I wasn’t even going to buy this book. The team seemed cool, but I figured one Avengers book would be enough for me. This was all until I read an interview on io9 with Ed Brubaker, the writer for Secret Avengers. In the interview, Brubaker described a pulpy super spy style book with Lovecraftian themes. I couldn’t dial the phone fast enough to have my shop add this to my pull list. I suggest you all do the same, because Secret Avengers could be the best thing to come out of the Heroic Age.
Let’s start with the team. You’ve got Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, Beast, Moon Knight, Black Widow, War Machine, Valkyrie , Ant-Man, and Nova . It seems like Brubaker used a dart board to select this team but it if you look closely you’ll see that all the members have some sort of military or espionage experience. The odd ball out is Beast, but every good team needs a tech and science guy. The reason they are “secret” is because they are a covert ops group whose mission is to make surgical strikes to bring down threats that the general public should never know even existed. It’s a great concept made even greater by the team that has been assembled.
A team as colorful as this one needs one hell of a story to back it, and Brubaker delivers. We start with a snatch and grab op in Dubai, move to a covert infiltration of a Roxxon facility, and end up on Mars. The story moves at a breakneck pace and it all revolves around what seems to be a powerful artifact. This is where the Lovecraftian themes come in to play. This is a very ancient artifact, and it seems to move and not move all at the same time. There is, of course, a rival group attempting to acquire the same artifact and the reveal of their leader floored me. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
The book’s art is provided by Mike Deodato and he does a fantastic job. He works wonders with shadows in his frames. Every image bleeds with attitude and atmosphere. It kind of reminds me of Mike Mignola in some cases, which is perfect for what this book is trying to achieve. The scene where Beast is examining is wonderful. Beast can be a tough character put on paper but
If you are only going to pick up one book this month, make it this one. This is a breath of fresh air in a Marvel Universe dominated by Brain Michael Bendis. The story is fantastic and you couldn’t ask for a cooler cast of characters.