Marvel got on the dog and bone again today, for a conference call around the comics internet – CBR, Newsarama, John Siuntres and others. I was in on the call too, ready to hear all about the new ‘Mighty’ series Marvel have planned for later this year. A team book led by Luke Cage and featuring Blue Marvel, She-Hulk, Power Man (the other, younger one), White Tiger (the new one seen in Avengers Academy) and Superior Spider-Man, the series will be written by Al Ewing and drawn by Greg Land.
The call started off with the announcement of the creative team, followed by the actual cast of the book. Alongside the original team were also revealed a few other members, as well as the relationships they’ll have with each other. This took up most of the call, with writer Al Ewing and editor Tom Brevoort both talking animatedly about their team.
Luke Cage will be leading this team in the wake of Infinity, a Marvel event which will see most of the Marvel heroes leave Earth in order to fight off ‘the builders’. While most of the heroes are gone, however, Thanos will take the chance to come to Earth and cause some problems. So the immediate threat will be Thanos and his lieutenants, and Cage’s team will be formed up of all the heroes still on Earth.
That team includes Monica Rambeau, who will be the active team leader whilst Cage operates in a role similar to Nick Fury. Monica will be rebranding herself as Spectrum now, and Ewing was very keen on the chance to get to play around with her personality and power-set. The team will also see Falcon joining – although due to his close relationship with Captain America, the others are going to view him carefully. Is he keeping an eye on them, or is he genuinely happy to be on the team?
There’s a new Ronin on the team. Nothing was mentioned of who he is, as always, although it was said that he’ll be in an anonymous suit BEFORE then stepping into the anonymous Ronin suit also. Blue Marvel will be appearing on the team:
He has a military background, and is used to the idea of following orders, as well as putting forward their own ideas if they need to be said
With Luke Cage thinking of family first and holding back from too much active fighting, the rest of the team will all be leading themselves to some extent. This will be most seen with characters like Rambeau and Blue Marvel, both of whom are smart operators in their own right. One name which does stand out in this regard, obviously, is Superior Spider-Man. On the character, Ewing said:
Spider-man is now a complete [REDACTED]. He’s coming together onto the team because he needs to stop the giant threat. After that though, his point of view is “who are you and HOW DARE YOU protect the streets that I am protecting?”
Nobody will be happy with him – he’s crashing the party, forcing his way in. We’ll see how long it lasts before the inevitable massive fireball of recriminations and open assault kicks off
After Infinity, the main goal for the book will be a more community-driven, societal impact squad. This is similar to a plot point seen briefly during Bendis’ Avengers run, when Luke Cage led the team to ‘impact policing’ through rougher areas of the city. The long-term goal for the team will be to inspire on a personal level, and act to aid society. As I’m putting it, they’re going to impact on society as well as on the heads of villains. Wahey!
CBR asked the call’s participants about diversity, in this regard – this is a team with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. It was always the idea for this team to feature more diversity on the team, and Brevoort spoke in particular about the idea of people asking for a ‘all-black avengers':
It feels artificial and ghettoising to me, to have an all-black or all-LGBT or all-Asian Avengers. Putting them together and therefore keeping them away from the other characters – to me, that feels fake. The reality is that people are interested in these characters and want to see heroes that reflect them – and they have a very genuine point.
Hence a title like this one. The role of the other Power Man – the new, younger one, was discussed, with Ewing describing them as having a dynamic not dissimilar from the Iron Fist/Power Man relationship of old. Especially in the way they fight.
Ewing spoke at length about the way he’ll be working with Greg Land on the book – Marvel style, essentially. And this will be a chance to see Greg Land working on his storytelling somewhat, taking a more active role in sequencing and structure, for Ewing to then script over. That seems to be a wise tactic to take with Land, whose art is very divisive.
What actually struck me most about the call is that Ewing had a plan in mind for any character which was thrown at him. Everybody seems to have an agenda and role and personality which separates them from each other. No generic characters – everybody is distinct and has purpose. It feels like this’ll be very much a character-driven book, something that perhaps hasn’t really been a focus in the Avengers books for a while now.
Also – they’re going to fight The Plunderer. Issue #1 is in September.