The Mighty Avengers is a comic book series published by Marvel Comics. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, also the writer of New Avengers, the title features an Avengers team of registered superheroes that is part of Fifty State Initiative, residing in New York. The first incarnation of the team is led by Iron Man and Ms. Marvel, with the current lineup featuring Hank Pym as the leader. The first issue of Mighty Avengers was the second highest selling comic for that month based on Diamond Publisher's indexes.
The team first appears in The Mighty Avengers #1 (May 2007), written by Brian Michael Bendis and penciled and inked by Frank Cho. The roster, led by Ms. Marvel, also consisted of Iron Man, The Wasp, Wonder Man, Ares, the Sentry and the Black Widow. In the wake of the superhero "Civil War", Iron Man recruits Ms. Marvel as leader of the revamped team, and together they select the first roster.
The Mighty Avengers was originally intended to run parallel with New Avengers, with characters and events crossing over and being viewed from both perspectives. However, artist Cho fell behind schedule, and left the book after six issues and an additional cover. Successor Mark Bagley drew the series from issues #7-11 (early March - late May 2008).
Following the federally sanctioned creation of this iteration of the Avengers, Iron Man (Tony Stark) is discredited and publicly vilified after his inability to anticipate or prevent a secret infiltration and invasion of Earth by the shape-shifting alien Skrull race, and by the Skrull disabling of his StarkTech technology, which had a virtual monopoly on worldwide defense.
Following the Skrulls' eventual defeat, the U.S. government disbands the team, and assigns its redevelopment to Norman Osborn (the reputedly reformed supervillain Green Goblin) whom the government had assigned to head the superhero team the Thunderbolts and who had become a public hero for his role in repelling the Skrull threat. Osborn, also given leadership of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., reforms that agency into H.A.M.M.E.R. and creates a new Dark Avengers team under its aegis.
In response, Henry Pym, in his latest superhero persona as the new Wasp, decides to lead an Avengers team outside the U.S. and H.A.M.M.E.R.'s jurisdiction. With the help of an astral projection of someone appearing to be the Scarlet Witch he summons characters including Vision, U.S. Agent, Stature, Hulk, Jocasta, Hercules, Amadeus Cho, and Iron Man. Their mission is to stop Chthon when he returns with the help of Modred.
Scarlet Witch is angrily attacked by Stature, who is stopped by Vision's revelation that the image before them was but an astral projection from elsewhere. The Hulk, in anger and confusion as to how he vanished from Arizona Desert and appeared at Wundagore, threatening to "smash." The U.S. Agent demands Pym tell him what is happening, and a giant-sized Stature assails Wanda in fury. The other Avengers, including Jocasta and Hercules, struggle to restrain the Hulk while Amadeus Cho tries to remind the Hulk of their past relationship. The shocked U.S. Agent calls out to Amadeus Cho and Hercules. Iron Man arrives on the scene, surprised greatly, and battles the enraged Banner, this time managing to triumph. The united forces of the Avengers, aided by Wanda, quash the threat of Chthon, and releases Quicksilver from his demonic control. Pietro demands answers about his sister.
It is subsequently revealed to the reader that the Scarlet Witch is actually Loki in disguise, and this time she intends to "keep" the team of Avengers she has assembled. The team becomes active worldwide, and travel through several locations on earth through Pym pockets. However, on knowledge of the team, Norman Osborn orders H.A.M.M.E.R. agents to storm the Pym pocket base, which results in Jocasta detaching the base from reality. This slowly begins to make the base unable to enter the normal reality, which Jocasta decides to wait to alert Pym about. The team is also given official status as operating within G.R.A.M.P.A., which grants them immunity and active operation in almost all countries. They are also recognized in several countries as being the true Avengers, which infuriates Norman Osborn. After Quicksilver aids the Mighty Avengers against numerous villains, the team accepts him as a member with Quicksilver hoping to encounter "Scarlet Witch" and get some answers.
IGN reviewer Richard George said that Mighty Avengers #1 was "a blast", and praised the pairing of Brian Michael Bendis with Frank Cho. He had praise for Bendis' writing, stating, "What is astonishing here is that Bendis manages to move through the roster selection, convey their basic information and personality, marshal them against a huge threat and leave us with a solid cliffhanger". He also praised Cho's artwork, saying, "The artist not only delivers with some excellent action sequences, he does a great job with the increasingly-standard widescreen format that many are adopting. Of course Cho's females are as radiant as ever." The reviewer opined that having two Avengers comics out at the same time might be an issue, adding that they would need to be distinct from one another in order to be worthy purchases. Although George did not feel that this was a hurdle that Bendis could not overcome, he pondered whether time would bear this out.
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