Time after time I’ve been duped by Avengers titles. Avengers A.I. #1? Tricked by the hidden “AI” subtitle. New Avengers #1? Way too dark and complicated for a casual fan. So, once again into the Avengers Universe I tumbled when I added Secret Avengers #1 to my weekly picks last month.
Now that #2 has hit the shelves, it’s time to take a reflect on the Secret Avengers and decide. Would I add this to my pull list (if I ever started one)?
Let’s start with the cover and review the team:
So, from left-to-right, we’ve got Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Spider Woman, Phil Coulson, and MODOK. And my immediate reaction was “Whaaaa?”
Issue #1 dives right into the action, though. Nick and Phil are in space and all heck breaks loose when The Fury shows up. I have no idea what The Fury is, but it’s obvious that this isn’t good news for the two SHIELD agents.
Some background on the “Secret” Avengers. As the issue begins, the Avengers have been working with SHIELD for some time. Makes sense. In addition, there are some threats that SHIELD doesn’t want the Avengers associated with… makes sense. Essentially, the “Secret” Avengers are the super-powered individuals that Maria Hill calls when clandestine or shady stuff breaks out.
Three other developments in the first issue that set the stage for #2. If you’re on board with these, you’ll like the series. If not… maybe think about it before picking up the Secret Avengers.
1. Spider Woman is new to the Secret Avengers and is buddied-up with Black Widow for coaching.
2. Hawkeye is not part of the team, but rather stumbles into Natasha and Jessica at a massage parlor (don’t ask, just enjoy). He gets dragged along for the ride.
3. Unbeknownst to EVERYONE, Maria Hill has cut a deal with MODOK, who is now developing technology for SHIELD. It’s weird, but it works.
Secret Avengers has the humor of the current Hawkeye series, which was one of my favorite titles before I got too far behind and had to drop it. But, it’s also got more super-action, space adventure, and world-leveling threats, which you’d expect for an Avengers title.
I love this series and can’t recommend it highly enough.
The second issue completes the story arc, which tidies up the situation nicely and sets up the series for a fun run.
Now, to be perfectly candid, I’m still not a huge fan of the current incarnation of Phil Coulson. I liked him just fine in the Iron Man movies. His relationship with Pepper Potts helped solidify the idea that, while the heroes take center stage, everyone else’s lives go on in the Marvel Universe.
By bringing him into the fold of the “heroes”, I think it cheapens the “everyday guy” side of his character that made him a great character early on in the Marvel films. Why can’t we have a world where we can see your common desk-jockey at SHIELD who really likes the heroes, but drops a brick when confronted with a galactic level threat? That’s the Phil I liked. Even up to the Avengers movie, his character was intriguing – he’s the guy who was WAY out of his league when Loki busted out of jail. That’s what made him heroic.
Phil going toe-to-toe with the Fury? I’m still not on board with that.
However, the great art and really cool storytelling in Secret Avengers is helping me get past that.
So, to answer the earlier question: Yes! Secret Avengers is joining She-Hulk, Alex+Ada, Ms. Marvel, Rover Red Charlie and Fantastic Four on my imaginary pull-list.