When people talk about events ruining the plans of writers, that’s something Marvel has been trying to avoid in the past few years. But it still comes through somewhat in “Mighty Avengers” #34, which offers a resolution of sorts to Loki’s posing as the Scarlet Witch in the title. The actions in this issue seem designed to conclude the plot while also not interfering with where Loki is in “Siege.” If this was the planned endpoint, I would be very surprised; It’s not a good way to conclude this subplot.
The issue begins with Thor heeding Loki’s call for help and travelling to the Isle of Silence, a dimension that Loki had been banished to by Odin and now uses as a ‘summer home’ of sorts. There, he finds the Mighty Avengers with a trapped Loki who is injured and completely at their mercy. From there, we see how Loki and the Avengers found themselves in this precarious position. How they got there is logical and well executed with the team spurred on by Quicksilver to deal with the trickster god and, possibly, discover where the real Scarlet Witch is.
Where the story falls apart is Thor’s arrival, which quickly devolves into violence and not a hint of explanation from any Avengers beyond some vague statements like “You don’t understand.” Thor comes off as somewhat naïve and elitist; the naïveté comes off as accidental, while the elitism is purposeful. Thor’s position is that no one can sit in judgment of Loki but fellow gods. That’s a side of him that doesn’t come out often, particularly when it comes to his fellow heroes and former teammates. That he is so quick to defend Loki and attack the Avengers without waiting for an explanation asks us to forget the numerous acts that Loki has committed against Thor, especially recent events in “Thor.” Thor’s view point is somewhat understandable, but Slott rushes the scenes and skips over a few pieces of dialogue that could have made it read much more smoothly.
Neil Edwards brings a Bryan Hitch art style to the comic, but that includes some of Hitch’s worst traits like odd facial expressions that don’t match the dialogue. If you look at the first page of the issue, the panel with Donald Blake has him wearing a goofy expression that doesn’t fit what’s going on at all, a habit that doesn’t change in Edwards’ art throughout the issue. It’s not all bad, as he expresses strong emotions like rage in his art effectively and the action scenes are fluid. But, those positives are undercut by an unpolished look where figures don’t look completely rendered. Edwards shows promise and works as a fill-in artist, but he’s still got a long way to go.
“Mighty Avengers” #34 offers the conclusion to a long-running subplot in the book, but it’s rushed and not executed strongly. Loki’s presence is required in “Siege” and that story takes precedence, understandably. The issue ends with a big cliffhanger that offers hope for future issues, but this issue is sloppy and a let down.