Captain America and the Mighty Avengers comes hot off the heels of the AXIS event that is currently occurring within the Marvel Universe. The Red Skull fused his brain with the deceased Professor Charles Xavier and has become the Red Onslaught – a massive and powerful villain that telepathically attempted to spread hate throughout the world. Fortunately, the Avengers and X-Men were able to stop Red Onslaught with the assistance of a motley crew of unlikely villains. In the aftermath of this event, things have seemingly been turned on their “axis” – villains are having compulsions to do good and heroes are being compelled to act in more selfish ways. Sam Wilson, formerly known as Falcon, was among the many present during the battle and recently had the Captain America title bestowed upon him by the former Captain America, Steve Rogers.
In this issue, we are introduced to a harder-edged version of Sam Wilson than we’ve ever seen before. This ties directly into the events of AXIS, and while it isn’t necessary reading material to enjoy this issue, it informs a lot of the direction for the team and it’s characters and is highly recommended to understand their motives. Writer Al Ewing invokes a bit of Frank Miller’s gritty stoicism in Sam’s narratives as he flies through the city hunting down criminals. There is a narcissistic demeanor and tone to these captions, which is atypical of Sam’s usual jovial self. Ewing makes that incredibly clear in this story that Sam has changed. While the plot is mostly a vignette of the state-of-affairs going on in the Marvel Universe after AXIS, we also see how it has affected new humanitarian team called the Mighty Avengers. To be more precise, how it’s affected the leader of the team, Luke Cage.
Ewing offers a splendid mix of humorous and engaging dialogue undercut with scenes of a looming darkness boiling out of them creating an immersive atmosphere as readers turn the page. Fans of the previous Mighty Avengers run will notice that Ewing has sustained many of the tropes that we’ve come to love from reading the series, but this time there is a darker and serious tone in this debut issue that seems to set the stakes very high for future issues.
Luke Ross’s art is strikingly poignant and absolutely incredible to witness. His staunch realism, heavy inks, and shadows bring a gravity to each and every panel, as he navigates from wide shots to in-your-face close-ups. His composition choices carefully captivate the reader and heighten the dramatic tension on the page. Much of what makes a lot of this issue successful is Ross’s abilities in delivering an action-packed comic book of this caliber. Ross brings emotion and effectively informs the reader purely through visual means, allowing the reader to understand the severity of Ewing’s intent. Colorist Rachelle Rosenberg offers to keep the tone of the book consistent by not using any flamboyant colors and sustaining a realistic color pallette throughout.
Al Ewing and Luke Ross have laid out enough of a foundation for their debut issue of Captain America And The Mighty Avengers to captivate new readers and sustain Mighty Avengers fans. While there are some serious issues being contended with in this issue, there is still enough humor and fun to keep a lot of readers interested.
The Verdict: 8.0/10