Writer: Jed Mackay
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover Artists: Kei Zama & Guru-eFX
The Earth has been invaded again, this time by giant, biomechanical kaiju commanded by the futuristic super-villain, Kang The Conqueror. The Avengers were up to the task and to combat this new threat made specialized mech suits for everyone to fight with. However, the tables turned and they even lost one of their own, or so they think. But the Avengers find hope in the likes of a time-displaced Thanos the Mad Titan, and Avengers Mech Strike #4 shows how this unlikely alliance will stand against Kang.
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When the last issue ended with the Avengers teaming up with a time-displaced Thanos, I thought that was a cool idea. The comic issue immediately picks up where it left off and does not waste any time in leaning in with this alliance between Thanos and the Avengers. The art from Carlos Magno and colors by Guru e-FX helps sell the idea as the art team continues to do great work and make Thanos look amazing alongside the Avengers and Kang.
However, don’t expect it to go that far with the alliance. There’s no fun or epic character interactions here between the Avengers and Thanos, as the dialogue between them is pretty utilitarian as they say only what they need to and that’s it. But this helps keep the comic on point and get right to the heart of the plot and that’s them teaming up to fight Kang.
It does play around with the idea a bit and to his credit Jed Mackay does write Thanos‘ mannerisms closer to his original self in his better comic book stories. Mackay uses the alliance in a more pragmatic manner, as Thanos provides the ruthless backup the Avengers need, but sadly it’s nothing too exciting, despite how epic the artwork and colors in the comic look.
Not only that, while the comic plays with this idea of the Avengers and Thanos teaming up to fight Kang, it got me more excited about the idea of Thanos fighting Kang than the first idea. Now, the Avengers don’t end up taking a back seat to the story just because Thanos is here, quite the contrary. The Avengers still remain the main characters of this comic from start to finish. Although, some of their interactions with each other feel a bit forced, as if Mackay is trying to emulate the MCU’s type of humor but in more exaggerated ways.
Now, the comic has its strengths but it also has its various flaws. The big one is that we don’t really see Thanos in action for that long, in and outside of his mech suit. Yes, like the cover shows, he does get his own mech suit, they never show who built it or why considering his power. The real problem is that once the fighting starts, the comic doesn’t do anything with Thanos or his mech.
You don’t get to see his mech do anything special, it doesn’t show off any cool weapons or abilities, or anything. And when the Avengers and Thanos finally face Kang, it’s over right when it starts. The confrontation is very short as Thanos literally shows up with the Avengers, lands only one punch on Kang and the time-traveling conqueror fast-forwards the Mad Titan’s body and ages him to death. All in two pages.
At first, that might sound cool, and it does look good, but it only shows how overpowered Kang is in this whole series. He really was just toying with the Avengers and they never had a chance even with Thanos‘ help. But the heroes do get an overpowered edge at the last minute when Black Panther miraculously returns to save them as the new cosmic Herald of Eternity.
Avengers Mech Strike #4 continues to give readers exactly what it says: Avengers in mech suits. But now they have Thanos teaming up with them to face Kang The Conqueror, and even he gets his own mech suit. It sounds fun, but it’s not as wild or fun as you’d think it would be. Even the confrontation between the team and Kang is pretty disappointing and anti-climactic. However, the setup for the next issue is still intriguing, so there’s still some fun potential.