Review: Secret Avengers #3

Published on July 31st, 2010

I had a hard time taking in what I had just read when I finished this 3rd issue of Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato’s Secret Avengers. I was not expecting Brubaker to make this story so cosmic, as I could probably say that everything about this issue was cosmic material. The weird thing is as well is that as much as I love Marvel’s cosmic comics with all my heart, I am a bit scared about this series getting engrossed in the cosmic stuff. I think that this story could lose it’s way if it is not handled with the upmost care. It is with a pinch of naivety that I say I am worried Ed Brubaker can’t handle a cosmic comic. Remember that pinch of naivety though, as I could be well wrong.

secretavengers3This issue doesn’t explain an awful lot more than we already know about the mysteries of this cult called The Shadow Council, the serpant crowns and so forth. In a way we are given more questions to add to our ever growing list of questions. Do you remember that list? It’s called our, “What the fuck is going on in Secret Avengers” list. Yeah, that list!

Now don’t get me wrong I am still enjoying this book, and for the most part, I think everyone reading it is too. I just need to see some plot points explained already so I can keep up with it and not feel like I’m being left in the dark. This issue introduced a character who was very shortlived called Archon, who is cool giant robot. He aids Steve and the team in fighting Nova (who is possessed by the serpant crown), and explains that he was one of 3 garudians designed by The Watcher to guard over a great evil power below the surface of Mars, that if released will bring about the end of the Universe, and goes onto explain that Nova’s new crown is trying to release it. Archon unfortunatly then gets his arse handed to him when Nova beats him up, because the power of the crown combined with the force of the Nova Prime is too much to handle. Now it is up to Steve and his team to do something about it. Meanwhile, we learn about the leader of this strange snake cult we’ve seen cropping up before, and that their leader is a cowboy called Aloysius Thorndrake from the time 1865, or that he a descendant of that man, it is unclear which. Nick Fury pops his head up and claims to be this man’s ‘Head of Security’. I still know nothing about this group though, aside from the fact they are called The Shadow Council, and that their headquaters is in Texas. It’s good to be able to refer to this group by a name now, but that is quite literally all we know about them. I think it’s especially important to have some of the Nick Fury bits explained.

The artwork is good, as always and some of the great fight scenes are drawn brilliantly. For example, the panel I have included above was my favourite panel of the issue. It speaks volumes for how epic this comic can at times come across as. It’s all drawn well. Though the first 2 pages of the western introduction looked almost painted, as if on Photoshop or something similar, which came across as slightly lazy in my opinion. I assume that was just the colourist. Still, something seemed a tad off about those 2 pages.

As much as I enjoyed this issue, I really do think it’s about time we got some explanation for what is going on. The next issue is apparantly the concluding issue, so we should get everything we need to know then, but that seems like an awful lot unless parts of the story are carrying over into the next story arc. Still, it’s fun. I hope Brubaker keeps it on track and doesn’t get too obsessed with the cosmic mumbo-jumbo.

All in all, a damn fun read. But more explanation please Mr.Brubaker! It should make a great trade paper back.

Rob Andrews