Setting Up Shop
God, Mighty Avengers, I want to like you so much more than I do. But you keep tripping over your own shoes, and it's getting a little annoying.
Alright, so first things first; this book feels like it's forcing a lot, particularly with this issue. Because there really hasn't been an "origin" issue, this and the next are meant to act as that, presenting us with the beginnings of the team from an organized point of view. However, it all feels a little awkward, since we've sort of already seen that. Yet, this issue is certainly necessary at this point, so we see a pretty ridiculous catch-22 situation here.
Yet, what's even more forced is the cast. Marvel as of late have been having series with teams of a certain minority for the sake of having one as of late, and, as the all-female X-Men series has shown us, it doesn't produce good results most of the time. At this point, it's very clear that this is what Ewing is trying to accomplish, especially when he's pulling out such obscure names as the Blue Marvel and the re-branded Spectrum. This results in the cast being a bit too full and under-characterized. I want to know more about certain individuals (Falcon, Spectrum, Luke) and less about others (Superior Spidey, White Tiger, "Ronin"). Yet, we don't get much time with anyone for the most part, as we are forced to constantly be shifting perspectives and to different situations.
Also, this book seems to have a knack of wanting to pull the reader this way and that. We are meant to be intrigued by Cortex, a fairly bland corporation, as well as what's going on at Attilan, which is again not all that interesting, while still keeping us intrigued with the forming of the Mighty Avengers, which would be a lot more interesting if it felt more fleshed out. It's all very distracting and frustrating.
And the Ronin "mystery" is honestly pretty obnoxious. It's incredibly obvious who the character is, even from the start. Keeping in mind the stereotype of who is on the team and the magical knowledge that he has, it was flagrantly obvious before now. But, with this issue, Ewing is practically slapping us in the face with the answer, yet still refuses to show the audience who it is. I don't think it's that big of a deal to make the reveal within the Mighty Avengers, especially when half the cast seems to know already, and it feels drawn out and, you guessed it, forced. PS, to those who think it's Punisher, you clearly don't read comics very closely.
There are some nice comedic moments presented, and some of them, especially the captions, are presented very well, but there are a lot of instances where it feels very forced. We see entire pages wasted on one joke that isn't all that full or interesting, and have almost nothing top do with the plot. Ewing could have used this space to better flesh out the team or expand upon a character, but instead uses it up on out of place moments of breaking the fourth wall and obscure references that have little to do with what's happening.
And it just wouldn't make sense if the ending didn't feel forced to. The only reason this series still gets 3 stars, for me, is the sometimes witty dialogue, the solid art style, and my sheer want for this series to be better than it is.