[Spoiler Alert: The following review contains potential spoilers for “Avengers & X-Men: AXIS” #4.]
Writer Al Ewing returns to chronicle the adventures of the localized Avengers team in “Captain America and the Mighty Avengers” #1. The roster hasn’t changed much (yet) aside from Falcon now wearing the uniform of Captain America in this Luke Ross drawn comic book.
Of note is the fact that this comic book boasts the “AXIS” tie-in banner, whereas the main “All-New Captain America” series does not. The writer of “AXIS,” Rick Remender, also writes the main Cap title, which makes for an interesting choice to empower Ewing to handle the direct effects of “Avengers & X-Men: AXIS” as it applies to Sam Wilson and company. Following the Inversion Spell, Wilson is a hard-edged hero determined to take extreme measures, if necessary, in order to keep his country safe. Ewing drives the story in “Captain America & the Mighty Avengers” #1 from this angle, giving FalCap the lion’s share of page and panel. The Plunderer has been affected by World War Hate and the after effects of the Inversion, which is the action keeping “Captain America & the Mighty Avengers” #1 afloat. Ewing even manages to provide a wink and a nod to readers and comic fans by naming one of the Plunderer’s corporate pirate crew Terry.
Some of the other members of the Mighty Avengers make appearances, but the most noteworthy is a rather comical exchange between Luke Cage and a very non-inverted Spider-Man. That exchange is handled in a nine-panel grid, which affords both writer and artist ample opportunity to charm readers. Luke Ross handles a wide array of interactions quite nicely, but his characters are tight and robotic. “Captain America & the Mighty Avengers” #1 has lots of maniacal grins that make my jaw ache just looking at them, further compounding the stiffness of several characters. The Spider-Man/Cage exchange showcases a fine sample of Ross’ ability to draw more limber characters and Ross’ insertion of detail throughout this comic is very good.
Rachelle Rosenberg’s atmospheric colors transform Luke Ross’ photo-influenced cityscape backgrounds to brightly colored cutouts, which works in contrast with Ross’ otherwise clinical approach to superheroes. Sam’s uniform is brighter blue here than anywhere else to this point, which visually keeps it more in line with the classic Steve Rogers’ version. Cory Petit is on task with the letters, keeping a very similar appearance to the other caption boxes used throughout the recent appearances of the “all-new” Captain America.
For the most part, this is a very straightforward and somewhat forgettable adventure, but the lead character is, perhaps, off-center from what readers might expect in the debut issue featuring a new character. “Captain America and the Mighty Avengers” #1 has the potential to be very confusing to anyone thinking this is parallel or supplemental to the “All-New Captain America” #1 instead of inline with “Avengers & X-Men: AXIS” #1. The potential for conflict teased for upcoming issues definitely plays to presumed familiarity, further the reducing the approachability of this first issue.