Warren Ellis’ run on Secret Avengers comes to a close with the help of Stuart Immonen and a Shadow Council conspiracy involving a couple alien monsters.
Secret Avengers #21
The Secret Avengers fake a fire and crash in on the higher ranking members of O*N*E (Office of National Emergency) in Houston. Steve Rogers knows one of them is a Shadow Council plant and is actually willing to allow Black Widow and Moon Knight torture the captive audience to find the person who is keeping their allegiance a secret. A former Marine Lieutenant named Hood steps up and confesses she was the member of the Shadow Council placed there to retrieve a pair of human/alien hybrids with the capability to teleport an entire army of invaders. The team escapes as the Beast destroys the building to destroy the monsters. For her role in betraying O*N*E and the Shadow Council, Lt. Hood decides to make her own consequences.
It’s funny that Warren Ellis’ best work on this series has come at the end of his run. This is another very well scripted issue. The entire book has a ticking clock counting down to the monsters’ awakening. It’s a concept that actually works well in this book. There’s a building tension from it that, as the clock reaches 0 seconds, the real threat exposes itself. The entire series of events takes place in a matter of about twelve minutes and is well enough written to give this real time thriller a true since of pacing and setting. It’s definitely a solid issue that mostly succeeds.
If there’s something that I wish could have been built up to over this entire run it’s a sense of a big plan for the Shadow Council. I don’t so much mind the one-and-done format Ellis went with, but each issue featured the Shadow Council as the main antagonist, but did nothing to add to what Ed Brubaker built as a foundation in the first twelve issues of the series. The Shadow Council comes off looking more like an intangible boogeyman than a real threat. In fact, I could argue that Ellis wrote them more like a bumbling Cobra than an actual outfit that had real plans and a stable series of maneuvers that would continue to make things difficult for Steve Rogers and his Secret Avengers. Here, they borrow a page from the more cartoony escapades of Nazi occultists only for it to be fairly easily defeated by the Secret Avengers. It almost gave this run a more campy feel than the darker and harder hitting issues by Brubaker and Nick Spencer.
Here’s hoping Rick Remender brings some of his Uncanny X-Force magic to the series as he now takes over.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Another exciting and well plotted issue from Ellis. Stuart Immon’s artwork is certainly a welcomed treat. Cool idea with the teleporting monsters that actually uses its body to do the porting rather than magic or science.||Shadow Council’s present, but no real threat from their schemes or plans. They come off very campy and almost as dopey as the 80s version of Cobra did to G.I. Joe.|
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