REVIEW: Secret Avengers #1

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Our discussion of the new Avengers titles launching as part of Marvel’s Heroic Age continues with Secret Avengers #1. This was a book both of us were looking forward to for different reasons that you’ll see below along with spoilers for the issue.

PTB: I liked this. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but to be honest I wouldn’t know how to describe what I was expecting.

Steve Rogers plan to eliminate threats that the world doesn’t or can’t know about could be a great spin on the character and the Marvel Universe. I was questioning whether this was something that made sense for the character, but the reference to Cap’s experiences in World War II and having just read The Marvels Project got me over that.

KevinMLD: Yeah so Steve Rogers is leading a mission to Mars. This is a TERRIBLE idea. I’ve been the world’s biggest Ed Brubaker fan for years. His Catwoman, Batman, Sleeper, Iron Fist, and Daredevil runs were awesome. His short run on Detective is one of my favorite runs ever. I even enjoyed his less-read Deadenders series, but ever since Captain America: Reborn I haven’t liked ANYTHING he’s done. Captain America is unreadable now. First Reborn just underwhelmed as a story, and than it was followed up with Cap vs. the Tea Party. Then that story featured a blatant apology for offending tea party members a few issues earlier. Now he’s dishing out ex-Cap in space. It’s a terrible choice.

PTB: Reborn was really not great, and it needed to be. As far as the mission to Mars, it’s an odd choice, especially since Cap is going with them. Would you be more accepting of it if he just sent a team in?

KevinMLD: Absolutely. It wouldn’t bother me in the least if he had a team designed specifically to deploy against cosmic threats. Living in the Marvel Universe and coming out of Secret Invasion that almost seems like the responsible thing for him to do. I’m just not sure I’d want it to be this team. Beast? Moon Knight? What are they going to do against a cosmic-level threat? And above all else, it is this team’s FIRST mission and Brubaker is sending them to Mars? Really? It’s just a terrible story telling decision in my opinion.

PTB: The alien artifact they’re chasing is really interesting, but I know nothing of the Serpent Crown. I laughed at myself a little when Rogers said he had someone he could send to investigate Mars because I completely forgot about Nova being in the book. He’s on the cover and is a big part (along with Beast) of what had me interested in the book, but I was completely surprised when they cut to him exploring the Martian contingent working for Roxxon.

I don’t know a thing about this Valkyrie character, but I couldn’t help but think Ms. Marvel could have easily filled in here. She has experience as a spy and has long been a confidant of Rogers.

KevinMLD: Valkyrie is an ex-member of the Defenders. Never liked her like I never liked Thor. But maybe Brubaker can rehab her the way Thor has been rehabbed.

PTB: It’s also interesting how Rogers’ girls are being used to manage the new landscape of the Marvel Universe. Having Sharon Carter (Secret Avengers) keep an eye on Maria Hill (Avengers) and Victoria Hand (New Avengers?) makes for an interesting dynamic.

I was confused by the last page. Is that Nick Fury? and if it is, what does that mean for Secret Warriors?

KevinMLD: I don’t know. If it’s not, giving him an eye patch is a bad design decision because it’s so associated with Fury.

PTB: Deodato’s artwork looks good to my eyes and I like that I’ve been able to follow a monthly with his artwork for a solid few years now (Thunderbolts, Dark Avengers, Secret Avengers). It suits the tone of the book.

KevinMLD: Deodato’s great, but I preferred his art on Hulk a few years back. Overall, I’m just not as interested in this book as I thought I’d be. I think I’ll give Avengers and Thunderbolts another try, but I’m not really planning to follow this book.

PTB: I’m clearly not as bothered by some of the things you don’t like about this book. I’ll stick around for Beast, Nova and Deodato… at least for a little while.

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