Friday, May 28, 2010

Secret Avengers #1

The rollout of the new Avengers titles continues with the Secret Avengers.

It's something of an odd concept - I suppose it's the Avengers by way of Mission: Impossible. The idea is that Captain Steve Rogers (Capt. America, natch) has assembled a covert team of operatives to handle the dark menaces outside of the public eye.

(By the way, shouldn't Cap be promoted if he's going to be the head of SHIELD? Just asking.)

To that end he's assembled a team that seems to be chosen at random. I can understand adding the Black Widow and War Machine for their backgrounds, and I love seeing the Beast back on the team, but the Valkyrie, Moon Knight, Ant Man and Nova seem to be odd additions. Maybe it's just me.

As written by Ed Brubaker, the team jumps right in at the start of the story, invading a Roxxon office to acquire a dangerous (and mysterious) object. That leads them to an offworld site and a battle with a mysterious (yet familiar) power - and a strange organization with a surprising leader.

The art is by Mike Deodato with colorist Ranier Beredo, but it doesn't seem like a good fit so far - the story is very dark and small, while Dedato excels at those bigger-than-life moments.

The biggest problem with the story is that it's all setup - introducing the characters and just hints about the true nature of what they're facing. The whole concept seems shaky - why are they trying to keep their existence a secret? Shouldn't they use less distinctive costumes?

I have to say, this feels like a shaky start so far - but perhaps, as the team comes together and the storyline becomes more clear, these problems will clear up.

Here's hoping!

Grade: B-

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