“Mighty Avengers” #8 by Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti and colorist Frank D’Armata is not very new reader friendly, relying too much on prior knowledge of newly introduced characters for its emotional weight. Additionally, conflicts are too easily resolved to make way for a new storyline, but it’s hard to get excited for the new when the execution of the previous was so unsatisfactory.
While there’s some potential in the new Blue Marvel story that Ewing sets up, the resolution to the Ava story is unrewarding at best. After raising the stakes significantly in the previous issues, Ava’s story — finally captured by her team after allowing the Tiger God from her amulet to possess her — peters out insignificantly. She simply has an argument with the god, throws some harsh truths its way and it goes out with a whimper. It’s so insubstantial; it almost feels like there are missing pages. The story moves to a rather obvious story about fathers and sons, as a new threat falls in love with the sound of his own voice through stereotypical villainous monologue. There’s some inconsistency too, with Blue Marvel contradicting himself repeatedly as his tells the team about the threat they’re about to face. On the whole, it’s sloppy and unsatisfying.
There is no denying Schiti’s talent. However anyone that has seen the artist’s sublime pencils on “Journey Into Mystery” can see “Mighty Avengers” #8 is not his strongest work. The book is more than capable on the art front with clear storytelling and a good mix of action and character work, and he handles an incredibly large cast with ease. However, “Mighty Avengers” lacks the spectacular nature of “Journey Into Mystery.” Though the script is full of action scenes and a lot of good characters to sink his teeth into, it’s a far cry from the larger scope of “Journey Into Mystery” with its mythical monsters, bloody battles, space travel and world weary warriors. By contrast, “Mighty Avengers” feels almost sanitized, both in concept and in Schiti’s execution. Even places where he perhaps could have pushed the envelope — like Ava’s conversation with her Tiger God — is played incredibly straight. It’s probably wrong to complain about a perfectly capable and sometimes lovely book, but knowing Schiti’s capabilities, it’s hard not to be disappointed. It is worth noting that his She-Hulk really shines, in the same way that his Sif did. Powerful, fighting ladies are clearly Schiti’s strength, so here’s hoping he eventually lands on a book that can really capitalize on it.
Schiti’s art is done no favors by colorist Frank D’Armata. It’s another case of the work being capable and efficient with no glaring errors, but D’Armata’s colors lack atmosphere and soul. They feel too slick in the way that uninspired computer coloring often does. Everything is the appropriate color but it lacks any nuance. There’s little to no acknowledgement of the changing light in scenes — a scene outside on the ocean in the bright sun has nearly the same tones and feeling as those of an “undersea science fortress.” When Ava’s Tiger God appears to her everything should be bathed in the sickly magical green that comes with him but it isn’t. As a result, when she vanquishes him, there’s no wonderful contrast of everything snapping back to reality.
“Mighty Avengers” #8 is full of characters I’m interested in and want to love, but this issue is mediocre at best, despite having one of the best artists in superhero comics on board. I’ll give it a few more issues to win me over because of the characters, but it’s going to have to really up its game to keep me as a reader.