|Mighty Avengers #1 cover by Greg Land|
By Paul Montgomery
As Thanos descends upon a newly vulnerable Manhattan, Luke Cage and his Heroes for Hire brace themselves for the cosmic-level threat. Though the core Avengers team remain woefully out of beeper range at the edge of the solar system, Luke readies to assemble a new team of MIGHTY AVENGERS. Luckily, he still has a few favors left to cash in.
Today we continue our survey of the Earth’s Remaining Heroes, a motley assortment of street-level and universe-class champions from all walks of life. Now, writer Al Ewing weighs in on an old flame that passed the bar, a villain-turned territorial wall-crawler, and an icon once asked to stop fighting the good fight.
Jennifer Walters, cousin to the original Hulk, Bruce Banner—and a jade juggernaut in her own right—offers more to the team than sheer might. She’s the legal department.
“Luke wants the team to be relatively unconnected with [Iron Man’s] team or S.H.I.E.L.D.,” explains Ewing. “He understands that that might mean some trouble for him down the line, especially with S.H.I.E.L.D., who are notorious for playing fast and loose with legalities.”
“I like Jen's carefree, fun-loving side,” continues Ewing, a great admirer of Dan Slott’s character-defining run on SHE-HULK, “But the fact that she's here to work—in addition to her high-stress role in the Future Foundation—means we'll be getting plenty of workaholic Jennifer Walters, too. It'll be interesting making those two sides balance out. Primarily, Luke and Jen are going to be the behind-the-scenes team keeping the whole show running, and it'll be interesting exploring their chemistry. Remember, they used to date at one point, and that'll probably come up at least in passing.”
|Mighty Avengers #1 preview art by Greg Land|
A founding member of the Sinister Six, Otto Octavius finds himself in an unlikely new role as an Avenger. Of course, this just represents the latest in a long line of recent life changes since the villain once known as Doctor Octopus now inhabits the body and vocation of Spider-Man.
“Otto Octavius is a terrible human being,” concedes Ewing. “He's on the team because he was in the right place at the right time. While he might have some grudging respect for certain teammates, he's not anybody's friend and colleague. He's already got an organization devoted to keeping New York safe, and from his point of view the Mighty Avengers need to be folded into it or stop existing altogether.”
For Ewing, it all comes down to Otto’s unchecked ego and deep regard for territory:
“The only leader the Mighty Avengers should have—behind the scenes or in the field—is Otto Octavius, aka the Superior Spider-Man, and he's going to show them that.
“He's going to show them all.”
Adam the Blue Marvel
Though old enough to have served in the Korean War, Adam Brashear has not enjoyed as lengthy a career in avenging as his age might suggest; a living, breathing antimatter reactor, he donned the helm of the Blue Marvel and fought for America until 1962 when President Kennedy awarded him a medal and asked that he hang up his cape. In the tumult of civil rights riots, the country, he argued, was not yet ready for an African American super-hero. Like Captain America before him, the Marvel went on ice, only to reappear decades later as a champion for the entire globe.
“He's not spent very much time in America since he came out of retirement,” explains Ewing of the cult favorite creation of writer and actor Kevin Grevioux. “He only really comes stateside to visit with his daughter. Why not his son? We'll get to that. His reasoning is that the United States is already very well protected, and there's more than enough in the rest of the world to keep him busy. He's also not keen on joining up with S.H.I.E.L.D. or Tony [Stark]; he's very wary of organizations that seem to set themselves up above the will of the people. Tony's Avengers make too many decisions that affect humanity while cloistered away from them, something Adam's just not comfortable with. So Luke's Mighty Avengers is a breath of fresh air, and a group he feels much happier to affiliate himself with.”
|Mighty Avengers #1 variant cover by Bryan Hitch|
As for Adam’s lengthy hiatus from super-heroics, Ewing hopes to shed some light on that period of supposed inactivity.
“He was by no means idle, he just wasn't the Blue Marvel,” the writer says, “Dr. Adam Brashear got up to a lot of business out of costume, and we'll be hearing about some of it. How, for instance, could he possibly know the mystery man calling himself Spider Hero? And how could he have been an Avenger before now? Have faith, true believer, all will be revealed, and then some...”
Meet more of the Mighty Avengers tomorrow and pick up MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 on September 11