Mighty Avengers #4 Review

After a strong debut issue, The Revolution was been rather disappointed by the last two issues of Mighty Avengers. Bendis gave us a well paced debut issue and then has simply gone nowhere over the past two issues. This story arc seems bogged down lacks any direction or purpose. I hope that Bendis is able to rectify this problem and get this story arc back on track and moving forward with a purpose. Let’s do this review for Mighty Avengers #4.

Creative Team
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Artist: Frank Cho

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Ultron assuming control of every media outlet on the globe. Ultron informs mankind that she is going to wipe out all humans. That Ultron was created to replace mankind. That until now, Ultron never had the power sources or intelligence units to see her prime directive program to its completion.

We cut to the original Iron Man armor informing the Mighty Avengers that it is the Starktech 9 and is an artificial intelligence created to assist either the Avengers or SHIELD in the event of Tony Stark’s death. That Starktech 9’s intelligence systems are running separate from the world’s infrastructure and cannot be corrupted by outside programs or viruses.

Starktech 9 is about to make a suggestion as to the next course of action when Ares suddenly sliced the Starktech 9 in half. Ares then kicks off the faceplate of the Starktech 9. Sentry grabs Ares’ wrist and tells him to stop. Ares responds that the Starktech 9 is a Trojan horse. That it is a trick.

Henry Pym steps forward and says that it is not a trick. That he helped Tony create the Starktech 9. Pym says that he doesn’t know how to stop Ultron. That she has evolved past her programming. Pym then reactivates the Starktech 9. The Starktech 9 tells the Avengers that Ultron is controlling the weather via Tony Stark’s Sular satellites designs to control global weather patterns with the goal in mind to stop global starvation.

We cut to Sentry and Wonder Man in space destroying the Sular satellites. We cut back to the Helicarrier where Natasha is demanding to get Reed Richards on the line to help with the Ultron situation. Pym responds that when it comes to this particular field that he is actually the world expert. Jan then reminds Pym that when he has created a world menace like Ultron that bragging how smart he is simply is not cool.

Since the Sular satellites have been destroyed, Ultron then tells the Avengers that she is switching to Plan B. The Avengers wonder what Plan B is. Suddenly, all the power on the entire planet goes out. Ms. Marvel, Wonder Man and Sentry fly out of the Hellicarrier and catch some planes and helicopters near the Hellicarrier to keep them from crashing.

We cut to inside the Hellicarrier where the Starktech 9 tells the Avengers that Ultron was able to take over Tony’s biology because Tony recently integrated his armor into his biological systems. That Tony Stark is dead. Starktech 9 then tells that the weather patterns Ultron inflicted on the Earth have all occurred in each location at different times through history. This means that Ultron just repeated what had already been done. That Ultron has no originality or no imagination.

Starktech 9 then gives the Avengers the location of an unidentifiable energy pulse just before the world power systems went out. We cut to Avengers Tower and see Ultron crouched like an incubus over Lindy while she sleeps in her bed. Lindy wakes up and screams. Ultron says that this is Plan B.

The Avengers streak toward Avengers Tower. Suddenly, an army of old Iron Man armors stand between the Avengers and Avengers Tower. The Avengers start brawling with the Iron Man armors. Sentry streaks through the wall of Avengers tower and finds Lindy’s mutilated corpse. Sentry gently holds his wife’s body. We see one of Ultron’s tentacles behind the Sentry.

We cut back to Ares kicking a ton of ass taking out Iron Man armors left and right. Suddenly, Ares looks up and says “I know how to stop her.”

We then shift to a nuclear missile base in Lithuania where suddenly someone has hacked into the computer system and is looking for the launch codes. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Might Avengers #4 was an enjoyable read. Bendis finally gives us a nicely paced issue. The story actually progresses forward with a purpose and the mix of action heavy scenes and dialogue heavy scenes gives the issue a good flow. Bendis also delivers a nicely plotted issue as the storyline finally actually progresses forward with a purpose as we learn more about Ultron, her goal of world domination and the introduction of her Plan B. It is nice to see that Bendis does actually have a purpose behind this story arc and we are finally getting somewhere.

Bendis crafts his usual quality dialogue. Bendis sometimes gets a bit too infatuated with the sound of his own talky dialogue, but manages to control himself in this issue and not go overboard. The dialogue has an enjoyable natural flow to it as the characters engage in well done give and take repartee. Bendis manages to create some nice chemistry between the various characters. That is something that Bendis has failed to do over on New Avengers.

Bendis definitely gives us plenty of kick-ass action. Ares may be an impulsive brute, but he definitely knows how to brawl. It is always entertaining to watch Ares plow through his enemies.

I am digging the evolution of Ultron’s character. Bendis has done a nice job taking a long-time Avengers villain that was getting a bit stale and breathing new life into this character. I like the revelation that Ultron’s weather attacks mimic what has happened through out time. That despite Ultron’s new advanced state of being she still lacks originality and creative thinking that humans possess.

Bendis continues the use of the old school thought balloons. This antiquated style of story telling is both good and bad. I do enjoy how the thought balloons offer the reader immediate insight into what a character thinks about another character’s dialogue. Henry Pym thinking to himself how Ares is “Thor-Lite” was classic!

I like the concept of the Starktech 9 as a failsafe program that springs to life in the event of Tony Stark’s death. And it was a nice touch for Bendis to choose Tony’s original armor as the vessel for the Starktech 9. Plus, the fact that the Avengers need Starktech 9’s help just goes to show how valuable Tony Stark is to the team. There is no doubt that Tony is the most important member on the roster of this team.

I continue to enjoy Ares. Yeah, he is a total bonehead, but I love his kick-ass attitude. And his penchant for brutal fight scenes always perks up a comic book. And Bendis surprises the reader with the Mighty Avengers’ pit-bull suddenly realizing during the fight with the Iron Man armors that he knows how to stop Ultron. I certainly was not expecting Ares to be the source of any plan to stop Ultron. It is smart of Bendis to keep the reader on our toes and not let us dismiss Ares as a total Neanderthal.

Bendis serves up one absolutely insane ending that definitely hooks the reader into coming back for the next issue. First, we get an army of Iron Man armors. Then we realize that Plan B evidently includes killing Sentry’s wife, Lindy. And on top of all that Bendis then ends the issue with someone getting access to nuclear missiles in a base in Lithuania. Wow, that is how you end an issue!

I cannot believe that poor Lindy got sliced and diced. That was shocking and totally unexpected. I’m definitely interested to learn more about Ultron’s Plan B and how Lindy’s death plays a role in that plan. This is going to take an unstable character like the Sentry and make him worse.

Sentry has always had a very tenuous grip on reality and Lindy was an important stabilizing presence in the Sentry’s life than kept him somewhat anchored to sanity. Without Lindy, who knows what the Sentry is going to do. All I know is that Ultron better watch out; because a rage fueled Sentry is probably even more dangerous than the rage fueled Hulk we are seeing in World War Hulk.

Frank Cho’s art is fantastic. I absolutely love his wonderfully detailed style of artwork. Cho breathes life into Bendis’ story and makes this a fantastic comic book to look at. It isn’t even close how much better looking Cho’s Mighty Avengers is compared to Yu’s New Avengers.

The Bad: Like I said earlier, the use of thought balloons is a positive and a negative. The thought balloons to unnecessarily break up the flow of the story and can distract the reader at times. Also, the constant little smarmy remarks that the various characters are thinking can get a little old by the end of the issue.

Bendis isn’t really doing Ms. Marvel any favors as the leader of the Avengers. It is becoming more obvious with each issue that Tony is the brains of the Avengers. And Black Widow is showing that she is a more capable field leader with her sharp running of SHIELD in Tony’s absence. It all makes Ms. Marvel look like a rather clueless and weak team leader. Of course, maybe Bendis is doing this all on purpose in order to show the reader Ms. Marvel slowly growing into her role as the leader of the Avengers.

Overall: Mighty Avengers #4 was an excellent rebound issue from the past two issues that were rather pedestrian. It is nice that Bendis finally got this story back on track with a rather exciting issue. I just hope that Might Avengers #4 is evidence that Bendis is beginning to hit his stride on this title and that we have plenty more entertaining reads ahead of us.

2 Comments

  1. This was definitely the strongest issue since the first (which I loved; the next two were rather slow; I have this theory that any Bendis story would be improved tremendously if, after he drew up his plan for any given arc, the number of issues was reduced by one, and he was told to refashion the story accordingly).

    My guess for Plan B is: hijack the world’s missile systems to destroy everything, and destabilize the Sentry so he’s unable to stop them.

    For all the flaws in Bendis’ writing, he can come up with some really great ideas; I especially like the Starktech 9 (although I’m not sure why you’d use the Mark I armour for that, given there are so many more advanced models available; the Mark I does have that old-school pulp sci-fi coolness to it (the version built for the upcoming Iron Man film looks great).

    As for how Ms. Marvel is being written as leader, I assume that’s intentional, given the number of thought bubbles (and Bendis is already heavily toning those down, I note) that show her struggling with it.

    I like how Ares is written; sure, he’s a bit Neanderthal a lot of the time, but that’s more in keeping with the mythological character than having him be a mythological Irwin Rommel (the mythological Ares was the god of blood and slaughter, and was actually something of a vain coward in combat; Athena was where you went for smart war). I have no idea what Ares’ plan is.

  2. For the most part, I’ve been enjoying this series so far. But I really don’t care for all the snarky thought balloons. They make the characters seem petty & unpleasant.

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