Review: Secret Avengers #13

Published on May 31st, 2011

Secret Avengers #13 :Fear Itself. A very apt title as Ed Brubaker is no longer on the book and sometimes with a new creative team being handed off to it can be, well, disastrously awkward. Is that the case with Nick Spencer and Scot Eaton? Does the new creative team take our Secret Avengers down roads that we don’t want to go down, Secret or not? Can I ask more question right up front in my review? Read on to get definitive answers, comic fans.

secretavengers13With the last story arc all wrapped up and a new creative team on Secret Avengers, many questions are still lingering. While this book has been somewhat love and hate, yes, even with Brubaker on it, the general idea is what has won me over. Steve Rogers in charge of a team that goes out  and takes care of bigger, lingering problems covertly in the superhero world of Marvel. However with Fear Itself taking hold, can this comic be both cohesive and bring that espionage action to the forefront of the Fear Itself storyline? Enough of this insightful jibber jabber, on with the review!

Secret Avengers #13 takes place during the opening shots of the Fear Itself story line called Blitzkrieg, U.S.A., in which Sin, as her alternate Norse god persona, is attacking Washington D.C. The first responders, are of course, our group of Secret Avengers consisting of Beast, Ant-Man, and War Machine. As they arrive at the battered Capital Building, Beast , aka Hank McCoy,  finds that an old friend of his has locked himself inside of the Senate hearing floor and will only leave if McCoy comes to his aide. Upon hearing this, McCoy leaps into action to save this mysterious friend of his.

I should say now that while I am a long time follower of the X-Men books, I can’t remember this gentleman that  Hank has come to rescue, but no fear, as I am sure he is just a plot point and was written in for this story, If not many apologies to the longtime fans of Leonard Gary. After reaching Gary , Hank and he have a heart to heart about old times, the civil rights movement and Gary’s support on pushing mutant bills, on behalf of mutant rights, through Congress. Gary then reveals a few unexpected tidbits about himself to Hank and, with Hanks help, is able to broadcast his message to the world mere minutes before the dome caves in and kills him.

This book was unexpectedly touching and brought out a bit of a sentimental, patriotic side of me. The writing is definitely a departure from Brubaker, but Spencer hits all the right chords for this story and for a character named Beast, gives him a lot of humanity. I guess you could call this an unexpected surprise. Eaton’s art work is also very nicely done  and should not be overlooked as it is very crisp and clean, yet another happy surprise for me with this new creative team. This is not Brubaker’s book anymore and this is more than evident with this issue, but that doesn’t make it bad, as Brubaker usually paints his books with much darker themes. This is just using a much lighter and more sentimental coat of paint and showing us a different side of these Secret Avengers…and seeing a different angle can always be a new and exciting thing!

Final Verdict: While Brubaker gave us a darkly shaded world of espionage and secrets within secrets, it looks like Spencer and Eaton are  lightening the mood a bit and giving us a different take. If you ever wanted to jump on board this book but were on the fence, now is the time to do it! This issue brought unexpected heart and warmth to a BIG event.

Sheldon Lee