Civil War continues in the Marvel Animated Universe as the Avengers disband from conflict in the shadow of the Inhuman Registration Act. From the ashes of the old, a new team is formed, the Mighty Avengers. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Civil War, Part 2: The Mighty Avengers.”
The Mighty Avengers
Mighty has always been the adjective used for the Avengers since the Stan and Jack days, just like Iron Man was Invincible, the Hulk Incredible, and Spider-Man Amazing. The word never really came into the title until earlier this century, when after the Civil War in the comics, the Mighty Avengers became the sanctioned government team, while the ‘New’ Avengers went underground.
There were some great stories and some not so good, with great art by Frank Cho and later Khoi Pham. During that latter era, writer Dan Slott reinvigorated Hank Pym as he led the team. Even later Luke Cage and the Blue Marvel formed another team using the name written by Al Ewing. While I always enjoyed the title, I still think we have far too many Avengers comics. The Civil War connection is why the title here nevertheless.
We open on a young Inhuman named Iso, whose powers seem very similar to Quake from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., trying save lives. Help comes from the Avengers, who after the rescue, face a hard choice – take her in per their orders or let her be free which is what most of the Inhumans want. They let Iso go free.
When the Avengers report back to Truman Marsh, who masterminded the Inhuman Registration Act last episode, there is already dissent in the ranks. When Marsh pushes them, the Avengers decide to disassemble. It’s weird hearing Iron Man’s voice here, because Adrian Pasdar also plays General Talbot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with quite a different view on the Inhuman problem.
The New Avengers
When a satellite falls out of the sky in the next segment, headed right for Times Square, superheroes spring into action, but they’re not the Avengers. They are however familiar – Captain Marvel, the Vision, Ant-Man, Songbird, Ms. Marvel, the Black Panther, and the Red Hulk. Songbird is an intriguing addition from the Thunderbolts, as she actually an Avenger in an alternate future, as shown in the Avengers Forever maxi-series. No Spider-Man? Awww, Spidey gets no love…
As it turns out, Truman Marsh called them all there. Might he have caused the disaster as well? He makes the seven heroes an offer, to become the Mighty Avengers and opens the apparently abandoned Avengers Tower to them. With the offer, the same discussion that disbanded the original team pops up, and with group, there are extreme sides. Luckily (and coincidentally, as if Marsh called it) there’s a Hydra attack, and the Avengers are needed.
I am amazed at the teamwork and coordination of this new team so quickly. As someone who’s been reviewing this series from the start, I know it took the original team at least a season to mesh properly and cooperate. They are also well informed on their mission and their enemies. Hmmm… I wonder where they got the intel?
Baron Strucker is back, and this time it appears he has a giant robot, but before the party can really get started, Iron Man and Black Widow show up to help. Together they stop Strucker but the after-fight discussion gets dicey. Disappointingly, it seems the Black Panther is drinking Marsh’s Kool-Aid, and the others refer to the old team as renegade Avengers. The sides have been chosen, and it looks like a fight on the horizon.
When Cap and Stark seek out their government superiors they find an ugly truth, mirroring current events, that it is what it is and they can do nothing. However one shadowy S.H.I.E.L.D. leaders hips them to a Mighty Avengers raid on a small group of Inhumans. I smell a trap. Is this Marsh, Maximus, or Ultron manipulating events from behind the scenes?
The renegade Avengers allow Iso and her Inhuman friends to escape but end up in combat with the Mighty team. The battle is a bit better than the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War as animation lets us see the full range of the characters’ powers. I was disappointed that we got no Giant-Man though. I was impressed with the teamwork on both sides, and the realistic tactic of switching partners. And still, these newbies are fast learners.
Why Hawkeye Rocks
Much like Aquaman in the Justice League, a lot is made of how useless Hawkeye is in the Avengers. That’s just not true however. Both have great potential and are both favorite characters of mine. Hawkeye has more courage and guts in his little fingers than many other Avengers in the whole bodies and careers, and sometimes, guts is enough. Remember how many times Clint has run into danger against threats like Kang and Ultron with just a bow and arrows?
Here in the midst of battle Hawkeye shows us why he’s an Avenger, a leader, and a hero. He helps Songbird stand up for what she believes and switch sides. He also creates a diversion for the Black Widow to escape and find out what’s really going on. And in that last part, he does it by taking down Ant-Man, the Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, the Red Hulk, and Captain Marvel all within a few seconds. Yeah, who’s useless now?
Once the Black Widow slips away however, the tide of the battle turns. The Vision catches Thor’s hammer and hurls it down at the two Captains in combat. It strikes down Captain America who’s not moving. The renegade Avengers stand down and surrender in order to get Captain America medical help.
As the episode ends with the Black Widow on the run, the original Avengers in custody, and Captain America… the parallels to both comics Civil Wars are painfully obvious. Captain America is near death, and Captain Marvel is abrupt and assumption. They certainly have generated the feeling of comics. And it is of course to be continued.
Despite the feels and the discrepancies in the teams and philosophies, I have to say I liked this episode. I’m all in, and while I am watching the four parts of this story one at a time, there is a flow that binging would bring in much better.
Next: The Drums of War!