As we reported earlier, Sam Wilson, currently known as the Falcon, will soon be taking over as Captain America, one of the many changes that fall under the Avengers NOW! publishing initiative by Marvel that begins in October this year.
At San Diego Comic-Con International this past weekend, Marvel hosted an Avengers NOW! panel that, among other things, announced that current title The Mighty Avengers would be renamed Captain America and the Mighty Avengers in order to reflect Sam Wilson’s new status quo. Despite the #1 on the cover, writer Al Ewing assured fans of the book that it was more like “Season 2”.
Join us under the cut as we analyse Ewing’s comments about this new status quo for the book.
Firstly, Ewing is quick to assure fans of the title that this is “Season 2” of the book, and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 is really the same story as The Mighty Avengers #15 would’ve been – a Sam-centric issue. That being said, Ewing also revealed that newcomers will not feel left out.
“Anyone making that their first issue will get the full scoop on what the Mighty Avengers are all about, as well as plenty of Captain America action, the return of some old foes and the Spidey-Luke conversation readers have been waiting for!”
As for the rest of the team, Ewing describes Sam Wilson becoming the new Captain America as obviously changing the dynamics of the team, yet for the most part, the status quo remains.
“I’m planning on making the distinction a little more concrete between the ‘field team’ and the ‘support staff’, so some of the current Mighty Avengers team might be falling back into support roles, but I don’t think there’s going to be a major shake-up.”
That being said, Ewing does recognise that Sam’s new role will impact how the leadership of the team has worked in the first “season” of 14 issues.
“In the longer term — if you pick any member, they’re going to have their opinions of Sam’s new role. … [I]t occurred to me that the general public probably see Sam as team leader now, in the field — he’s Captain America, right? So how does that make Monica [Rambeau] feel? Especially since a threat is coming up from behind that only she’s had serious experience with? Can she trust the team to follow her orders in the crunch instead of the man in the stars and stripes?”
Al Ewing’s Mighty Avengers book has been critically acclaimed since its debut last year, especially for its ability to bring together an ecletic core of characters, including the Superior Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Sam Wilson, Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk and White Tiger, and still make it work. In an era where Marvel in general seems to be looking to capitalise on its cosmic characters, it helps to have a title that still continues to keep it real, by dealing with down-to-earth human issues.
To that end, it’s fantastic that the new title will have Luke Ross onboard as artist. Ross is fresh off his work with Nick Spencer’s Secret Avengers run and will be closing out Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man run. Known for his realistic portrayals, Ewing believes he will bring the right amount of “action and drama”. It’ll definitely be a welcome change from Greg Land’s art in the “first season”, where the characters in some panels, not surprisingly, seemed to be posing for photos.
Most of all, it needs to be said that despite the good reviews, The Mighty Avengers is not doing well, sales-wise. According to Comichron’s numbers, the title has been slowly but consistently hemorrhaging orders since it launched in September last year. Perhaps Sam Wilson becoming Captain America will be exactly the kind of adrenaline shot this title needs to get back some much needed mainstream attention.
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 is scheduled to be out in November this year.