Mighty Avengers #11 (Original Sin Tie-In!!!)
Writer – Al Ewing
Penciler – Greg Land
Inker – Jay Leisten
Colorist – Frank D’Armata
Review by Joey Braccino
More often than not, Big Event Comics wreak havoc on our favorite ongoing series. The repercussions and redirections of the main story alter and shift the continuity of the universe, thereby derailing the momentum and direction of the comics that it touches. Look no further than Brian Wood’s X-Men, which got drafted wholesale into last Fall’s X-Men: Battle of the Atom crossover; by many standards, that series never really recovered from the months it spent dedicated to this other crossover separate from the characters and story it had already established.
Therefore, a truly successful tie-in is one that maintains the integrity of the series while still reflected the changes going on over in the Event. Mighty Avengers #11 is one such tie-in, as Al Ewing effectively incorporates the events of Original Sin into the story he has been constructing over the last 10 issues.
The first success in Mighty Avengers #11 is the use of Original Sin as an instigating event rather than the entire plot itself. Luke Cage had a secret revealed to him in Original Sin #2, and he seeks out answers regarding this secret in Mighty Avengers #11. Gone are the other Avengers, the Orb, the Watcher, Nick Fury, etc. etc. etc., and instead we have characters that we are familiar with telling a story that, ultimately, is less related to Original Sin and more relevant to the ongoing saga of Blade and the Deathwalkers. Yes, it is revealed that Luke Cage’s father was an old school homicide detective who fell in with Blade to fight the Deathwalkers back in the ‘70s. Aside from the instigating revelation, the presence of Original Sin is relatively minimal, but it allows Ewing to explore Luke Cage’s father in the past.
In many ways, Mighty Avengers #11 follows the mold established in last year’s “Secret Origin of Tony Stark” story arc in Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man. In fact, the character of Bear, the sultry mercenary with two ferocious dogs, appears in Mighty Avengers after debuting in that same Iron Man storyline. A superhero learns that his father (in this case Cage’s dad) had previously assembled a team of extraordinary people to fight some otherworldly threat (in this case the Deathwalkers). Cue extended flashbacks. It’s a fun story, particularly when it leads directly into and provides critical context for a storyline that’s been building for nearly a year.
As we all well know by this point, Greg Land is one of those divisive, hit-or-miss artists. Here, I think it’s a hit. Sure we do have some of those “same sexy lady” faces on the characters of Constance Molina, hard-hitting weird beat reporter, and Candice Brashear, but for the most part Land pulls through in providing a dynamic, naturalistic reading experience. Part of me does wish that the kickback to the 1970s had a transition in the artwork to something more period, but Mighty Avengers is a solid visual experience from start to finish!
Buy. I’m loving Al Ewing’s Mighty Avengers. It’s weird, it’s quirky, and it’s action-packed. It’s a lot like Fraction’s run on Uncanny X-Men with a dash of Bendis’ New Avengers; an old school superhero book with humor and heart. Despite the Original Sin tie-in, Mighty Avengers #11 thrives on its own. If anything, Al Ewing effectively uses the events of Original Sin to bolster his own story rather than let it infringe and impede it. Check it!