New team! New writer! New direction! Make way for one of the hottest Marvel writers as Rick Remender takes over and brings with him a new leader and a new incarnation on the Secret Avengers!Secret Avengers #21.1
Welcome to Bagalia… You can’t go five feet without finding some sort of action. It’s the type of place that no matter what you’re action is, it’s all here for you to indulge yourself with. Be it gambling, hookers, kidnapping, or simply good old fashioned crime, it’s here for the taking. That’s what brought Captain America and Hawkeye here. An American Senator has been kidnapped and these two heroes are here to find him, and learn who’s behind it. But that’s not all, Cap is putting Hawkeye through the wringers of a test to prove he’s worthy of becoming the new leader of the Secret Avengers.
Let me take a step back for a second before I continue forward… From the beginning, Secret Avengers seemed to be a mysterious book. From who was on the team to what they were doing, you weren’t quite sure what you were going to be getting yourself into before reading the first issue. For the better part of a full year, Ed Brubaker brought his skills to the title making it the best Avengers book that Marvel offered. He then gave way to a very short stint (in my opinion, way too short of a stint) from Nick Spencer who led the team through Fear Itself. While Spencer went a different angle to have a little more character-driven series of issues, the title remained on top of my list as the best of the four Avengers books. Then, Warren Ellis stepped in. I know I’ve said it many times before, but Ellis came in with the idea of doing very high brow and high concept single issue plots. While some were decent, others were unreadable and problematic, or at least from my point of view they were. His time came to an end with three consecutive issues that finally pleased me, but I was still glad to see his stint come to a close.
And now we have Rick Remender. Remender is a writer I hold dear to my heart. He was the creator of one of my all time favorite series, Fear Agent, and though I honestly wish I’d read his Uncanny X-Force title, he’s gained a lot of steam from that book and has been knocking the socks off of X-fans everywhere. He comes into Secret Avengers with a brand new plan and a brand new threat that excites the hell out of me. I’ll reveal the new threat below in white so I don’t ruin it for everyone. Just highlight it to see who I’m talking about.
The Masters of Evil! The Masters of FREAKIN’ Evil have returned!
Remender opens the book with Cap and Hawkeye bantering. But unlike the typical banter used by Brian Michael Bendis, this felt right. Cap and Hawkeye have been friends and rivals for a damn long time. They may know each other about as well as any two Avengers would. Cap is Hawkeye’s mentor and, in some ways, Hawkeye might be the son Cap never had. Their dialog isn’t stale or unfunny. It doesn’t get old or detract from the plot of the book. In fact, it enhances the book. Hawkeye’s always been a fiery character who wants to prove he can lead. Cap’s always been level-headed and knows what it takes to lead. He’s had to put Hawkeye through test after test whether it is the West Coast Avengers, judging him as the leader of the Thunderbolts, or simply gauging him to see if he’s ready to handle the reins of the Secret Avengers. These two have always challenged each other’s abilities and leadership qualities. It’s great to see Remender use their relationship in a way that makes you think he fully gets it. Hawkeye doesn’t have to be a quipster or entirely happy-go-lucky. His talents can show for themselves and, while Cap may not always like it, Clint Barton has usually made good on his boasts.
Joining Remender is Patrick Zircher. Zircher’s got a style that reminds me of the classic comic book superhero style that I honestly prefer over most and the style that’s always made the Ultimate Marvel Universe striking but also more realistic than the regular Marvel U. His Ghost Rider and Princess Python are drawn very nicely and they’re pretty cool to look at as the Rider flew into the action and Python used her gigantic snake to capture Cap. It’s definitely a style I appreciate and made the visual side of this issue a perfect compliment to Remender’s first issue.
In a couple weeks, the regular artist, Gabriel Hardman, joins Remender as they begin their run and, if you ask me, this series is certainly in the right hands.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|This is a .1 issue from Marvel that does what it should. It introduces a new era and should get some X-Force fans to cross the line and try out Remender’s new take. Zircher’s art is solid and fits the mood of Remender’s mostly character-driven first issue. Great reveal to a new threat on the horizon.||Not much. I’m just so damn excited for this new era of the book.|
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