Marvel began its relaunch of Secret Avengers on quite a high last month. While I didn’t read the previous series due to a lack of interest, I picked up the new #1 as part of my read-through of all the new series being launched as part of All-New Marvel NOW! Bringing together Hawkeye, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, Maria Hill, Modok, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, this new series seems to be one of the most exciting of all those that Marvel has launched in the last three and a half months. The creative team and the cast are both solid, and that’s what I expected from the sequel issue.
Secret Avengers #2 picks right up from where the first issue left off and it includes some truly awesome moments that make you jump up and down with glee. You don’t really expect some kind of big flashy heroics from these guys, at least I don’t. I think of all of them as more subtle than that, much more… mature even. Writer Ales Kot wrapped up this short opening arc very well, giving a great taste of all the characters involved and the art team delivered on the goods as well.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, this series is really light-hearted. Sure, we deal with some gruesome stuff as a matter of course, and get to see some morally gray characters shown off in a good light, but all in all, this is one of the most fun books that Marvel has on the stands right now. A large part of that is because we have (I think) nutcases like Hawkeye and awesomely fun characters like Black Widow and Spider-Woman. We have a villain like Modok. We have the wisecrackers Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, both of whom are masters of subtlety. Kind of.
Picking up where we left off, in this issue we see how a disparate group of characters can be brought together by circumstances out of their control. The way that Hawkeye ends up on this team is the perfect example of that. We don’t get to see any particular special ops stuff from these characters, but we see how each of them works best in his/her own environment, or even out of it. Ales Kot mixes up all of it very well until it comes together for a very cohesive whole.
In this issue, I loved best the back-and-forth between Coulson and Fury. These two are shown to have a lot of chemistry between them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where Nick Fury went to great lengths to bring Coulson back from the dead (more on this in Marvel Agents of SHIELD television show, reviews here). Coulson has been an important part of the MCU and we see some of his history with Fury bleed through in this series. Their chemistry is natural and provides a lot of great moments to grin like a maniac.
We also have some extremely interesting moments with Modok and Maria Hill. These two are a very unlikely duo and yet the chemistry between them is great as well. Ales Kot writes them both well, especially Modok, who was the star of this issue with his dialogue and his monologue as well. I would definitely love to see more of him as the series progresses.
Black Widow, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye don’t get to do much this time, but they still get a worthy outing here, and that’s what matters most to me. I loved how Black Widow and Spider-Woman snarked on Hawkeye all the time, elevating his uncomfortableness and just generally making fun of him. Lots of laugh-out moments here where these three are concerned. Ales Kot seems to have a good handle on all of them.
For the art, we have Michael Walsh on the pencils, Matthew Wilson on the colours and VC’s Clayton Cowles on the letters, same as last time. I mentioned in my review last time that the art team was especially good and the stylised artwork worked really well for me with the characters involved. That continued this week as well with the new issue. The pencils are still good, and so are the colours. I really love how simple and yet elegant Walsh’s pencils are, and how vibrant Wilson’s colours are. These two are most definitely a good fit for the title, and I want them to have a long run on this title.
Overall, a much better issue than last time.
More Secret Avengers: #1.