Hank Pym’s Mighty Avengers

Today is Avengers Day, the day that Marvel’s “Heroic Age” officially begins, and the brand-new Avengers #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by John Romita, Jr. is released (not to be confused with the brand-new New Avengers #1 that comes out next month, written by Bendis and drawn by Stuart Immonen). I thought that would be a good reason to make a post about the Avengers.

Starting with New Avengers #1 (vol 1; Jan 2005), the Avengers family quickly rose to prominence as Marvels #1 franchise. The New Avengers saw the Superhero Civil War, the Skrulls’ Secret Invasion, and the Dark Reign, before just now ending Norman Osborn’s Siege of Asgard.

But I’m not here to talk about them.

As much as I love the big, sprawling, shared Marvel, where characters interact with the larger goings-on, sometimes that can just be overwhelming. It’s nice to take a break from every one having the same common goal, and read stories that take place on the fringes of the shared universes.

One such comic was Marvel’s Mighty Avengers, beginning with issue #21. Written by Dan Slott and mostly drawn by Khoi Pham, the group followed the real Hank Pym (who had been replaced by a shape-shifting alien from a race known as the Skrulls for the previous couple of years) and his rag-tag group of Avengers: Jocasta, Pym’s android with the memories and personality of his late wife, Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp); Stature (aka Cassie Lang), the daughter of the third Ant-Man with the ability to grow and shrink; Vision, the sentient android; Hercules, the demi-god son of Zeus; Amadeus Cho, the smartest tech-wiz kid in the world; The USAgent, former replacement Captain America and blind patriot; and Quicksilver, the speedy mutant who can run at superhuman speeds.

The first several issues revolved around the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver’s sister, appearing to the team and sending them off on missions to save the world. However, we quickly learned that not all was as it seemed, and Scarlet Witch was actually Thor’s brother, Loki, the Norse God of mischief.

During the series, a lot of very interesting ideas and concepts came up – The Infinite Avengers Mansion, which, using a variety of pseudo-scientific ideas, was a house that warped around reality and reached out forever; Hank Pym being the Earth’s Scientist Supreme – The scientific equivalent to Dr Strange’s Sorcerer Supreme – as dubbed by Eternity itself; and USAgent’s incredulous patriotism causing him to salute “national hero” Norman Osborn, the former Green Goblin, and Hercules immediately accusing the USAgent of being a tool.

Even though we only got about 15 issues worth of Hank Pym’s version of the Mighty Avengers, I really enjoyed the series.