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MESA, Ariz. -- No traveler's magazine stuffed in the seat back needed here. Angel Medina had special reading material for the plane ride out west for the Phoenix Cactus Comicon.

It was the script for his first issue as artist of Marvel Comics' Mighty Avengers. Medina told The Continuum on Sunday that he will be following the opening arc by Frank Cho on Mighty Avengers for the next storyline.

"I call them the 'real' Avengers since there's no Wolverine or Spider-Man on the team," Medina said with a smile.

Medina was weened on such Marvel Comics titles as Avengers, having had numerous letters printed before becoming a professional artist. He said that in his initial contract talks with Marvel -- he signed an exclusive after a lengthy run on Spawn -- which characters he was going to work on was a priority.

"Before the money, I wanted to talk about the characters," he said. "And the Avengers were on the top of that list."

After finishing his stint on Sensational Spider-Man, Medina was going to work on a Venom mini-series. In fact, he was 11 pages into it when he got an e-mail from Mighty Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis.

Originally, Medina was reluctant to take the Avengers gig because he didn't want to drop Venom.

"About two weeks later, then I found out the story," he recalled. "It was the Avengers vs. an alien invasion -- by the Venoms."

So instead of one symbiote, Medina is getting to draw dozens apparently.

"I was really excited reading the script on the plane," Medina said. "There's a huge double-page spread when the Avengers are looking out at the city and New Yorkers are being taken over by symbiotes."

Medina, one of the most frequent faces on the convention circuit, will be re-teaming with Bendis on Mighty Avengers. They previously collaborated on a run of Todd McFarlane's Sam and Twitch.

"I requested to work on Sam and Twitch, and Todd was surprised I would want that because I'm such a super-hero guy," Medina said. "But I love that guy (Bendis) so much as a writer. He's such a cool guy and I can't wait to work with him again."

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