The time is come. The final incursion is upon us. And as the Illuminati seek to save what they can, the Mighty Avengers do their best to hold the world together in its final moments. As the series finale, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers has only one question left to answer: is it good?
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9 (Marvel Comics)
Al Ewing’s Captain America and the Mighty Avengers has spent the majority of its existence tying into events, first with AXIS and now with Secret Wars. But where many writers have stumbled in tie-ins, Ewing has turned it into an artform, expertly weaving in threads throughout his arcs that feel natural for the characters and adding an emotional context to the event itself. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9 is no exception. As the series finale, this chapter ties into the final issues of Hickman’s Avengers epic as the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe collide in the final incursion.
The issue starts off simply enough, as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Dave assemble outside of the Gem Theater that the Mighty Avengers have called home for so long. Picking up a thread from the AXIS arc, Luke Cage is forced to remove the Avengers brand from the team’s logo by Tony Stark. Jessica remarks that they shouldn’t have even used the name anyway, and Ewing weaves in humorous references to Charles Soule’s She-Hulk as well as to the upcoming Netflix series for the married couple. However, all is not well, as Luke receives a call from Reed Richards: “This is it.”
The issue then transitions to the battle between the Marvel heroes and the Ultimate Universe helicarriers. The primary focus during these scenes is on She-Hulk and Spectrum as the two lead the assault and the Ultimate Universe’s forces. It is revealed that Monica is one of the final gambits of the 616, as she faces both her Nextwave past and her current assignment: using her energy to destroy Earth-1610. It’s a harrowing scene as Monica rushes forward, unstoppable if not for her own conscious. When she approaches the Ultimate Earth she sees the children and hesitates, allowing The Maker, the Ultimate Universe’s Reed Richards, to capture her.
The centerpiece to Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9, however, doesn’t focus on superheroes. The Mighty Avengers were built around the idea of community, of the average citizen helping his fellow man. And this all comes to fruition in a scene between Soraya and Dave in the Mighty Avengers call center. While their coworkers have left to spend the last few hours of their lives with their families and friends, Soraya and Dave choose to stay on the lines until the bitter end, helping calm and advise those who call in for help. While they may not have powers, Soraya and Dave earn the right to call themselves Avengers in this scene.
The entirety of the issue is rendered beautifully by Luke Ross and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, but this scene stands out. Ross expertly utilizes close ups to draw the reader into the scene and keep them engaged with the emotions of the sequence. When Soraya makes her decision to stay, her resolve is visible on her face; she is strengthened by her compassion and empathy.
Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9 ends with a heartfelt montage, showing each member of the team in their final hours, before offering some final words of hope to the reader. Even at the end of the world, there are heroes, and that matters.
Is It Good?
Expertly scripted and gorgeously drawn, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9 is the finale readers deserved. It a beautifully emotional coda, not just to this series, or Hickman’s epic in Avengers and New Avengers, but to the Marvel Universe itself. Readers would be wise not to pass this issue up.