All-New Marvel NOW! rolls on with a brand new relaunch of a title that hasn’t even been gone a month. It’s Secret Avengers, by Ales Kot (the same guy who brought you Zero) and drawn by Michael Walsh (he drew the first issue of Zero). What can these two bring to the table? Is it good?
Secret Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
So much going on, so little time. Agent Coulson and Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury are assigned to go on a routine mission to help fix a SHIELD satellite, but run into some trouble via something called The Fury. Spider-Woman and Black Widow are having a day to themselves, relaxing with a massage and target practice. Hawkeye is being chased down by AIM goons for whatever reason (I’m not sure if hunting people down in public view is covered by AIM’s new diplomatic immunity). There is also Maria taking a tour of MODOK’s (he’s working with SHIELD now) Lair of Mad Science, which was named by a ten year old obviously. So much happening….
That armory has everything! Including those fake plastic Hulk boxing gloves you could get a toy store a couple of years ago as well!
This felt like a strong introduction to a brand new series, introducing the entire cast with reasonable time apportioned to each character (besides Spider-Woman strangely enough). There are several storylines going on at once that all seem very interesting and have a lot of potential, especially one involving a new SHIELD agent. Sure, this wasn’t a one-shot like some of the better number one issues Marvel put out (a one-shot can hook the reader in with a complete story and give them a real taste of what the world is like), but this is certainly one of the better first issues where the story continued on.
Ales Kot’s writing is strong. He does a great job balancing all the subplots (which is very good since there are a lot) and character driven scenes, giving them plenty of focus to get their point across without cutting into another story bit or coming off as filler. It feels like a very packed and full issue because of this; you are definitely getting your money’s worth with the story. The ending is also pretty strong as well; a a definite hook that has you wanting to see what comes next. The only gripe I have with it is that one part of the ending is trying to evoke a funny moment after two rather heavy bits. It kind of clashes with the tone, being a bit too goofy and sitcom-esque.
Umm… why do you guys have collars on your suits? Or are you wearing clothing on top of your jumpsuit?)
Speaking of humor, the comic has a humorous tone to it despite it seriousness. Besides that ending, the comic is good at balancing both tones relatively well. The dialogue is pretty strong, with good character building moments and witty exchanges or inner narration constantly through the book. Again, the character work is pretty strong with its using dialogue, character moments, or just small subtle things to help reveal a lot about each of the individual as a whole. However, I still find it odd that there wasn’t nearly as much with Spider-Woman as was with others that really defined her. Besides spelling and grammar errors, this was a strong debut writing wise for this new series.
When I saw Walsh’s artwork back in the first issue of Zero, I said that it looked awfully familiar or had a similar tone to other artists out there. Reading this issue, in particular, the tone and feel is very close to that of David Aja, who does Hawkeye. The way Walsh draws characters with a minimalist style, the panel layouts, the colors (different colorist as well, but again with a similar style), the facial expressions, and even familiar gags Aja used in Hawkeye (like how nudity is covered up) really gave off that vibe of familiarity (and perhaps homage?). The style ultimately works as a whole and there is nothing wrong with it, especially if someone is a big fan of Aja’s style. It personally doesn’t excite me like it would others, but again, it’s perfectly fine and works.
Yes, only you could strap a needle to a mouse like that.
Is It Good?
Secret Avengers #1 is a very strong start for a brand new series. It has some great story, great characters, its own unique feel and flavor, and familiar but stylish artwork. If you are looking for a new and possibly good Avengers series, if this one a look. This could be right up your alley.