Mighty Avengers #23

The first Slott-penned trilogy of the adventures of the Hank Pym-led Mighty Avengers ends in this issue and sets up more than a few plots for issues to come. Slott does a marvelous job wrapping up the ends of this story and bringing the circle back around to the beginning. Truly this issue is the third installment in the "Earth's Mightiest" arc and plays out as such. Recap page aside, the story has legs of its own, but would undoubtedly raise a few questions to readers who find this as their first issue of "Mighty Avengers."

Pham's art continues to shine as a brightly as it did in the first two segments of this story. The embodiment of Chthon's spell, the beatdown Hulk puts on "Quicksilver", the nobility Pham endows upon Thor, Iron Man, Hercules and U.S. Agent all play up the strengths of the characters, illustrating Pham's stake in the creative construction of this series.

The coloring duo has mired the story in earthtones and reds, playing up the unsettling nature of the magic, especially magic's place in this story. The lettering is not to be underestimated either. Lanphear utilizes a font for Chthon's spoken spells that, once deciphered, is really quite clever, much in the way that the "scarab speak" was utilized in the early stages of the most recent "Blue Beetle" series.

This title is rich with characters and flush with creators that are able to tap into the potential of those characters, whether it is Hank Pym's conflict with Tony Stark, Hulk's desire to be alone or the underhandedness of Loki. This title is living up to the "Earth's Mightiest" moniker and the last page reveal provides a shocker that sets up more excitement to come, especially given the dedication of a brother to aide his sister. "Mighty Avengers" is the best of the bunch when it comes to the plethora of Avengers titles available and, to paraphrase Dan Slott, it is certainly steeped in "Avengerness".

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