I thought I was going to have to drop Mighty Avengers because Greg Land’s art is so off-puttingly plastic. (That great art above is by Ronald Wimberly.) But the series is too damn good for me to abandon. I might even like it more than Daredevil or Hawkeye.
I love Mighty Avengers. Written by Al Ewing, drawn sometimes by Greg Land or Valrio Schiti, it’s one of my favourite titles being currently published by Marvel Comics. I love what how its grassroots, street-level superheroics reflect ethnicities, ideas and sensibilities that are under-represented in the rest of the Marvel Universe. When Blue Marvel/Adam Brashear and Luke Cage have a tense conversation about how their pasts inform their symbolism to the people who look up to them, it feels a lot like the kind of cross-generational tension that percolates between, say, Harry Belafonte and Jay-Z. Having more than one black person in a book means conversations like this can happen:
If you take the long view, mainstream comics ostensibly aren’t any better or worse than other avenues of pop culture when it comes to diversity. There’s room for improvement everywhere. But comics are where part of my imagination has lived for decades and every time I found out that certain creators were black, it meant more to me than just seeing black and brown characters on the page. It meant that there were dimensions of possibility in the real world that I hadn’t previously been exposed to.
It’s great that Marvel can assemble rappers, artists and editors to praise the black characters of the company’s history. I just wish that I could imagine that Marvel’s stable of talent looked more like the cast of this book.