Original Sin

Travel Back in Time to Learn the Mighty Avengers' Original Sin

Al Ewing flashes back to the 1970’s for a tale of the original Mighty Avengers, featuring Blue Marvel and a different Cage!

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Some of the deepest darkest secrets in the Marvel Universe will fall into dangerous hands as part of Original Sin this May following the murder of the Watcher. Among those secrets: the story of the original Mighty Avengers, an unlikely team of 1970’s heroes led by Luke Cage’s father, NYPD detective James Lucas.

In the MIGHTY AVENGERS tie-in to Original Sin, Al Ewing and Greg Land uncover the lost history of this forgotten team of heroes and their struggle against dark and deadly supernatural forces. We spoke to Ewing for a first glimpse into the shadows, and to learn how this story ties back to the adventures of the present-day team.

Original Sin teaser by Francesco Francavilla

Marvel.com: So you're taking us back to the 1970’s. What's the story?

Al Ewing: MIGHTY AVENGERS readers will know that we've been hinting at something big and bad involved a mysterious secret society known as the Deathwalkers, who operate using magical half-animal servants and possessed human slaves. Well, their plan to end the world as we know it is about to come to a terrifying head, so it's a good time to ask if they've ever tried it before. And it turns out they have—in 1972. Luckily, there were six people around to stop them.

That's #11 and #12; #10 is a more self-contained story, involving Blue Marvel's relationship with the late lamented Watcher.

Marvel.com: What can you reveal about the 1970’s team? Is it all new faces?

Al Ewing: There's exactly one new face, someone I thought up for a previous pitch that ended up going nowhere, who turned out to be too good an idea to let go.

Adam Brashear [Blue Marvel] is the face readers will be most familiar with, and by the time #11 rolls around, [we] will have a clearer idea of how he could get into that kind of strange action when he was barred by executive order from being a super hero.

One of the things I wanted to explore with that character was the idea of the history and current affairs we don't know, that we're not taught, that's edited out of the school curriculum and the newspapers by our cultural bias. It's an idea that's complicated by Marvel's sliding timeline, but that's a complication that fascinates me more than frustrates me.

Hopefully readers will feel the same.

So there's one new face and one old face to play with. And anyone who's been reading carefully will already have an idea about two or three other team members.

Mighty Avengers (2013) #10 cover by Greg Land

Marvel.com: How does this story parallel the events of the present-day MIGHTY AVENGERS?

Al Ewing: The Original Mighty Avengers were involved in a race against time to stop the Deathwalkers from accomplishing their goals and ending the human world. The Mighty Avengers of the present day are in a similar situation—but much, much further behind. Is it already too late? What will they do if it is?

Marvel.com: Marvel's sliding timeline means you're telling stories from the era that originally gave us Luke Cage, who first appeared in 1972. Was that strange to play around with?

Al Ewing: Well, Luke Cage's Dad is involved—there's another face on the team—so there is that connection. But James Lucas, Detective, is a different archetype from his son. Luke Cage was a private eye, slash bodyguard, in super hero drag; Jim Lucas is a “murder police” on the edge of something strange and sinister, in a world between heroic ages. There's the First Line [the “forgotten super-hero team” from MARVEL: THE LOST GENERATION], but they're probably somewhere else that week. I came very close to putting Captain Hip on the team.

So they're worlds apart. That said there's definitely a temptation to go there in terms of the writing, to do things with the medium that were in style at the time, conversational captions, for instance. Calling the reader "baby" un-ironically. The trouble is, if I did, the tone wouldn't fit the story at all—it'd be a humorous thing, retro irony—and what happens when I want to call the reader "baby" un-ironically in a contemporary setting? You never know, baby, I might.

So I suppose I'm thinking less of imitating the Marvel 70’s and more of creating a workable voice for the period that doesn't rely on the reader having knowledge of the writing styles of 40-odd years ago.

Marvel.com: What sort of influences come into play to create a 1970’s version of the Marvel Universe?

Al Ewing: In terms of the story itself, obviously this is not the first time that this, or something like this, has been done. THE LOST GENERATION, AVENGERS 1959, AGENTS OF ATLAS, INVADERS, the 50’s Cap saga—I'm not breaking any new ground here. I've done it myself a few times before now—I keep going back to periods in Dredd's past before Prog 2 of 2000AD. He wasn't in Prog 1. Trivia!

Mighty Avengers (2013) #11 cover by Greg Land

But like I say, I'm fascinated by the sliding timeline, and I'm kind of relishing the chance to jump headfirst into the beautiful strangeness of retcons. I mean, this is going to be maybe the third 1972 Marvel's had? And I'm probably missing a few. Isn't that great? Isn't that weird?

But as for stylistic influences, I would be very surprised if Richard Stark didn't feature heavily in the tone of it. So far it's feeling a little bit noir and a little bit pulp—and a little bit of that indefinable Mighty Avengers thing. That thing people like.

Continue to follow Marvel.com for all the latest news on Original Sin before the event kicks off this May!

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4 comments
John_Holstein
John_Holstein

They are called the MIGHTY AVENGERS not the WHIMPY AVENGERS and only 2 MEMBERS( BLUE MARVEL and villain KALUU ) live up to MIGHTY, so why not ADD the Eternal TITANIS [ Marvel Super-Hero Contest Of Champions # 1( 6/82 ) http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/titaniseternal.htm ] to the team and MAKE HER a WONDER WOMAN/SUPERGIRL CLASS HERO----after all ETERNALS can MIMIC the powers of KRYPTONIANS if the put the effort into developing their FULL POTENIAL POWERS( since they have powers( Mental, Teleportation, Project Light, Electricity, Magnetic Energy, Rearrange Matter ) that Kryptonians don't have they would be more powerful ).                                                                                                                               CAUCASIANS SHOULDN'T BE the ONLY ONES WITH CLASS 100 STRENGTH in any COMIC BOOK UNIVERSE----OTHER COUNTRIES SHOULD HAVE THEM TOO and ALIENS that LOOK HUMAN SHOULD be MADE UP OF THE SAME REAL WORLD RACES as EARTH.                                                                                                                                                            Thor's Yoruba counterpart the Thunder & War God SHANGO should be as Strong as Thor after all that isn't the only thing he has in common with Thor, SHANGO has the Mythological Thor's temper and a Double Bladed Axe like Thor's German counterpart DONAR.                                                                                                                                                                          Here is another Hero to look at: DRALLA [ Journey Into Mystery # 70( 7/61 ) 3rd story http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/drallahero.htm ].

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

Hey MARVEL you did READ the Ancient One's origin and therefore know that KALUU is a bad guy, right? If you wanted a sorcerer of colour you could have used YAMA NURI[World of Fantasy # 14( 10/58 ) 6th story  http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/nuriyamawof.htm ] or M'GUMBU[ Journey Into Mystery # 61( 10/60 ) 4th story  http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix2/mgumbujim.htm ] or turn OMAR KARINDU into a sorcerer( he as active as young man in 1933 and well preserved in present day )[ Defenders vol. 1 # 42( 12/76 ) http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/karinduomar.htm ] or the BLACK PANTHER( T'CHALLA )'s witch doctor uncle N'BAZA[ Fantastic Four vol. 1 # 53 ].                                                                                                                                                                             Plus there are the 1970s GHOST RIDERS: DEVIL RIG[ Ghost Rider VI # 33( 5/09 ) http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix6/devilrig.htm ] and HELLDRIVER[ Ghost Rider VI # 33( 5/09 ) http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix6/helldriver.htm ]---clearly the creator of these 2 characters was a fan of Smokey and the Bandit and BJ and the Bear( minus the chimp for Devil Rig )---for those who don't know--1970s movie for the first and TV series for the second.  Here is another supernatural trucker, CLEMENT BARSTOW[ Ghost Rider Vol. 2 # 51( 12/80 ) http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix6/barstowclementgr.htm ]---doesn't the golden age hero SILVER SCORPION share the same last name with him? Maybe they are related.                                                                                                                               Don't forget the 1970s RED WOLF[ Red Wolf # 7( 5/73 ) http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/redwolfthunderhead.htm ].

rasx
rasx

The guy in the yellow jacket, is the original Blade right?

wederdire
wederdire

Is that blue marvel I see(exited).