This shouldn’t be confused with the other Secret Avengers comic that I reviewed as this is a completely different run. While there isn’t a lot of action this time around, the plot is interesting and the comic series certainly has a lot of promise. As expected, Shield (Not going to bother with the periods) is very shady and does things that do make them villains in a sense. Batman certainly wouldn’t put up with their shenanigans!
Daisy (AKA, the main character of the current Shield TV series) is the director of Shield and she led the Secret Avengers on an attack to destroy an AIM Agent. Maria Hill did not like this so she forcibly took control of Shield away from Daisy and shut down the whole project. This was simply crossing the line and tarnishing Shield’s reputation. Hill has a point here although things wouldn’t have gone so smoothly if Daisy had decided to actually fight back. It’s a little convenient for Hill that Daisy was so cooperative this time. This switcheroo in terms of leadership did leave the Avengers in a tough spot though, namely Mockingbird.
The concept of the Secret Avengers here is that they don’t even know that they’re on a mission. Their minds are hijacked by Shield before going into each mission and their memories are erased once the battle is over. Once Maria Hill goes back to being in charge, she scrubs their memories and forces them to evacuate the mission. The problem is that this also forced the heroes to leave Mockingbird stranded in the villain base ruled by Taskmaster and stuck in the body (or appearance) of an AIM agent. Getting out of that pickle is certainly going to be quite the feat for her.
As you can imagine, I definitely disagree with Shield’s methods here. Controlling the minds of these heroes (Hawkeye, Black Widow, Mockingbird, Hulk etc) is definitely crossing the lines. The end doesn’t justify the means, but Shield never seemed to really understand that. In Shield’s slight defense, the Hulk shouldn’t be able to be mind controlled at this point, but it certainly doesn’t change the fact that Shield should not have attempted this. I do love to see what Shield’s been reduced to though. Nick Fury is now just an average field agent and likewise with Coulson while Maria Hill and Daisy call the shots. (Until Daisy was fired) Things are just so loopy right now.
There isn’t a whole lot of action like I said earlier, but we do get to see the Hulk take down Graviton with a quick shot. I actually thought the villain was Hyperion for a second since the costume was so similar, but it was more realistic this way. Hyperion would not go down after a single punch! Taskmaster is actually one of the Secret Avengers and spends his time acting sort of like Deadpool. He can be serious one second and then total comic relief the next. He’s a fun character even if he’s totally ripped off from Prometheus. (Now he was an epic villain!) We didn’t get to see Taskmaster fight all that much, but he’s a valuable asset to have on the team.
This volume was mainly for the origin of the Secret Avengers as we saw Daisy and Maria Hill discuss the operation. The main plot with the AIM assassination was really just an excuse to have a little plot going. It was entertaining enough, but nothing really happened since the mission was scrubbed aside from Mockingbird’s plot. I’m looking forward to seeing the team go on an actual mission to see what they’ve got. I also look forward to seeing the rest of the heroes find out about their comrades being used like this. I definitely don’t think that it will be taken very well at all.
The art is solid. It has a darker backdrop than the average Marvel comic which did give me some trouble distinguishing Daisy and Maria Hill a few times, but it looks good for the most part. It looks professional and that’s always a good thing. It’s hard to describe the fight scenes, but they seemed to be good from what I saw. I believe that the writing was also good and the plot was interesting from start to finish. When a comic lacks action, you definitely want the plot to be engaging.
A missed opportunity here for me would be that we didn’t see Bruce Banner much. Since this is essentially the Indestructible Hulk, that would have been a lot of fun since his personality during this time period was really cool. With the Avengers all being mind controlled, we didn’t get to see them talk that much at all. At least they were loyal though and weren’t going to abandon the mission until forced too. Although, since the mission involved destroying someone….it may come at the expense of their heroics. You can see why they didn’t grab Iron Man or Captain America for this team. They’d probably ask a whole lot of questions. (Plus, Extremis should be able to protect Iron Man if you ask me. That was years ago, but the effects should linger)
There really weren’t any unlikable characters. Even though I disagreed with Daisy’s decisions, I could see her (unfortunate) train of thought. None of the characters were over the top or had pointless lines for the chuckles. The comic was serious, but without being over the top and handled itself well. This is a comic series that I could see being very good. With the origin of the team out of the way, the plot can really start and some of the seeds were sown here. Two of the villains (One of them being Graviton and the other being a lady with super strength and/or lasers) have decided to team up because things may get rocky in the future and Mockingbird’s going to have to escape from the big meeting that she was thrown into. The chips have been set and the ball is in the comic’s corner.
Overall, If you like to see your favorite (B) heroes taking on secret stealth missions, this is the comic for you. There is a lot of dialogue, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you because it’s all pretty interesting and you’ll get to learn about the history of the team. It’s also an interesting way to tie into the Shield TV show since Daisy gets a big role. I would have liked to have seen her use some sonic powers though, but maybe in the next volume. I don’t know if I’ll be reading that one anytime soon, but that’s another matter. Seriously though, with the plot out of the way, I’m ready for some action!