Review: Secret Avengers #1

Published on June 1st, 2010

Hold your horses a minute, Moses. I’ve got another commandment you can stick on your big ol’ tablet right here. If any aspiring comic creators even dare to set out in aim of creating a comic book as awesome as Secret Avengers #1, then I may be inclined to have to strangle them. Why? Because when I read a comic this awesome, it makes my job of reviewing it a living hell. I don’t know where to start!

That’s why this review is, alas, a few days overdue. I’m ever so sorry about that readers. But if you could even begin to imagine the amount of excitment I had for this series prior to its release last week, then you’d hopefully appreciate my position.

I think every comic book fan out there was interested in this new Avengers team series because of the fact that it is a complete odd-ball line up of characters. I personally was over the moon when the characters were revealed, as for me, the team includes some of my favourite Marvel heros. It’s not often something like this comes up, for any adoring fan. There was a lot I loved about this first issue, and most (if not all) of my incredibly high expectations were met.

So what’s the deal with the Secret Avengers?

secretavengers1Well for a start, they are not a superhero team like you would think of, say, the Avengers or the Justice League of America. The Secret Avengers are more of an ‘on-call’ task force (like a team, but a bit different), whose job is to deal with the threats to the world that exist in the shadows, the secret threats to mankind. The Secret Avengers use stealth methods and techniques of infiltration to get their jobs done quickly, and in secret. No one is to know about this team.  What this says to me, is that this is a superhero squad who will never go up against an arch-enemy of a specific bad guy (that’ll be left to teams like The Avengers), instead I can imagine they’d go up against groups of cultists, or objects of mass destruction for example.

This first issue does two things. It kicks off a strong storyline with no dilly-dallying around, and it provides complete backstory on most (not all) of the team members. This is exactly what you want from a first issue. The general plot is quite thick already and Brubaker has got it well under-way, so if you’re reading this review, then I’ll assume you’ve read this comic, in which case do excuse me if I don’t explain what happened. You’d be reading for hours if I do. You have Steve Rogers leading his team on a mission to find a mystical Serpant Crown, which it turns out an evil organisation (who look like a more serious version of Hydra) also want it. Nova gets lost on Mars, and a heck of a lot of other crazy stuff happens (I have no idea how Brubaker fitted all he did into this issue, even I’m having trouble describing it here). It was powerful and delivered well for a first issue.

I predict we are going to see the Secret Avengers deal with magic, the occult and outer-space adventures in this series. I can feel that is the essense of what this comic is going to be. This is not you’re usual team book for sure, and I think it’s so refreshing to have a team book this different to the rest out there. If I were to describe the atmosphere I got from this first issue, I’d describe it as a mixture of Immortal Iron Fist and Secret Warriors.

The Steve Rogers re-design is quite incredible, it gives me the impression that it has taken slight influence from some of the characters of the recent Justice Society of America series at DC Comics, when drawn by Dale Eaglesham. I also trust that Brubaker will handle Steve Rogers well throughout the run of this comic, as he is the man to write Steve. I am interested to see how Brubaker will handle characters like Nova, as I am a big fan of Nova and have read very close to everything about the character since the Annihilation War, it will be exciting to see how he grasps him. The stuff with Nova in this issue does look crazy-awesome though, I can imagine the team, upon arriving on Mars, fighting against a possessed Nova. That would be awesome!

The big reveal was that the leader of this mysterious cult who are also going after the Serpant Crown, appear to have Nick Fury as their leader! I cannot go into it more than that, as because this is only the first issue, I have nothing to go on to make assumptions! Crazy stuff! I demand the next issue to come out very, very soon so I can read more of this great comic!

Until we have more issues to read, I cannot compare this series against itself. For now, though, this series delivered well in its first issue, and I have faith it will continue to deliver at this remarkable level.

If you want a well-written space adventure, with a mix up of cool characters, topped off with a mysterious cult and magical crowns. Then this is for you. Plus you have great artwork by Mike Deodato too, whose work fits this book without question. Don’t miss out on this series. I can tell it’s going to be blowing my mind at least, for a long time.

Rob Andrews