Mighty Avengers #6
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Cory Petit
Review by Joey Braccino
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Now that Young Avengers is off the stands (#sadness4ever), I turn to Al Ewing’s Mighty Avengers for my character-driven, equity-driven, and occasionally-experimental superheroic-but-not-just -superheroes comic book action. Granted, Gillen and McKelvie’s post-modern run on Young Avengers had an entirely different mission statement and style than Al Ewing’s more street-level, urban Mighty Avengers, but there’s still something to be said for those subversive, back-wall books that don’t get as much attention as they deserve.
Al Ewing continues settling us into his core cast, extending the “introductions” into the “moving in” metaphor that’s run through the last few issues. This time, Luke and Jessica are moving into their new apartment in Brooklyn. Cue the yellow satin shirt, chain, and tiara jokes and Joey’s “ROFL”-ing. Meanwhile, Monica “Spectrum” Rambeau and Jennifer “She-Hulk” Walters train the new Power Man. During this sequence, Al Ewing subtly addresses the “Why did Monica lose the afro?” criticism, providing a critical layer to the character and bringing in all of the racial representation issues that the book can address. Nicely done.
And, finally, Mighty Avengers has a visual aesthetic worthy of its content. Say what you will about Greg Land’s brand of photo-realism and female figurework, but the primary complaint regarding the first five issues of Mighty was the flat artwork. This issue is split between talking heads—Adam Brashear and Luke Cage have a stellar, heated conversation on the consequence of the aforementioned representation (or lack thereof), responsibility, and social equity—and a stunning framing narrative in which an extremist arsonist (who looks uncannily like William H. Macy from Shameless Season 1) is plagued by pigeons; it’s more terrifying and effective than that might let on. Regardless, the wonderful Valerio Schiti captures the shifts in tone and relative down-tempo pace of the issue eloquently and perfectly. Schiti (of Journey Into Mystery and Avengers A.I. fame) has a similar photo-realism to Land, but there’s something more dynamic and more developed in Schiti’s characterwork. It’s not that Schiti’s work is more novel or groundbreaking—if anything, it’s more in-line with Marvel’s “house-style”—but there’s a more refined and detailed depth to it that Land simply doesn’t capture. Granted, Land does do action quite well, and he does play with lay-outs a bit more, but Schiti’s consistency and naturalism fit Ewing’s script perfectly.
Buy it. I’m a big fan of Mighty Avengers, and now that Valerio Schiti’s artwork is as solid as Al Ewing’s characterwork, this series is definitely worth a look! It’s a visual medium after all, so its nice to see Ewing’s street-level seriocomedy get the artwork it deserves. Oh, and I want a Spider-Man onesie w/ hood for my future baby.