SPOILER ALERT! If you are reading the new ‘Mighty Avengers’ series, you may want to back out slowly!
Written by Al Ewing and drawn by Greg Land, ‘Mighty Avengers‘ details the formation of a new team of heroes, led by Luke Cage and Spectrum (Monica Rambeau, formerly Captain Marvel and Photon). The book has something of a bold reputation already, as many have dubbed it “The Black Avengers.” Now that’s not entirely true, but the two lead heroes are African-American and there are two additional African-American members The Blue Marvel and Powerman. The team also includes White Tiger who is Latina with the Superior Spider-Man (Doc Ock) serving as the rare token white character.
There is one additional member, however, who is a mystery so far.
In the first issue, after Monica adopts her new codename, she receives a new costume as well. As she is trying it on, a shadowy figure lurks in the background. Then, after Monica flies of, the mystery person puts on a costume himself and in a few minutes, we meet…
The Splendiferous Spider Hero. Thus far, nothing is known about this character. His costume appears to have come from the $5 clearance rack in the costume store. It doesn’t appear that he has much in the way of super powers, instead he’s slinging a nunchuk weapon very similar to the kind used by Ronin, a character that was eventually revealed to be first Echo and then Hawkeye. (Actually, it looks like the Red Guardian at some point adopted the identity, as well.)
Presumably, Ewing and Marvel were probably planning to tease out this mystery for a few more months, but it looks like that cat (or rather the spider) is out of the bag early!
Marvel (accidentally?) provided copies of the script for ‘Mighty Avengers’ #1 for aspiring illustrators to use as the basis for their artwork. The pages would then be critiqued by Marvel Senior Vice President of Creative & Creator Development C.B. Cebulski at Mexico’s Festo Comic Con in November.
Last chance to turn back!
Ewing’s script reads:
“There’s a silhouette in the doorway, leaning out — BLADE’S. The reason I want to do it this way is so as not to let the readers know who this is until further down the line. So we hide Blade’s identity this way, and tell it in Monica’s reaction — he’s someone she knows or has heard of, and she’s a little surprised to see him here, but she knows what it means if he shows up: vampires. Blade explains that he needs her help.”
It later goes on to read:
“Enter Blade, in the SPIDER HERO suit. This is basically a spandex, old-style spider-man costume, in a hideous combination of neon pink and neon green with SPIDER HERO written across the chest in place of the spider logo. It’s incredibly cheap looking. He’s going to be wearing this at least until issue #4, when probably he’ll change into the Ronin outfit.”
So whoopsie! That explains the nunchuks, but I’m not sure I get it. Why can’t Blade just be Blade? Why does he need to be Spider Hero or even Ronin. I feel like Marvel keeps trying to revive that concept, but I don’t think either previous takes on the character appealed to many readers.
Now of course, this could be a psych out. Marvel may still pull a fast one and swap out a different character… or perhaps they had it planned all along that they were going to use a different character and that Blade is an intentional misdirect… a red herring. Guess we’ll see in a couple of months. Ronin is pictured on the cover of the fourth issue, so likely the reveal will take place then.
What do you think? Was this a mistake? Or did Marvel leak in this information on purpose?