Sunday, 17 February 2013

Marvel NOW! Secret Avengers #1 Review

Secret Avengers was a series I always wanted to get into Pre-Marvel NOW! but never quite found the right jumping-on point, so when I saw it would be getting a new #1 as part of Marvel NOW! I was excited to get hold of it. After the first issue, I'm happy to say I'm still excited about this series. Secret Avengers #1 is a cinematic, exciting read which should please old fans and newcomers alike.

Secret Avengers #1 sees Agent Phil Coulson recruit the talents of Black Widow and Hawkeye to be part of a new SHIELD-controlled Secret Avengers team, however there's a catch. The missions that they'll be working on are so top secret that even they aren't allowed to know about them! And so, a memory implant has to be fitted into the brains of the pair so that the knowledge of these missions can be removed once they're accomplished.
This is a cool concept, however it's strangely handled in this issue. When the pair first hear about it they're completely against it, but then Agent Coulson tells them something, and suddenly they can't wait to get out in the field. It was a strange decision to not let the reader know about why the pair joined the team, but as long as we find out why in the next few issues then perhaps I'll understand the decision. Still, it's a move that isn't going to please everyone.

That small gripe aside, the story of this issue was very good. Nick Spencer uses the first issue almost as a one-shot tale, to set the tone of how this team is going to work and what the story is going to be like - and it's not as honourable as you may think. Straight away Spencer makes it clear that SHIELD has some ulterior motives, and it makes for a tense team dynamic. This is best shown at the end of the book with a nice twist that took me by surprise and got me interested in the next issue.
Plus if you're new to the Marvel Universe you have nothing to fear jumping into this book. It features characters from The Avengers movie and requires little background info, making it perfect for new readers.

The art in this book by Luke Ross and Matthew Wilson works well with the title: it has a dark feel to it which is great for the darker story. But, it does drop in quality a little when the action stops and the talking begins. It's in these panels where the art loses some detail and becomes less impressive. Overall though, there are few complaints I can make about the art.


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