MIGHTY AVENGERS #2
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 2, 2013
There’s no such thing as a slow day for a superhero operating in New York, hired or otherwise. With the usual Avengers roster away from home, Mighty Avengers spotlights the superheroes left behind that rise to pick up the slack, battling both low-rung costumed crazies and the bigger fish that have come to wreak havoc in the Avengers’ back yard.
Land delivers on the same level as the first issue, with unquestionably solid work sullied by his mishandling of anatomy and his reliance on the same two expressions… every character seems to either be screaming, squinting, or squinting and screaming. His shortcomings are particularly frustrating when paired with Leisten’s impeccable inking, which rides heavy on outlining and then thins out for visually pleasing detail-lining and crosshatched edging on shadows. There are occasional lines that feel cluttering or unnecessary, but it’s unclear who designated their use, and it’s such a minor nitpick it likely goes unnoticed by most readers. If Land’s skewed perception of the human form and face weren’t so jarring, his collaboration with Leisten would produce some truly solid visuals, even if contained in the endless series of close-up shots Land employs throughout the comic.
D’armata honestly steals the show, with such vivid colors and shading that every page is given visual pop that Land’s art would likely be hard-pressed to accomplish on its own, even with Leisten’s help. His shading helps give additional shape to Leisten’s inks, and his use of blurring and glows give panels a greater sense of drama. And with a plethora of illuminated billboards, fiery smoke, and light-based attacks throughout the issue, D’armata certainly had no shortage of things to make bright and gleaming.
Ewing opens with two different sequences, the first a foreboding glimpse into the doings of Doctor Strange, and the second chronicling the isolated life of the latest addition to the title’s lineup. Ewing uses this scene to root the character in a position of sympathy with the reader, though the dialogue occasionally seems a bit forced. He ends it on a question, which cleverly resurfaces again at the end of the comic. The issue is almost all a buildup of tension, punctuated by a motivational moment and the unleashing of another threat — so it’s business as usual.
Those looking to keep up with Infinity should give this title a cruise, as it’s entirely nestled in the event and with only two issues thus far it hasn’t bred its own story yet that might tangle up temporary readers. Thanos and his Black Order have their hands all over this one, so readers should too.
This issue was a lot of shallow bang and mostly buildup, so its audience will be looking for something stronger next issue. Ewing will likely deliver, but with Land at the helm on art, whatever’s in store for the Mighty Avengers will likely come about with a lot of yelling, squinting, and alien body proportions.