Mighty Avengers #5 Review

The Might Avengers has been plagued by shipping issues. Evidently, Cho is unable to come close to meeting a monthly deadline. That is a real shame since I truly enjoy his beautiful artwork. But, it has been three months since the last issue of Mighty Avengers. And a three month delay is simply unacceptable. Especially, since the events of Mighty Avengers tie into the events over in New Avengers. Which, despite being a dreadful read, does manage to keep its monthly schedule just fine. At any rate, let’s go ahead and hit this review for Mighty Avengers #5.

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 Ares yelling that he knows how to defeat Ultron. Ares stabs one of the Iron Man armors through the helmet and rides it over to the SHIELD Helicarrier.

We cut to a stunned Sentry holding Lindy’s dead body. The Sentry’s eyes are full of tears. Ultron tells the Sentry that it is his fault that Lindy is dead. If Sentry had left the planet then Ultron would not have had to have killed Lindy. The Sentry’s eyes turn black with hate and he punches the crap out of Ultron. The two engage in a colossal battle.

We slide back to Ares on the helicarrier telling Hank Pym that he has a plan to stop Ultron. That Pym can use his Pym Particles to make Ares subatomic in size and then place Ares in a virus and send it into Ultron. Pym begins to dismiss Ares’s plan. Ares snaps and says Ultron is simply using the physical battle to distract the Avengers from her true goals of war.

Pym realizes that Ares is onto something. Pym immediately orders that someone get him a Commodore 64. Pym asks the Iron Man AI system if it has the programming of a Commodore 64 in its drives. The Iron Man AI system says “No.” Pym responds that he has an idea.

We then fast forward to Pym having used a Commodore 64 to re-boot the power systems and the SHIELD computers aboard the helicarrier. Suddenly, the SHIELD computers detect Ultron’s attempts to hack into all of the various American nuclear missile bases.

Maria Hill regains consciousness and resumes control of the SHIELD mission from the Black Widow. Hill orders that Wasp be the one to transfer the virus to Ultron. Ares says Wasp is a poor choice. That Ultron is connected to the Pym’s. That she will expect them and be ready for the Pyms. But, Ultron doesn’t know Ares at all. Ultron won’t have a defense against Ares. Maria Hill agrees with Ares and says that they will use Ares instead of Wasp.

We cut back to Sentry and Ultron slugging it out. During the brawl, Ultron finally succeeds into hacking into one of the missile bases and launches one of the nuclear missiles.

Maria Hill then orders Ms. Marvel to intercept the missile. Ms. Marvel straddles that big ol’ missile (Nice.) and proceeds to rip out the trajectory computer which sends the missile off course and high into the atmosphere. The missile then explodes and Ms. Marvel appears to have been disintegrated in the explosion.

We cut back to Ultron punching the Sentry into Pittsburgh. Wonder Man then attacks Ultron. Ultron reverse Wonder Man’s attack and takes him down. Henry Pym then arrives on the scene in his Ant-Man costume! (Sweet!)

Ultron states how she would never hurt Dr. Pym. That he must be witness to what he has done for the world. If not for Henry, this would not be. The Iron Man AI armor slides up behind Ultron. Ultron whips around and confronts the Iron Man AI. The Iron Man AI shoots a subatomic particle into Ultron’s mouth. Ultron destroys the Iron Man AI.

Suddenly, Ultron detects a virus inside of her. We see Ares flying a SHIELD aerial jet ski down Ultron’s throat. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Mighty Avengers #5 was an enjoyable read. Bendis turns in an exciting issue with tons of fighting. This issue certainly doesn’t skimp on the action. And that is a good thing since the plotting of this story runs on the slow side.

Bendis crafts some solid dialogue. While his dialogue over on New Avengers seems to be terribly meandering and rambling, the dialogue on Mighty Avengers is much more focused and has a pleasant flow. The characters are fairly well developed and Bendis is improving on writing each of the characters differently from the others.

I’m glad that Bendis toned down the use of the thought balloons in this issue. That was a wise idea. While I enjoy the immediate insight into the thoughts and reactions inside a character’s mind during a conversation, the fact is that this technique can get rather old after a while. It breaks the flow of the dialogue and can get just a bit too cutesy. Less is more when it comes to the use of the thought balloons.

Bendis generates some nice humor in this issue. Bendis is able to produce some enjoyable chemistry between the various characters. And humor is necessary on this particular story arc to keep it from getting too dark and somber.

I was glad to see how Bendis handled Henry Pym in this issue. It is great to see Pym portrayed as something other than a complete punk or a total loser like he is often written. Maybe I’m in the vast minority, but I have always liked Hank Pym’s character. I liked the sarcastic sense of humor that Bendis gives Pym.

Also, it was cool to see Pym actually have a bit of an ego and almost a dismissive attitude to those of inferior intellect around him. Too often, Pym is written as a total wallflower lacking any type of real confidence. And the plot twist of having Pym use a Commodore 64 to bring SHIELD’s computers back online was classic!

And it was sweet seeing Pym back in the saddle once again as Ant-Man. Seeing Ant-Man bust onto the scene and launch the “virus” in the form of a subatomic Ares into Ultron’s mouth was cool. I’m glad that Pym actually played a more active role with the Avengers rather than sitting on the sidelines like he often does.

I love Ares. I dig his no-nonsense ass-kicking attitude. Yeah, Ares is a bit dimwitted, but he always seems to liven up any scene he appears in. It was a nice plot twist of having Ares be the character to come up with a plan to take down Ultron rather than some of the other much more intellectual characters. Bendis shows the reader that you just can’t discount Ares despite his boorish personality. Ares may not be a brainiac, but the man knows war like no one else.

What made this issue such a fun read is the tons of monster action we get in this issue in particular the titanic clash between The Sentry and Ultron. I am stunned that Bendis decided to have Ultron brutally murder Lindy. This is going to have a massive impact on Sentry’s character. Sentry is already unstable at best. After Lindy’s death, I’d be surprised if Sentry is going to be able to serve in any useful capacity for the Avengers.

Bendis rolls out a great hook ending with Carol averting the nuclear missile but seemingly getting killed in the process and a subatomic sized Ares getting launched into Ultron’s mouth. We should be in store for a pretty wild finish to this story arc.

Frank Cho’s artwork is simply beautiful. I absolutely love Cho’s detailed and rich style of art. Cho creates an incredibly textured and deep comic book that engrosses the reader and pulls us into the story.

The Bad: The pacing and plotting of this story arc is certainly slow. This story arc has been a bit to plodding for my taste. And it isn’t helping any that the shipping schedule for Mighty Avengers is a joke. It sucks that Cho can’t keep up with a monthly schedule.

Overall: Mighty Avengers #5 was a good read. Mighty Avengers certainly offers up better dialogue, character work, action and artwork that its sister title in New Avengers. It is nice to get a story arc that is fitting for an Avengers title. Mighty Avengers serves readers all the necessary ingredients for a quality Avengers story: a big name monster villain, an Earth threatening crisis and tons of action.

2 Comments

  1. Cho went onto one of the boards (Newsarama I think) and apologized for the lateness, saying that he’d hoped to do an issue every six weeks, but that he’d underestimated the amount of time it would take to do the kind of scale (large numbers of characters, Iron Man armours, etc.). He said the experience had convinced him that he should only do projects that aren’t released until he’s finished (he’s doing the MA Annual next).

    Like you say, it’s too bad, because he draws the characters well; I especially like how powerful he makes the Sentry seem (that shot of him approaching Ultron so fast that he’s half-blur especially).

    I also really enjoy Bendis’ Ultron. Setting aside the fact that he’s become a she, which I find amusing in a comic book way, even if there’s no particularly compelling reason offered, otherwise her depiction is very effective.

    I’ve heard a lot of ‘net posters say that Bendis doesn’t like Hank, but, whether or not that’s true, he gives him a fair shake here; he gets to be fairly heroic (although I prefer the Yellowjacket costume myself).

  2. I think that the reason Cho is late is that he INKS his own work… Those doing just pencils can of course deliver their pages more quiccly… But I imagine that Cho’s drawing being inked by someone else wouldn’t be the same.

    And I don’t knoe why Pum does traditionally have a worse imaga than other Marvel heroes: I’ve always thought that he is one of the more fascinating characters in the story of Avengers… It is not by coincidence that Kurt Busiek gave him a double role in some occasions. Busiek loved Yellowjacket, and I must say it must be my own favourite side of Pym (even if YJ was often a bit of a jerk with girls)

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