Graphic Novel Review: Mighty Avengers: Family Bonding

16:19 06 August 2014

Mighty Avengers: Family Bonding

Mighty Avengers: Family Bonding

Archant

What makes a new Avengers book stand out from the crowd? Great characterisation, fantastic dialogue and intelligent scripting!

(Panini Books)

Former Avengers scribe Brian Michael Bendis had a reputation for crafting nuanced dialogue but falling down when it came to a decent plot. Fortunately with this newest addition to the Avengers franchise we not only have sharp and snappy conversations between the various protagonists, but the plotting is first-rate as well.

Writer Al Ewing knows what he’s doing, and this planning it pays off on every page. He has brought together a team of people’s Avengers who are prepared to tackle everything from street level crime to threats to the very fabric of reality, but do it with an undeniable sense of style and occasion. Operating out of the old Gem Theatre in Times Square, the non-profit team offer their services for free or a charitable contribution.

The likes of Luke Cage, Falcon, Adam Brashear (aka the Blue Marvel), Spectrum (Monica Rambeau) and She-Hulk work alongside younger heroes White Tiger and Power Man, with random elements like Iron Fist and the latest incarnation of Ronin popping up to keep things interesting, and unlike many teams every character has both a rightful place in the line-up and a decent share of the spotlight.

Moving on from the opening arc, which focused largely on the events of the Infinity crossover, the book starts to find its own identity in this second volume, tackling the ancient legacy of the White Tiger and the tragic mistakes of the Blue Marvel while also dropping hints about Ronin’s identity and mission before revealing it at last in a spectacular cliffhanger.

Any new Avengers book needs to have something different to set itself apart from the rest of the line, and there’s no doubt that Mighty has achieved that in spades. This is well-paced superhero drama that is driven by both characters and plot, and is undoubtedly one of the strongest books Marvel is putting out at the moment.

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