Hank Pym arrives by helicopter, and wants to get down and survey the damage and see if he can help (what with the whole “heroic urges” thing that’s so passé at Marvel) but he’s wanted elsewhere. Black Widow cracks her whip and gets everyone on the helicarrier looking for Ultron, but they find nothing… except for an object, human sized, flying in at incredible speed on a collision course for the ‘carrier. The Black Widow recognizes it, and shows herself to be a thousand times superior to Ms. Marvel as a leader, ordering her men immediately to hold their fire.


Y’know, if he was REALLY a futurist, he’d have sent armor that they could USE, rather than some Vietnam-era chunk of crap made out of a Ford Fairlane and three transistor radios. “Forward-thinking,” my Aunt Fanny! The story stops here, with a very pretty shot that leaves you wondering what in the blue hell is going on. It’s a metaphor for Mighty Avengers as a whole, y’see. I try really hard to give each book a shot, an honest attempt to wow me. A book that I’m going to recap usually gets read twice before the review and once during the writing process, to make sure that I don’t miss something, and after three passes on this issue, I have to tell you: I’m tired of Mighty Avengers. Brian Bendis IS the Marvel Universe right now, which seems to stretch him pretty thin, and it’s just not working for me.

This book is beautifully drawn every issue, and save for Frank Cho having to learn some things about comic BOOKS rather than comic STRIPS, the art fails to disappoint. Yes, the cheesecake factor is annoying, but it’s not nearly as annoying as the writing. The conceit of the thought balloon to convey the characters inner nature is cute, once or twice, as in the above example where Ares looks at Natasha and his balloon is just the big red heart. But, since this is the ONLY comic book where the technique is used, it serves to set Mighty Avengers further apart from the regular Marvel U, AND makes the characters here seem two-faced compared to the other heroes who either say or act on their thoughts for them to come through to us the reader. Duplicitousness is the LAST thing this bunch of characters needs, as Ms. Marvel is pushy to a fault, Wonder Man is wishy-washy, Ares overbearing, Sentry simpering, and Wasp & Black Widow so far underutilized. I cheered when Natasha took command of the helicarrier, and I liked when it was The Wasp who figured out what was going on, but there’s no communication between the characters, little character interaction, and the plot is stultifying in its motionlessness. Bendis went from writing one Avengers title to writing two, and apparently the quality of that original comic was likewise split in half. This book seems to suffer in the writing, while New Avengers suffers in the art. Put ’em together, you have one decent comic book, but that doesn’t justify my 10 bucks per month spent on Avengers titles. Maybe I’m being harsh, but this is a 1.5 star effort, and if this arc goes more than 6 issues, I may have to punch a giraffe.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. May 19, 2007 at 12:20 pm — Reply

    Hey…I don’t hate Yellowjacket THAT much.

    And Natasha…

    “I Want full analysis from all departments! I want our problem solved Five Minutes ago! And…I want someone to stop putting the inflatable cushion pads inside my leather panties! Seriously, whose idea was that? Huh?”

  2. May 19, 2007 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    Oh, and…Janet…lesbianism? At least, thinking “Not Bad” while staring at Natasha’s arse when it looks to be three tiems the usual size would count as Lesbianism…

    And Carol…have you been watching the Simpsons too much, or just crossover-dating Comic Book Guy?

  3. May 19, 2007 at 1:01 pm — Reply

    I’m pretty sure the “Not bad…” was in reference to Natasha’s quick command decisions, rather than her gluteus…

  4. Brent F.
    May 19, 2007 at 1:54 pm — Reply

    I’ve never seen soldiers written so incompetently before. They would never stand around waiting for someone to assume command like that.

    I’m very confused by the timeline of this title. When exactly does it take place? Tony Stark’s “dead” here but alive and well in every other title.

  5. Brent F.
    May 19, 2007 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    Oh, and me thinks the old school Iron Man suit is Ultron.

  6. Everan
    May 19, 2007 at 2:21 pm — Reply

    Actually, I find Wasp’s retro-haircut somewhat cute.

  7. May 19, 2007 at 2:30 pm — Reply

    Just trying to be as cntroversial as I can, while I still can…

  8. Mark I.
    May 19, 2007 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    The only character on this team worth a poof is Wasp. Can we just get that out of the way? Ms. Marvel is dull, Ares is a poor-man’s Hercules (who was the poor man’s Thor,) Wonder Man became much more interesting when they took his ENTIRE personality and made it like 1/5 of Booster Gold’s personality…Black Widow’s okay and if Hank Pym counts, that’s cool as long as they don’t keep crapping on him. And Sentry just needs to get booted into the Marvel Zombieverse.

    Am I being grouchy? Sure. But most of these characters have been around for the better part of thirty years and should have all of their good and bad points ironed out in a way that could make them interesting. Meanwhile, one could read one issue of, say, Dynamo 5, and instantly care about at least 3/5 of the team. 3 issues into this one and I just want Hulk to step on everyone except Hank and Janet (the Anti-Dibnys!)

  9. davek
    May 19, 2007 at 5:21 pm — Reply

    “Generally speaking, a 7-foot nude silver woman is pretty conspicuous, but this is, after all, New York.”

    Truer words never spoken.

  10. May 19, 2007 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    I’m very confused by the timeline of this title. When exactly does it take place? Tony Stark’s “dead” here but alive and well in every other title.

    This is the first thing that the Mighty Avengers did, because it takes place about ten minutes after the team was assembled. All other appearances, by extension, must take place AFTER this…

  11. Maximus Rift
    May 19, 2007 at 10:31 pm — Reply

    You know, after I read everybody else’s gripes, I kinda feel that I’m more forgiving of the book than the rest? The cheesecake factor doesn’t bother me, though you see it now in almost every other comic book. Sentry might be a cardboard-Superman, but I feel that can be fixed. I like the use of Ares and Wasp’s haircut looks okay to me. The book is still bad since we still have no story to speak of, the team synergy stinks and the thought balloons are usualy more annoying than good. Hey Joe Q, let someone else write Mighty before Bendis runs out of steam.

    And when am I getting my “Pym goes evil” story? The man can conceal a virtual army, pack a complete arsenal and has more baggage than a postal worker. Nobody would see him coming.

  12. Brother129
    May 19, 2007 at 10:33 pm — Reply

    I GOT IT! Maybe the “Third Crisis” is a major Marvel/DC crossover where the DC editors help the Marvel editors fix their inconsistent and half-@$$ed continuity. Lord in heaven help these Marvel folks. I even got the title: Character Crisis in the Infinite Civil Unrest Iniative Crossover. Reserve your copies now….

  13. Brian Phillips
    July 15, 2007 at 5:00 pm — Reply

    I missed issue 2 of the Mighty Avengers when I bought 1 & 3 at the same time. I read issue one and started issue three. I had to stop and check that it was not issue two wrongly numbered as everybody looked like they were in the same position as the end of the firsy issue. Then I noticed Ares looked a bit frazzled and I got the reference to him being hit by lightning. So I don’t think I need to hunt down the second issue as not a lot can have happened. Appart from Ares getting hit by lightning.

    These SHIELD agents who brought in Hank Pym were acting a bit like Nazis weren’t they. They broke the door down and took him away at gun point. Let’s see, they were not arresting a criminal and had no reason to suspect a crime was being commited. So their actions must have broken a load of laws.

    I think I can explain the reaction of the SHIELD agents on the helicarrier when their leaders were down. During the Second World War Chinese guerillas would lure Japanese soldiers into canyons and snipers would take out the officers. As their training had removed the ability to think for themselves they would just mill around and not do anything. This is true. Stuff like that really happened. So, obviously, SHIELD must use the same training techniques as the Imperial Japanese Army did.

    Hey, I just compared SHIELD with Nazis and Japanese fascists. A theme is emerging.

  14. Cretien
    July 24, 2007 at 11:37 pm — Reply

    Sorry to come in so late but just to clear up one point. Wonder-mans jets are powered by his “ionic” energy, the very stuff that he is formed of. Thus it is conceivable that whatever he can lift physically he can fly with. This also means that his jets never run out of energy. Of course the helicarrier would come apart from the strain but hey, this is comics!

  15. July 25, 2007 at 8:12 am — Reply

    Sorry to come in so late but just to clear up one point. Wonder-mans jets are powered by his “ionic” energy, the very stuff that he is formed of. Thus it is conceivable that whatever he can lift physically he can fly with. This also means that his jets never run out of energy. Of course the helicarrier would come apart from the strain but hey, this is comics!

    Really? Where did they reveal this information?

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