Pick of the Week

December 3, 2009 – The Mighty #11

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.5
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 19.7%
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

If you’ve been listening to the audio show, you know the sentiment for The Mighty has been growing all along, and all along, I’ve been hoping there was a chance for it to get a Pick of the Week, and look at that, here it is.

For those of you not up to speed, here’s the basic stuff: The Mighty is a superhero book, put out by DC, but not in the DCU. In this book, the world is protected by a single all-powerful superhero, Alpha One, and over time we get the sense that he’s not as great as he might appear to be. I suppose you could take that as a spoiler, but that’s very clear from the get go, and the book is about the discovery about what’s going on, and how creepy things get.

This is part 11 of a 12 part story, so after the big reveal last issue, it’s time for the big confrontation, and all the surprises that go along with that. The great thing about this issue was that it was really just one big fight after the first few pages. It was a knock-down-drag-out brawl, and while the outcome should have been clear, I really didn’t know how it was going to go, and the writers really surprised me a few times. I’m not so much of a fight guy when it comes to comics either. I know there are a lot of you out there, and that’s why Hulk sells a lot of comics, but the underlying feelings during the big fight was betrayal and sorrow and rage and justice. It was an emotional catharsis, and one that’s been building slowly over the course of the whole run. There weren’t that many words in this issue, but there didn’t need to be, because it had great emotional impact, and was wonderfully constructed.  The world was built slowly and methodically over the course of the story.  Then, bricks were removed, showing just a few cracks, and now, at the denouement, the momentum is taking off like a runaway train, and we’re just trying to keep up.  This issue was a page-turner, pure and simple.  It might not have taken me all that long to read, but by the end, I was amped up and excited.

The real star of this issue was Chris Samnee, because most of the storytelling chores fell to him. All along, this title has been about tone, and like Peter Snejbjerg before him, Samnee excelled at keeping things creepy and quiet, right up until the time that they weren’t. There’s a whole lot of black shadow in these pages, like everyone is lit by a flashlight held down by their waists. But then the action starts up, and the panels open up. This is a book with a two-page spread that actually did exactly what it was supposed to. You flip that page, and the characters, spread out and huge, jump off the page, and even the lettering reflects it. Then, right at the end, we get to the end, and not only are all things equal in the story, but it’s visually depicted, with symmetrical panels. It’s really a fantastic example of what we call storytelling, and using a variety of tools to get across as much as you can on the panels.

A key component of this book has always been the covers.  It never ever hurts to have Dave Johnson doing the covers for your book, but I think he’s really stepped it up and created a wonderful aesthetic for this book.  The covers all have a big, single, iconic image, and tell just a bit of the story.  Not enough to blow what’s going on, but to give the readers just a taste of what’s going to happen, and get you excited.  It’s a modern take on how to effectively present a comic book in serial form, and it’s one more aspect of this title that’s been impressive, yet incredibly subtle.

If the next issue is the end of The Mighty, readers can still be satisfied with a great stand alone story that can be passed around for years.  In surface concept, it’s not so different from BOOM!’s Irredeemable, but the execution is different enough that I really don’t get the sense that they’re treading the same ground.  This is going to be one of those books I think we’ll be recommending for a long time, as a very nice package of high quality comic book craft, but one that is also extremely fun to read.

Josh Flanagan
That kid got flung, he did.



  1. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Man, I can’t wait for this to get collected. Sounds spectacular. 

    Having not read The Mighty, I gave Jonah Hex #50 the POW. So substantial it felt like I’d read an entire trade or graphic novel rather than a single, super-sized issue. Blackest Night: Wonder Woman was also a fantastic surprise and could just as easily be my pick.  

  2. Good Choice, Josh, But let me tell you what you should ahve picked…

  3. The true Pick Of The Week this week was in fact "Siege: The Cabal."

    The face offs and character depth is incredible writing.  And Lark’s art looks excellent in Siege.  That is all.

  4. Great picked.

    Sadly I didn’t think much of this series in the beginning….unlike my LCS which sells out of it every week. So I would need to get a reorder of all 11 issues to catch up. Then you have the stupid DC trade program, so I wont be able to provide much insight until 2012 probably.

    But still a great pick and it sounds like a great series every time you talk about it. At least I can say that the covers for the series is great.

    (My pick was Sweet Tooth #4 for finally delievering a tense and exciting issue)

  5. What KickAss said.

  6. Hopefully the trade will not take to long to come out. I really want to read this series.




  7. aww, come on!

  8. Definitely looking forward to checking this out once its collected. Everything seems to really dig it, and I feel like it’s the type of thing that will read well collected.

    Not sure what I’m picking yet, but Bendis did indeed step it up with both Dark Avengers and Cabal this week. Really good stuff. Makes me realize that I think he set too many things in motion back in the day, as he’s taken way too long to get to some of these bits. But that’s more of a planning/scope issue. These two books were great. 

    I was pretty disappointed by Blackest Night: Flash. From the big "info dump" at the beginning that catches us up on all the recent ramifications to the story itself, which felt very scattered, there just seemed to be no defining theme or clear story. Yet. It also doesn’t seem very friendly for new or casual readers. More about putting all the pieces together to give context to everything Flash you’ve read recently.

    By contrast, Blackest Night: Wonder Woman is a nice, clean thematic piece about her character and how she deals with death and with emotions. Great issue. 

    Superman: WoNK was… a mixed bag for me. I like the locked room mystery aspect, but the whole series seems like it’s really tilted off its axis in recent months.

    S’all I’ve got so far.

  9. I had no idea what this was when it came out so I’m very much appreciative of iFanboy for bringing this book somewhat into the spotlight.  It wasn’t until issue 5 or 6 that I really knew what the deal with this book was so, unfortunately, I haven’t been on board which means I’m trade waiting (hopefully there will be one) and I can’t wait to give it a read; it really sounds fantastic.  Glad to see it get POW anyway; I haven’t read it but I gotta figure it’s better than Cabal or Dark Avengers Annual.  Both fine books (I liked the DA book much more than Cabal though) but neither were spectacular.  I’ve still got a few books to go so no idea what I would have gone with.

  10. I jumped off this title around issue 2 and am supremely regretting it.  I can’t wait to scope out the eventual collection because it sounds and looks fantastic.  Still working my way through my stack, so no POW for me yet.

  11. Between this and G.I. Joe Cobra, this has been the year of the limited series.  I LOVED this issue.  It felt like I was reading a movie (if that makes any sense).  I felt like I could hear an audience oooing and awwwing when the hand slowly regrew and when Alpha’s face was seared.  

    This should be DC’s next animated feature (from a creative standpoint, not a financial one).  Let Mr. Samnee do the designs and let Mr. Tomasi write the screenplay.  

    This is simply phenomenal storytelling.

  12. I can’t wait for this to come out in trade so I can read it.  I love Samnee’s stuff, sounds like a great pick.

    Everything I read this week was fantastic, but I went with ‘Siege Cabal’ as my pick.  I’m really psyched for  this event and I’m not afraid to say so!

  13. Fantastic pick Josh!

    I honestly have to say that I have been enjoying this book better than it’s "counter part" Irredeemable. Maybe it’s the art by Chris Samnee that tips me over to The Mighty, but I really love this book. 

    And it stands mentioning, the only reason i picked it up is because of iFanboy. 🙂

  14. 52!!

  15. Can’t wait to read this mini-series once it’s collected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  16. Despite hearing about it all the time on the POTW podcast, I never really bothered to track this series down, and I dont know why. I think its because that in the issue descriptions, it sounds like just your standard run of the mill superhero story, and nothing that much more special. I’m sure I’ll pick this up eventually though, I’ll eventually crack.

  17. In 2065, can you guys do a video podcast about which was a better series "The Mighty" or "Irredeemable"?


    "The Mighty" vs. "Irredeemable"!!!

  18. I don’t real any of the series I’m mentioning here, but I just think it’s shocking for Josh to pick The Mighty over Fables, Jack of Fables, Scalped, Jonah Hex, Sweet Tooth and Echo. Aren’t you the guy who bemoans how we don’t buy enough non-superhero comics? Sorry, The Mighty and Irredeemable both seem generic to me, like they’re each long expansions of other, better themes that I read over a decade ago. Then again, at the same time, I insist on reading Uncanny X-Men every month. I know that we all just happen to read whatever we feel like, and we rate whatever we read accordingly. There was a light week when Loeb’s Hulk (totally uncreative and generic) was the potw for me. So I’m not complaining about Josh’s potw–as I said, I don’t read any of the stuff I mentioned anyway–I’m just saying…it’s, uh, interesting coming from the guy who a few years ago especially used to seem almost fiercely non-superhero centric.

  19. ^Oops, first sentence I meant "I don’t reaD any of the series…"

  20. @flapjaxx – No offense intended, but have you read any issues of The Mighty?  It isn’t really a superhero book (in my opinion), it’s a suspense book, and it just climaxed.  One of the characters is a superhero, but he could just as easily have been any number of other things without damaging the underlying story.

  21. @flapjaxx-Just because Josh enjoys reading Veritgo doesn’t mean he has to make those books his pick all the time. That doesn’t make any sense.

  22. When has Josh ever been fiercely anti-superhero? 

  23. I’m pro story and pro comic book!

  24. Will be picking up the eventual TPs for sure!


  25. Oh, iFanboy, why why why did I trade wait for this book?  I’m dying to read it and DC’s trade schedule is just too damn slow!!!

  26. Apparently I’m the real "indie guy" this week. My POW was Echo 17. 






  27. Sweet Tooth #4 was great.

    The Mighty? I count the months until the trades show up.

  28. "The Buy Pile" critic said this issue of "The Mighty" was freaking terrible.  Put it in his "No, just no" section. 


  29. Congratulations for him.

  30. No one I know or talk to takes that guy’s "reviews" very seriously.

  31. Same here.  He is rather unpredictable/inconsistent in my experience.

  32. Okay, okay — let’s not turn this into a bash another reviewer on another website discussion. Back to the book at hand.

  33. Apologies.

  34. I love how Edward mocks the commenters who say Josh is wrong and then KickAss just comes in oblivious and says Josh is wrong.

    I picked Jonah Hex. Good book. 

  35. @Miyamotofreak: Kickass and i got together during the week and planned it.

  36. I could see myself checking this out in trade/collected edition.

  37. I picked Blackest Night: Wonder Woman this week.  Even though Jonah Hex and Scalped were sssooooo good, I simply loved Nicola Scott’s art and the epic feel that the story had.  It was such a treat and surprise for me.  But this month’s Scalped was really flippin’ good.

  38. Agree with others, can’t wait for this to be collected – looks like will be on the shelf Dec 23rd and at Amazon Dec 29th…

  39. @flapjaxx – That’s why he has a Green Lantern tattoo. He really hates superheroes.


    Can we just make it a rule that you can’t complain about the POTW if you haven’t read the book that got picked? 

  40. If you disagree with the POW, pick what you think it should be in your comics and write a review.  That’s the whole reason the site is designed the way it is.  One man’s opinion should not ruin your comics reading experience.  Different strokes, different folks.

  41. @Neb – Well said.

  42. @Neb: nah, i’m just going to bitch about it here. writing reviews are hard

  43. "is" hard. The subject of the sentence is "writing" which is singular, not reviews, which would indicate the plural form of the verb.

  44. what’s the plural of "bugger me silly"

  45. Just got through issue 11, and it was a blast. I still can’t find the specific panel where Cole attains his power. Is he irradiated or injected? At any rate I’m curious to see how the series wraps up.

    I gotta say that I was rather underwhelmed by the big reveal in issue#10. I thought it was too brief (7 pages for an origin) and needed way more fleshing out: for example why did Alpha One feel the necessity to revolt on his home planet? What were the "answers" he proposed and what ideals did they encapsulate? And why did he wait so long to interfere directly in human affairs, especially when he landed a good two hundred years before his first public appearance? He says that during this relatively dormant period he "watched as people lived, loved and died." But given that he tried to take over his home planet, I just don’t buy that he is the watching type.

    I guess it doesn’t help that the series is coming out at the same time as "Irredeemable", a book that covers similar ground and is better overall, at least in my humble opinion (though the art in "The Mighty" as been worth the price alone). You notice how both Alpha One and the Plutonian have to remove a-bombs during baseball games? What ever happened to the national past time?

  46. Wow, correcting grammar.  I’m glad you guys choose to not do that often.

  47. @edward ‘bugger me silly’s’

  48. "sillies"

    It only happens in very special cases.

  49. Wouldn’t it be "Buggers me silly" like "courts-martial" or "surgeons general"? 

  50. @josh lol

  51. Either this thread just got exceptionally cheeky or there is more than one definition of bugger.

  52. @stuc I’d go with cheeky

    Moving on, this book was just shy of my pick this week.  Jonah Hex pretty much eclipsed this book in every way imo, but that’s in no way taking away from how good Mighty was.  It’s been one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year.  I just love Darwyn.

  53. you guys like that? it was a little aussie slang. Like "flaming galahs" "fair crack of the whip" or "she’s got a face like a squashed banana in a condom"

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