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Mighty Avengers #24

Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Dan Slott
Rafa Sandoval, Roger Bonet Martinez (i)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Mighty Avengers #24 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 22.

"Chasing Ghosts"

Plot: The Wasp and the Real Avengers are solving crises around the world. They're also managing to stay one step ahead of Quicksilver, not to mention royally ticking off Iron Patriot.

Comments: Slott is doing that thing he does so well: keeping up with current continuity, but coming up with inventive ways to play off of it. We start with a meeting of the unlikely Cabal, but instead of being annoyed by the petty greed of all concerned, we're struck by the ridiculousness of this motley crew ever getting together in the first place.

Slott is taking his newly revitalized Hank Pym seriously, and Hank is enjoying sticking it to the Dark Avengers, claiming his status as a founding Avenger interested in serving the needs of all Earth people. When Norman tries to tamp him down, Jocasta and Jarvis prove too wily for HAMMER (whatever that acronym means). Meanwhile, Quicksilver, pursuing the team in order to reconnect with Wanda, is finally inducted, and it's got to be the best thing for him after his many recent failures.

He also comes up with an interesting deception to explain his misbehavior since House of M; he jumps on the Skrull bandwagon, claiming to be one of the returned abductees. Only Jarvis and Pym know better, but decide for the moment not to challenge his spin.

The best thing about Pietro's presence among the Mighty, however, is that it upsets Loki. Because Loki knows her ruse regarding Scarlet Witch won't long stand up under Wanda's brother's scrutiny.

On the art front, Sandoval fills in fairly well for Khoi Pham, keeping the characters in the right costumes and selling both the heroism of the Wasp and the worries of Stature (who seems to have become the conscience of the team). However, one glaring error points to an editorial problem that mars the production of comics today: in one grizzly sequence, Osborn provides the "clavicle" of fallen hero Black Goliath (exhumed from his grave, how gross and disrespectful, made even worse since he ends up snapping it over his iron-clad knee) for use in tracking Pym particles.

Only Sandoval draws a femur (a straight bone with ball joints on each end) rather than the S-curved clavicle. Setting aside the ridiculousness established when the dead Goliath was buried at giant-size, in a giant-size coffin (Wasp couldn't do his family the favor of shrinking him down with one of Hank's gizmos?), Sandoval draws this femur at some size bigger than a breadbox, but not as big as the size Goliath was at when Clone Thor killed him. I guess he's shrinking slowly as he desiccates?

These are the sorts of basic errors an editor should be on hand to catch and provide a correction for. So what's the story, Mr. Brevoort? Is it okay for comics to misidentify basic facets of anatomy for young readers?

That unfortunate misstep aside, the issue is strong and Slott's script is full of interesting dialogue, and a truly fresh take on the Cabal (which splinters amusingly due to Osborn's failings this issue) and the current state of play in the Marvel Universe. It's definitely fun to read a Hank Pym who's both large and in charge.







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