Marvel got on the dog and bone again today, for a conference call around the comics internet – CBR, Newsarama, John Siuntres and others. I was in on the call too, ready to hear all about the new ‘Mighty’ series Marvel have planned for later this year. A team book led by Luke Cage and featuring Blue Marvel, She-Hulk, Power Man (the other, younger one), White Tiger (the new one seen in Avengers Academy) and Superior Spider-Man, the series will be written by Al Ewing and drawn by Greg Land.



The call started off with the announcement of the creative team, followed by the actual cast of the book. Alongside the original team were also revealed a few other members, as well as the relationships they’ll have with each other. This took up most of the call, with writer Al Ewing and editor Tom Brevoort  both talking animatedly about their team.

Luke Cage will be leading this team in the wake of Infinity, a Marvel event which will see most of the Marvel heroes leave Earth in order to fight off ‘the builders’. While most of the heroes are gone, however, Thanos will take the chance to come to Earth and cause some problems. So the immediate threat will be Thanos and his lieutenants, and Cage’s team will be formed up of all the heroes still on Earth.


That team includes Monica Rambeau, who will be the active team leader whilst Cage operates in a role similar to Nick Fury. Monica will be rebranding herself as Spectrum now, and Ewing was very keen on the chance to get to play around with her personality and power-set. The team will also see Falcon joining – although due to his close relationship with Captain America, the others are going to view him carefully. Is he keeping an eye on them, or is he genuinely happy to be on the team?

There’s a new Ronin on the team. Nothing was mentioned of who he is, as always, although it was said that he’ll be in an anonymous suit BEFORE then stepping into the anonymous Ronin suit also. Blue Marvel will be appearing on the team:

He has a military background, and is used to the idea of following orders, as well as putting forward their own ideas if they need to be said

With Luke Cage thinking of family first and holding back from too much active fighting, the rest of the team will all be leading themselves to some extent. This will be most seen with characters like Rambeau and Blue Marvel, both of whom are smart operators in their own right. One name which does stand out in this regard, obviously, is Superior Spider-Man. On the character, Ewing said:

Spider-man is now a complete [REDACTED]. He’s coming together onto the team because he needs to stop the giant threat. After that though, his point of view is “who are you and HOW DARE YOU protect the streets that I am protecting?”

Nobody will be happy with him – he’s crashing the party, forcing his way in. We’ll see how long it lasts before the inevitable massive fireball of recriminations and open assault kicks off

After Infinity, the main goal for the book will be a more community-driven, societal impact squad. This is similar to a plot point seen briefly during Bendis’ Avengers run, when Luke Cage led the team to ‘impact policing’ through rougher areas of the city. The long-term goal for the team will be to inspire on a personal level, and act to aid society. As I’m putting it, they’re going to impact on society as well as on the heads of villains. Wahey!


CBR asked the call’s participants about diversity, in this regard – this is a team with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. It was always the idea for this team to feature more diversity on the team, and Brevoort spoke in particular about the idea of people asking for a ‘all-black avengers’:

It feels artificial and ghettoising to me, to have an all-black or all-LGBT or all-Asian Avengers. Putting them together and therefore keeping them away from the other characters – to me, that feels fake. The reality is that people are interested in these characters and want to see heroes that reflect them – and they have a very genuine point.

Hence a title like this one. The role of the other Power Man – the new, younger one, was discussed, with Ewing describing them as having a dynamic not dissimilar from the Iron Fist/Power Man relationship of old. Especially in the way they fight.

Ewing spoke at length about the way he’ll be working with Greg Land on the book – Marvel style, essentially. And this will be a chance to see Greg Land working on his storytelling somewhat, taking a more active role in sequencing and structure, for Ewing to then script over. That seems to be a wise tactic to take with Land, whose art is very divisive.

What actually struck me most about the call is that Ewing had a plan in mind for any character which was thrown at him. Everybody seems to have an agenda and role and personality which separates them from each other. No generic characters – everybody is distinct and has purpose. It feels like this’ll be very much a character-driven book, something that perhaps hasn’t really been a focus in the Avengers books for a while now.

Also – they’re going to fight The Plunderer. Issue #1 is in September.


  1. The only thing missing from making this book truly great and truly “diverse” is removal of Spiderman and the addition of Iron Fist.

    Bottom line, Spiderman is on this team as a selling measure. I say remove him and add in an Iron Fist or a Moon Knight for the “token” white guy – then we will see if it sells on strength of writing and storytelling as opposed to just another book with Spiderman or Wolverine in it.

    All in all I love the concept. A few years ago I toyed with the idea of pitching a series concept like this to DC (when I had an ‘in’ with one of the editors)….an all black Justice League….John Stewart…Vixen….Black Lightning…Steel….Cyborg….Mr.Terrific…Bronze Tiger…and the Martian Manhunter (okay…he’s green, but you get the point)….and a new female character created just for this team….

    I love the concept…just not the “we need Spidey to make it sell” part….

  2. Yeah Spider-Man is an obvious sales tool but… so what? Why shouldn’t Marvel want to increase sales or try to get more people trying the book? You’re basically suggesting that Marvel purposely makes their book less popular and accessible so they can run an experiment.

    Also, I can just imagine the complaints on the internet if this book got canceled with Moon Knight being one of the tent-pole characters – “Why does Marvel hate Moon Knight? Everyone loves him but they keep cancelling books he’s in!”, with little or no awareness of how a supply/demand curve works.

  3. Your spell-check keeps changing, “Minority Avengers” into “Mighty Avengers.” You may have to hand edit the entire press release.

  4. I was so looking forward to seeing where Marvel put Al Ewing. And this really is a great cast for a team book.

    But… Greg Land. I just can’t. I can’t.

    See you on your next book, Al!

  5. What’s so special about the Plunderer? I mean, every time he shows up, Ka-Zar and Zabu make mincemeat out of him.

    Why do you need a whole team of Avengers to take him down?



  6. *sigh*…Another AVENGERS series. Was anyone really demanding this?

    I’ll wait and see what kind of roll this team plays in INFINITY before I make a final decision. More than likely, though, I’ll be passing on this. I just don’t need another AVENGERS book. On the plus side, this means that Land is, probably, off of IRON MAN, which pleases me.

  7. I really really want to read this book, but also don’t want to buy it because of Greg Land. If Marvel wants to give this book a real chance, they should select a less divisive artist (apparently there are people somewhere who like his art, but none of them ever appear on the Internet).

    I guess this means it will be safe to start reading Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man?

  8. Carter,

    No way in hell am I suggesting that Marvel make a book less popular…but enough is enough….to much Spidey, to much Wolverine…its ridiculous….what they are saying is we can’t sell a book unless it has them in it and I am saying give it a shot…if the writing is good enough and the art is good enough you don’t need Spiderman or Wolverine to sell the book…
    If that was true every book Marvel has would have Spidey and Wolverine in it….and clearly they don’t have to have them…they do it to ensure an extra bump in the audience.

    Start of with Iron Fist instead….and after 10 or 15 issues if sales are seriously low then go for the Spidey/Wolvie boost and see if that’s what it really needs. In the end it might be poor writing or art that kills it whether Spidey or Logan are both in it or not.

    And remember…this isn’t THE Spiderman we are talking about here…its Ock Spidey, who is nothing more than a gimmick all in his own.

    I say let a book stand on its own….and see what the audience says….biggest problem is Marvel and DC will cancel a book after a certain order threshold is breached…and then that’s it. Give the book a little time…if its good it will find an audience and stay…if not it will go away…but give it a chance to find its form.

    Think about it…. Marvel or DC had published The Walking Dead instead of Image it would have been cancelled before they introduced Michonne based on low sales. It takes time…so give the book a chance….Spiderman or not.

  9. You mentioned Moon Knight and a “supply and demand” curve, as if this is why Moon Knight has not sold well lately. That is not it at all…if done well Moon Knight can be big, especially in comparison to other “second” tier characters. It just takes a fresh approach and solid storytelling. The last couple of Moon Knight series didn’t have that…they had strange stories and huge delays in shipping…that’s what killed the book.
    Perfect example of a book finding an audience with a character no one gave a real shot at their own book before….HAWKEYE.

    First issue of the new Hawkeye series sold 41,952 copies.
    Everyone knows a first issue sells well and then there’s usually a quite the drop from that point on…here are Hawkeye’s sales numbers through issue 9…

    # 2 – 33,563
    #3 – 35,403
    #4 – 34,385
    #5 – 34,208
    #6 – 33,400
    #7 – 37,000
    #8 – 36,988
    #9 – 39,000

    Usually a book like Hawkeye, or for even a bigger name character, the book drops until it hits a steady re-occurring sales number. But Hawkeye has hit an INCREASE point. WHY? A fresh take on the character and solid art – translation – a book that continues to gain an audience where as most books level off.
    And it isn’t called Hawkeye and Spiderman. Just Hawkeye. Solid storytelling…good word of mouth. It can and does work. I just wish Marvel and DC would take this approach with all their Second Tier books this way.
    Mighty Avengers can and will thrive with great storytelling and art – it doesn’t need Spidey to do this.

  10. Affirmative action Avengers?

    That’s offensive and unnecessary.

    You can see why people (and Marvel and DC) refuse to take Internet fans seriously.

  11. Morris’s description of MIGHTY AVENGERS suggests, to me, a series that will probably fail because it’s a concept without a core. They come together without a real reason; a major team member, Superior Spider-Man, is there to draw readers but mostly there to cause friction; and once the other heroes come back to Earth, the team will have no reason to stay together. If a group of heroes decided to hang out at a bar once a week because they liked each other and the bar’s vibes generally, would that group show up each week without fail, or would some heroes sometimes have other things to do? Any group needs a defining purpose to be more than ephemeral; I didn’t see one in the report, especially since fighting villains who appear only because the group needs someone to fight isn’t a defining purpose.

    But Hawkeye has hit an INCREASE point. WHY? A fresh take on the character and solid art – translation – a book that continues to gain an audience where as most books level off.

    HAWKEYE’s sales are weak (if profitable), I’d say. A niche title in a niche genre. The storytelling I saw in #1 and #8 wasn’t solid. But the art was nice, even spectacular–and the artwork, combined with some affinity for Fraction’s treatment of the character, might be enough for readers who’ll take slice-of-life pieces if they find the lead character enjoyable enough. HAWKEYE’s success says nothing about the broader market.


  12. Iron Man has been outstanding since Greg Land’s departure. I wish Marvel would just release him to go join DC’s artistic ranks. He shares their passion for stilted storytelling.

  13. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand!
    Why. Just why.

    Is this what’s become of the Luke Cage / Heroes for Hire book Bendis was rumored to be launching? Or are they holding back Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and the rest of the crew because BMB still has “dibs”?

  14. Hang on, comment-troll:

    Right here I’m pretty sick of white men snickering about “affirmative action” every time black people are involved with *anything*

    Despite that, to my understanding, no black people are involved in the creation of this comic book. So we’re just talking about *imaginary* black people. Despite that, it’s still racist to make that association in your mind.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself and since you can’t be, let’s hope that your children are ashamed of you.

  15. Is there a single hero left at Marvel that isn’t on an Avengers or X-team? This is ridiculous. While I love Cage and this creative team, time to drop 1-2 Avengers titles to pick this one up. At this point Marvel is diluting readership on other titles when new stuff comes out, specially if its not creative, like another X or A book. How about they cancel New Avengers? Its not great since its relaunch.

  16. Would sticking a bunch of minority characters on a team together even count as affirmative action? It seems like making sure already existing Avengers teams have a lineup more representative of the rest of the world would be AA.

  17. It’s not “affirmative action” because there is no cap on the number of Avengers at any given time. No white, male Avengers are losing their jobs because of this team’s existence. This book exists to reach a readership who want a racially diverse team. Editorially, if you don’t at least try it, you’ll never know if you’re leaving money on the table. These are pretty simple concepts.

  18. Wait, isn’t Land the artist on Iron Man? I thought Marvel said the artists would be staying put on the Marvel Now books.

  19. “Right here I’m pretty sick of white men snickering about “affirmative action” every time black people are involved with *anything*”

    Well, it just balances out the anti-white male comments. No big deal.

  20. I’m not sure a majority minority roster is unique enough to merit another Avengers book but I enjoy B and C-listers getting a shot. I’ll echo a previous comment that without a strong core plot I don’t know how well this book will do. And Land on art certainly isn’t going to help. Are there going to be two Spider-men at this point or will it still be Doc Ock in Peter’s body?

  21. Rich Harvey, you have a lot of nerve. To whine about “anti white male” comments, the only comments hostile to any race are from your pals upstream on this thread who are saying ignorant and hateful things about black characters (and black people).

    But keep trying, bucko. Maybe one day, somebody who matters will think your comment has “edge.”

  22. To whine about “anti white male” comments, the only comments hostile to any race are from your pals upstream on this thread who are saying ignorant and hateful things about black characters (and black people).

    Probably one reason people are wary of stories featuring minority characters is that getting readers in the “base” to attach themselves to the lead heroes is necessary. That’s partly a math problem: if there are fewer minority readers in the base, then there will be fewer people wanting to identify with the hero, or at least interested in his story.

    Of course, if people read a story for its aesthetic values, whatever their standards are, they don’t need to identify with the lead. And if DC and Marvel made any effort to market their comics, more minority readers would be aware of them. But the combination of non-marketing and relying on readers identifying with the hero, if not fetishizing the comic, can be deadly for anything published outside the superhero mainstream.


  23. SRS, I disagree. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really felt like I needed to have race in common with a character in fiction in order to identify with him/her. Hell, my favorite show of all time is The Wire and there’s very few white faces there.

  24. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really felt like I needed to have race in common with a character in fiction in order to identify with him/her.

    By base, I mean people who read superhero comics to immerse themselves in power fantasies. People who read material–literary fiction, genre fiction–for other reasons don’t need to identify so closely with the hero.


  25. You had me at Monica Rambeau!!!!! Hopefully she will be returned to her former glory and not wasted because writers don’t know how to write her power. While NEXTWAVE might have been a critical success, Monica’s personality was drastically changed… I still feel SHE should have taken back the Captain Marvel moniker! So happy that she AND She-Hulk are on the same team again! Now if only Black Kinght were on it!

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