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Al Ewing AND Monica Rambeau? Sold!

Fans of British comics have known this for a while now, but Al Ewing is a damn fine comic book writer. I recently wrote about how impressed I was at the job he did on Jennifer Blood following Garth Ennis (a truly thankless task that Ewing somehow managed to really make work).

So when I saw Al Ewing got an Age of Ultron one-shot, I thought, “Oooh…maybe Marvel will be smart enough to give Ewing a book.” However, the problem with Marvel is that their writing staff is deep with good writers. It is sort of the same thing that happened with Kieron Gillen a few years back. Everyone knew that the guy was ready to contribute big time, but where do you find the room for him? Luckily, today Marvel announced how they were going to fit Ewing in – give him a brand-new title!

Ewing will be launching a new Avengers book called The Mighty Avengers, spotlighting the street level heroes of the Marvel Universe. Basically the same role that Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers had before that title changed focus under Jonathan Hickman’s authorship.

Best of all, the book has one of my favorite characters in it, Monica Rambeau (although, while Spectrum is actually likely the best name she’s had since Captain Marvel, I think Ewing should just embrace “Monica Rambeau” as her name – she doesn’t need a code name. She doesn’t need to hide)!

mighty1

As you can see, it is a racially diverse group of heroes, with the racial split leaning towards African-American heroes. That’s an interesting change of pace for a Marvel team book. I like, though, that just with Brian Wood’s X-Men title, the name of the book doesn’t try to highlight that fact. They’re “simply” Mighty Avengers. That’s the most important thing about them.

Looking forward to it (especially when the inevitable art rotation takes place)!

59 Comments

Brian Cronin:”spotlighting the street level heroes of the Marvel Universe. Basically the same role that Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers had before that title changed focus under Jonathan Hickman’s authorship.”

Not to pick a nit, but are Blue Marvel ,Monica Rambeau, and She-Hulk “street level?” Blue Marvel, for example, is definitely operating on the Thor/Hulk level, the top power level for superheroes in the MU. Monica and She-Hulk are also pretty high up. To my way of thinking, Spider-Man is about at the outer limit of street level. Once you go beyond him, power wise, you are operating on a level that is more than street level.

It’s awesome that you ignore the “Greg Land” part of this announcement. Alan Moore could be writing this and I’d avoid it because Land is drawing it, especially because you know Marvel is going to charge us 4 bucks for the privilege of seeing his godawful art. You can try to bury the lede, Dread Lord and Master, but you cannot!

Bob from Accounting

June 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Godammit pornface.

Why does the “street” team have to be the team that’s mostly Af-Am? (and vice-versa) They should just be “Avengers.” Heroes of color need to be allowed out of the friggin’ ghetto by now!

And get Black Vulcan some G-damn pants!!

Like I said in the forums…..even with Greg land ( who’s not that bad lol) I was sold on this title just for Al Ewing and Monica!

It’s awesome that you ignore the “Greg Land” part of this announcement. Alan Moore could be writing this and I’d avoid it because Land is drawing it, especially because you know Marvel is going to charge us 4 bucks for the privilege of seeing his godawful art. You can try to bury the lede, Dread Lord and Master, but you cannot!

Art rotation! He’ll be gone soon! Besides, I can bide my time with him with a good writer. Yes, he is a very bad artist, but for a writer like Gillen or Ewing, I’ll put up with him until he rotates out!

Not to pick a nit, but are Blue Marvel ,Monica Rambeau, and She-Hulk “street level?” Blue Marvel, for example, is definitely operating on the Thor/Hulk level, the top power level for superheroes in the MU. Monica and She-Hulk are also pretty high up. To my way of thinking, Spider-Man is about at the outer limit of street level. Once you go beyond him, power wise, you are operating on a level that is more than street level.

“Street level” in this context is the same as it was during Bendis’ run (which had the extremely powerful Dr. Strange on the team), which is that this is the team that will take care of New York City (and nearby) while the other Avenger teams are flying into outer space to fight Thanos or whoever. So it is more of a “think global/ act local” thing than a power level thing.

Brian Cronin:“Street level” in this context is the same as it was during Bendis’ run (which had the extremely powerful Dr. Strange on the team), which is that this is the team that will take care of New York City (and nearby) while the other Avenger teams are flying into outer space to fight Thanos or whoever. So it is more of a “think global/ act local” thing than a power level thing.”

Gotcha

RE: Greg Land,

Yeah, I can stomach his awful art for the sake of a good writer…but can someone explain to me how he keeps getting work?

Ewing is a very clever and adroit writer at pulling diverse elements together. I WILL give this a try. I’m a fan of street-level characters and I do have to agree with those who point out that several of these characters are easily above street-level types. But in the end it’s all about the storytelling and I know Ewing can do that well, delivering both drama and humor.

Imraith Nimpahis

June 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm

As interested in this as I am…and yes, solely because Monica Rambeau…I will not be buying this until that “artist” is off the book.

I was out as soon as Greg Land was mentioned, which is a damn shame because I’m digging that line-up and Ewing is cool. They gotta stop putting their talented British writers alongside this man.

some stupid japanese name

June 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Somewhere out there, Liefeld and Land are giving each other high fives.

Travis Pelkie

June 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

And the role of Monica Rambeau will be played by Rihanna, apparently.

And at least Dr Fate is getting work in the Marvel U. Oh, that’s…not…oops.

The stuff I’ve read of Ewing’s has been trippy metaphysical stuff (the story in Vertigo’s Ghosts, and last year’s best comic, the Zaucer of Zilk), so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with more down to earth stuff.

Damn, Travis beat me to the Dr Fate comment. For real though, who is that?

I really like Al Ewing, I like that Monica is back in a prominent role on an Avengers team, I’m also a pretty big fan of Falcon, Triathalon (or whatever he goes by now) and She-Hulk. But man, I really don’t like Greg Land’s art. I wish there was a way I could pick this book up and send a message to Marvel that I’m doing it despite Land. I might have to wait until he’s off the book.

What is Dr. Fate doing in a Marvel comic? Also, somebody should tell Steve Epting to go stand in the corner for that awful cover.

Re: Greg Land: My guess is that most of Land’s detractors are internet guys. A commenter here (T.?) a long time ago told a story about a friend who was reading a Greg Land comic. He tried to explain to the friend the flaws in Land’s storytelling and how the figures were traced from posed magazine photos. The friend replied with something along the lines of “So what? It looks realistic.” (Sorry if I butchered your story, whoever.)

I think Land’s approach is in line with the populist view of art: the closer it is to a photograph, the better – God only knows why. Whatever it is, he must be doing something right to get regular work on top tier Marvel titles, while guys like Rick Burchett are apparently unhireable. C’est la vie. I guess that’s why they call it taste, folks.

Wow, twice beaten to the Dr. Fate comparison. And I was really patting myself on the back for that one.

Travis Pelkie

June 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Bam with the Dr Fate comment, beatin’ the 2 of yas! hee hee

I think, based on another commenter, he’s Blue Marvel, who got a truncated mini a few years back.

I’m wondering if a big reason that Land gets work is that he’s pretty reliable. I can’t think of a time when he was terribly off schedule, or else times where that might happen, I think he was trading arcs with someone else (the Dodsons on Uncanny X-Men, iirc). But yeah, he’s not a favorite of mine.

Funnily enough, I was just looking through a comic from the early/mid 90s (Blood and Roses) and saw an ad for another book from the same publisher with what must have been early Land art. Back when he actually drew it, ya know.

When did his art switch over to the porn star tracing?

Greg Land is why they invented books without pictures.

Sounds like Al Ewing is popular, any recommendations on his other stuff?

Godammit pornface.

None of those characters have their mouths open. I’m not defending Land, but this is his least pornfacey cover every. None of them even seem to have porn poses, except maybe Spider-Man. And I’d love to see someone work the Dr. Fate pose into porn.

If this title lasts 6 months, I’ll likely give it a try. I may even hunt down the back issues for the right price.

Phred – Pick up Zombo. That was really good. Zaucer of Zilk is pretty good, too.

This cover is by Steve Epting, not Greg Land.

Jazzbo- Thanks.

Dammit, I was hoping I had stopped that before it went through. I did go back and check but not until after I hit submit. I guess my point is, good on Epting for not porn facing anyone?

Well, the thing about Doctor Fate is, who else could that be? I thought the same thing, not because it’s clever but because that’s clearly Doctor Fate, whoever the heck Marvel says it is.

And while we’re mistaking identities, IS that Triathalon/3-D Man? I thought maybe this team had two Power Men. Of course, I’ve never actually seen the new Power Man in a comic, so I’m no expert.

Travis Pelkie

June 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm

” I thought the same thing, not because it’s clever ”

Total dick move, buttler. ;)

I would have definitely bought the book…

if it wasn’t $4.

And while we’re mistaking identities, IS that Triathalon/3-D Man? I thought maybe this team had two Power Men. Of course, I’ve never actually seen the new Power Man in a comic, so I’m no expert.

Yeah, that’s the new Power Man. This is actually the first time Luke Cage has had a chance to really interact a lot with the new Power Man.

So Doctor Fate is the Blue Marvel, Triathalon is Power Man… is that Doctor OctoSpiderman? And who’s Ronin this time around?

And where’s Wolverine? It’s not really the Avengers without Wolverine.

Also, according to Comics Alliance, they fight Thanos in their first arc. Although since this article was posted first, I bet they rewrote really fast just to mess with Brian Cronin.

MarkAndrew… I think that’s Kane/Scarlet Spider. No idea who Ronin’s gonna be, though.

I hate pandering, whether it’s racial/gender or whatever, but this team’s roster actually seems legit natural. I don’t get a “pandering” vibe from this at all. The comics industry always talks about “more diversity” in comics, but all they ever do about it is affirmative action bullshit. This is how it’s done right.

Also, according to Comics Alliance, they fight Thanos in their first arc. Although since this article was posted first, I bet they rewrote really fast just to mess with Brian Cronin.

Ha! I said “or whoever”! :)

Seriously, though, I forgot that the point of Infinity was that that main Avengers team is called into outer space on a mission while Thanos attacks Earth. So yes, they (and other heroes on Earth) will have to fight off Thanos and his new generals.

Why did they straighten Monica Rambeau’s hair?

Brian, your spell-check has replaced, “Minority Avengers” with “Mighty Avengers.” You will want to hand edit that; Mighty Avengers was a different series.

@
Apodaca,

That was my first thought as well.

I’m assuming that it was to make her look “more contemporary”.

Either that or it was traced from porn. (spoiler: it was porn)

Well, at least the guy who complained about ‘affirmative action bullshit’ isn’t the guy who couldn’t tell the difference between Delroy Garret and Victor Alvarez.

No, I’m kidding. I had to look those up, and I don’t know if either is used in the new comic and I appreciate the legitimate satirical intent behind the comments, I’m just being a smartass.

it is all about the love, after all, buttler and anonymous. But seriously, are comics that much straight white male that any comic that isn’t all white men with a token has to be disparaged as ‘minority’ anything? ahem?

@phred — Really? Race baiting? Seriously?

@ Anonymous- beats me. I wasn’t targeting you. I honestly wasn’t trying to pick on you at all, I thought you made some good points. Definitely points that could be defended and discussed. But I’m a little confused by how I was ‘race baiting’ where people already brought up ‘affirmative action’ and ‘minorities’ like they were pejoratives, now that I think about it.

And probably by responding to a comment about your use of the term ‘affirmative action bullshit’ with ‘RACE BAITING!” you set off some warning bells. But I’m cool. I didn’t mean to instigate anything beyond anybody you know, actually talking about and backing up anything they said with well reasoned points.

Seriously, I can think of ways you can think affirmative action is bullshit and still be a reasonable person, and I don’t mind doing so. But also probably I will get my snark in, and how you handle that is on you.

My bad, I guess. I probably should understand that what I think is a slightly witty observation has already taken place a million times on the internet and comment boards and has taken on all kinds of meaning beyond what I meant. I really am that ignorant, I suppose, and so I guess that reflects on me. I mean, I have spent a lot of time on the internet and comment threads, but not ones dedicated to discussing race in comics.

But jeez.

Wait, why was I called out in phred’s comment? I wasn’t the one who couldn’t tell the difference. I was the one who gently pointed out that 3-D Man is totally not on that cover. Even though I’ve hardly ever even seen the new Power Man, I was pretty sure that was him, which apparently it is.

Then again. I couldn’t tell the difference between Doctor Fate and whoever that is on that cover, but that’s because there isn’t one, visually speaking.

buttler- I have no damn idea who the new Power Man is, if it isn’t Victor Alvarez, and I definitely didn’t mean to call you out, and I tried very hard to say that. I think I was trying to make a joke, but I sort of forget what it was now. Believe me, no harmful intent here.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa. Probably though I’m going to keep making jokes here though, because I’m stubborn that way.

And yeah, that is totally Dr. Fate.

Not sure, was there some connection between Dr Spectrum of Squadron Supreme fame and whoever the Blue Spectrum is? Both would be DC homages, I suppose.

Or are ‘Spectrum’ and ‘Blue Marvel’ two entirely different things? Hmmm. I guess that might have been a thing that was said.

I’m gathering that Monica is now called Spectrum and maybe Doctor Fate is the Blue Marvel(?), despite not having any visible blue in the costume. So, probably two different things, yeah.

I think the new Power Man is indeed Victor Alvarez–not new as in brand new this month, just new in the sense of not being Luke Cage.

I have no idea who Ronin is now, though. I lost track after Clint.

buttler- well, it’s nice to share confusion with somebody about something at least. :) I’m willing to wait and see about the eventual lineup, I guess. Wait until they change the artist, mostly, but probably I’ll have read a bit of it before I buy any of it.

Ronin in general seems to be a confusing character. Maybe it’s Xorn.

Maybe it’s Xorn.

Xorn by Greg Land… Porn Xorn

In pseudo-defense of Land, I don’t believe anyone ever proved that he traced from porn.

People have matched Land art to plenty of photos, posters, movie stills, and even other art. I don’t believe any found source ever went much racier than something like a swimsuit model.

Some of his “porn face” images were matched to clothed actresses. The sources just happened to be stuff like movie stills where the actress was talking or screaming or something. Not porn.

An exacerbating factor is that Land, at least in the past, loved to draw “action” heads. He loved to draw people screaming and talking. If three people were talking in the same panel, he’d draw three people with mouths open and possibly some non-talking background characters with their mouths open as well. When he’d draw people fighting, or rushing together, or whatever, he’d draw several with their mouths open probably with the thought of them uttering battle cries or screams or the like. What Land didn’t seem to realize is that still shots of people with their mouths open can look weird, and it is worse when half the heads that he drew had their mouths open. (We don’t see that many still shots of people with mouths open to the degree than Land draws them. Flip through a magazine and see how many people actually have their mouths open. Of flip through one of those old movie photobooks, which is more akin to a comic book than a regular magazine. You’ll find a much lower open mouth count than you’d find in the typical Land book.)

And when you do trace a “realistic” wide open mouth, particularly a “screaming” mouth, you can get something that looks like porn face regardless of source. (Audio for video games can have a similar issue when it comes to “damage” sounds for female characters. A voice actress making a decent attempt at pain sounds will as likely make sounds that are kind of like sex sounds.)

Is there seriously someone who’s actually in denial about Land’s porn tracing? Is this actually happening?

” It is sort of the same thing that happened with Kieron Gillen a few years back.”

Everyone kept giving him Greg Land? The great thing is that if Land is here, hopefully he’s not back on Iron Man. Unless he’s tracing at least two books a month.

Why do so many people want to write Superman-at-Marvel so badly? Granted that the Blue Marvel is one of the better Superman manques, but we now have two Avengers books using the concept. And this on the heels of the Sentry.

Something about Marvel’s winking at/cribbing from Superman takes somethign out of these stories, because the character’s always supposed to be more than just a pastiche….but the concept is always going to come back around to mere pastiche. (I can take it in Squadron Supreme series because *all* that wants to be is a pastiche or a specific deconstruction of Silver Age DC.)

Anonymous, if you mean me, I believe I was pretty clear in what I said.

Land traces. Land traces a lot. Land has used the same image source multiple times on the same cover. Land has trouble keeping a character consistent on a single page because he’s tracing completely different actresses for the different panels.

But I don’t believe there was ever any proof found that Land specifically traced porn. The “porn face” effect of his art can and does come from his desire to draw open mouths, and how he draws them (or chooses what to trace). It doesn’t necessarily come from tracing porn, and some of his “porn face” faces have been matched to known non-porn images.

Omar – you’re right, and Superman doesn’t work at Marvel. Pretty much every Sentry Avengers story had to come up with a way of putting him out of action.

Where’s the Asian team member?

Any chance you could let me know where to get the aforementioned Age of Ultron one-shot, or what issue number it is so I can track it down. Definately going to buy this as Al’s one of my favourite writers.
Nice article

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