Review: Secret Avengers #6

Published on October 28th, 2010

Secret Avengers #6 marks the beginning of a new story-arc for Steve Rogers and his team. Brubaker is taking them to the far East for this adventure. Do be aware when you read the rest of this review if you havn’t read the issue yet, I do discuss the spoilers! So let me get straight into it and tell you about this new story-arc and how it started. The good news is this is still dealing with the Shadow Council and the sentient Nick Fury life model, it’s just seeing them causing Steve and team grief in a different way. This time the Shadow Council seem to be working with the Hai-Dai, a band of previously thought disbanded ninja’s whose leader was the evil father of Shang-Chi, the ‘Master of Kung-Fu’. The Shadow Council are after an ancient artifact called the ‘Eyes of The Dragon’ (also the title of this story-arc) which has the power to bring the dead back to life. Now seen as though the Hai-Dai are active again, even though their leader is dead… take a guess at who they and the Shadow Council want to bring back to life? Yep, you got it. Shang-Chi’s father.

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The issue starts with Shang-Chi being ambushed in his sleep by an assassin group of the Hai-Dai. He knows something is up and that it could involve his evil father, and is joined in the battle against them by the secretive and seriously cool, Prince of Orphans, who sends Shang-Chi to Steve once they’ve finished with the last of the ambush group. Steve fills Shang-Chi in on everything that has happened and on all the intel discovered by the Prince of Orphans about the Hai-Dai and the Shadow Council, and the possible resurrection of his father. After some research by Beast on the artifact at hand, Steve, Black Widow and Shang-Chi head to an ancient arts exhibition in Hong-Kong, where the dragon statue holding the Eyes of The Dragon is said to be. They get there to find that the original Gem eyes have been replaced with glass ones, and the trio are suddenly ambushed by more Hai-Dai. This can only mean bad news, and the trio suddenly start to wonder whether Shang-Chi’s father has been brought back from the dead so soon?

The spoiler at the end of the issue is that yes, Shang-Chi’s father has indeed come back from the dead, and is hanging out in the Altai mountains with the decoy Nick Fury, called Max, and Commander Thorndrake, leader of the Shadow Council. The last page reveal is very similar to what happens in the film ‘The Mummy’, in that Shang-Chi’s father is only half revived, and he needs to absorb the life of his son to become complete. Basically he looks like a zombie at the moment, and has to wear a bitchin’ helmet which if I was him I’d still keep on even after my face was all pretty again because it’s just so damn cool.

What did I think of this issue then? I thought it was a heck of a lot better than anything I’ve read from this series before. This was spectacular. This is what I hoped Brubaker would pull out the bag for the second story-arc. We’re seeing the same villains from the first story-arc still causing terror across the globe and it feels as if I know them well enough to now to appreciate their place in this world. I’m glad the plot revolving around the decoy Nick Fury is being dragged out, because I think it’s a juicy sub-plot that could play out to be highly interesting in the long run.

I also love the characters we’re seeing here, and the setting of the story. The Eastern environment and setting is great, and it reminds me very much of the old Immortal Iron Fist stories that Brubaker used to write, especially the first volume of that series he wrote called ‘The Last Iron Fist Story’, which featured the awesome charcter, Orson Randall. Brubaker has a real knack for writing good stories which are centered around far-eastern culture. I’ll also mention that Deodato’s artwork also really suits the eastern vibe, and it was as stylistic as ever in this issue! Shang-Chi and the Prince of Orphans were two really cool characters to throw into the mix for this story. There was also a mention in this issue of Steve Rogers telling Sharon to “get Pete Wisdom on the line”, which sounds super interesting, but for what reason Steve needs him we do not know yet. We’ll have to wait and see.

The new story this issue introduced seems wonderful, and I can tell the following issues are going to be just as good, or at least I hope. It’s a well paced read and this issue defines the meaning of ‘bang for your buck’. Even though I don’t use bucks…

Rob Andrews
Rob@ComicImpact.com