In the Marvel Universe, heroes seem to fight each other as much as they fight super villains – and that’s coming true once again in December’s Mighty Avengers #4.
Fresh after Luke Cage assembled the team to fend off the invasion of Thanos’ armies in Infinity, this team of odd-ball Avengers is fighting each other – starting with Superior Spider-Man and Luke Cage. In addition to that, the mystery surrounding the identity of Spider Hero had a surprising turn when the character’s identity was accidentally revealed by Marvel (Spoilers at the Link), adding an additional air of mystery as the hero segues to become Marvel’s next Ronin.
Newsarama discussed all that and more in an exchange with series writer Al Ewing. Ewing also chimed in about several new additions to the team, as well as the introduction of two new sets of villains – the Deathwalkers and CORTEX Incorporated.
Newsarama: Al, after putting the team against something as big as Shuma-Gorath, what could you possibly have planned to top that in Mighty Avengers #4 in December?
Al Ewing: So many things! The new/old HQ! What Blue Marvel does when he's off-panel! The end of Spider Hero and the coming of Ronin - and the mystery of the masked man deepens as secret histories are discussed on the eldritch plane! Meanwhile - dissension in the ranks! Falcon joins the team! And MORE which I'll get to later in this very interview! Face it, true believer, this is the ONE! Or more accurately the #4!
Nrama: At the center of this book is a mystery as to who Spider Hero is; a mystery that seems to have been spoiled a few weeks back accidentally. What can you say about that whole situation, and how does it affect your plans going forward?
Ewing: As for how I feel about it... empathy for the people behind the scenes more than anything. Sometimes things get out there and it's no fun if you're catching the heat for it, and it's not the end of the world, nothing's ruined. Just because you know one of the twists, it doesn't mean you won't enjoy the rest of them.
We had a chat about maybe ending the mystery a bit earlier, but then we just decided to carry on as normal. Or... DID we? You'll have to wait and see.
Nrama: Understood. Moving on, you have two new faces coming onto the team – Ronin and She-Hulk. How do they give involved? And who is Ronin exactly?
Ewing: Greg's cover for #4 provides the clue - Ronin is Spider Hero. So he gets involved when the man in the mask trades up for a better costume.
As for She-Hulk - Luke decides he needs legal representation to bulletproof the new team, and he picks Jen. (He's still a little wary of Matt from the whole Shadowland thing.) Luke might be in some trouble for hiring his ex-girlfriend out of the thousands of lawyers in New York, though. Will he end up sleeping on the Power Couch? And is that an idle metaphor or does Luke actually own an unbreakable couch?
Nrama:Luke Cage seems like a natural leader, but Superior Spider-Man seems like the kind of guy who is not really going to just fall in line. How are they two going to be working together – or are they?
Ewing: Remember when I mentioned dissension in the ranks? It should come as no surprise that Otto is the one getting shirty in the face of what he sees as horrible inefficiency. So there's going to be a clash, and we'll see who walks - or swings - away from it.
Nrama: In the solicits there’s a tease for something called CORTEX Incorporated. Cortex is a name Multiple Man once used – is there a connection? And how does this play out in Mighty Avengers?
Ewing: No connection. This is an all-new CORTEX, helmed by an all-new bad guy - although if readers want a sneak peek at their mission statement, CORTEX has set up a regional office on the Moon in the digital pages of Iron Man: Fatal Frontier! Their vision is to own and control society's Next Big Thing and then use it to shape the wider culture for their own nefarious purposes, and the Mighty Avengers are about to crop up on their radar. Which isn't good.
Nrama: It seems Mighty Avengers is right in the center of the big events of the Marvel U, from starting out in Infinity to heading into Inhumanity beginning with January’s #5. How does Luke and his team fit within this Inhuman event?
Ewing: Actually, it starts with #4! Attilan has tumbled into the Hudson river, and S.H.I.E.L.D. are having some issues getting it back out. But somewhere on board the half-sunken city is a secret treasure that could spell doom for humanity in the wrong hands - and two pairs of those wrong hands are on board looking for it, on behalf of CORTEX and the mysterious Deathwalkers! Who are the Deathwalkers? What are the Deathwalkers? One thing's for sure - no matter how many spoilers you've read, they're not what you think! And I'm not even going to mention the brand new Inhuman so deadly she doesn't even need her powers to outwit all of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Except just then!
Nrama: And I can’t go without asking about the Blue Marvel. Although he’s relatively young in comic history compared to his counterparts, he has a real cult fanbase. How would you describe his role here in the series?
Ewing: Well, with his ongoing work as a global superhero taking on threats that the hero-choked U.S. never hears about on their news, he's going to bring all sorts of new and deadly threats to the team. And Adam's been around for a long time - he might not have been the Blue Marvel, but he was still a genius scientist war hero with incredible superpowers. Pieces of that past are going to come to light soon, and it's going to lead to some pretty explosive shenanigans.