Secret Avengers #12 (Comics Review)

Recently writer Ales Kot turned Secret Avengers on its head when he revealed that Modok had actually been the one to have planned all the bad stuff that had been happening to the Secret Avengers and Maria Hill, and that at the same time his favoured henchman Snapper had also been quite actively involved in his master’s machinations. It was truly a head-twisting moment, as far as I’m concerned, and it helped put into perspective certain other things that the series had been developing of late. And all of that went hand-in-hand with the excellent art that the series art team had been putting out, especially of late.

In Secret Avengers #12 we see some more momentous things. The revelation about Modok has certainly been a game-changer, but events elsewhere have already gained steam and this issue deals largely with the fallout of such. If you are a fan of Secret Avengers in general or the characters found herein in particular, then this is an absolute must-read issue because we finally learn some of what goes on in Modok’s mind, and that’s more valuable than almost anything else.

I’ve absolutely loved almost all of the issues in this series, and this new issue from this past week certainly stands among the best of the bunch. And that’s saying something since the series contains some really spectacular installments, especially the last issue which was pretty much a perfect issue by any estimation, at least for me. Things have come to a head now, with all the chess pieces in motion and many of the most significant moves already made as well. Now we just need to see how things go with Hawkeye, Coulson and Modok in Venezuela, and then with Nick Fury Jr. and the Fury in the Helicarrier, with Black Widow and Lady Bullseye in Tlön (the homeworld of the Fury I believe), and then with Jessica and Maria and Snapper, also in Venezuela.

I loved this issue, just to repeat myself. It had all the awesomeness of the previous installment and still managed to top it up with some of the things that happened here, such as the fact that many of the mysteries introduced early on were explained, finally, and we were able to move into the realm of countermoves and counter-countermoves once the heroes kind of realize exactly what is happening. That was definitely a big kick I must say. As readers you always have this particular god-mode perspective on things, so it is always a nice feeling when the characters also get on the same page as you, making it that much easier to get into the story and the narrative and everything.

What I’m trying to get at here is that since the start, this series has been one where the characters keep falling into ever more absurd yet weirdly realistic mess. At least insofar as a comics-based SFF world exists, and that kind of a dichotomy is all the more readily believable too. After all, this is a series where we have characters like Modok and Snapper and also a talking, sentient bomb named Vladimir. Everything goes right?

And this issue plays on all of that absurdity, levels it up a bit, and then just goes to town with everything. Seriously, that’s what this issue is all about. It is about an unrestrained narrative free of any kind of seriousness, one that just enjoys the core concept of fun that the series established back in the first issue.

For all of that, the issue also plays out pretty quick. There are a lot of things happening as you might expect, and Ales Kot navigates through all of that at a really fast pace, which really does help in the end.

Michael Walsh is thea rtist here with Matthew Wilson on colours, VC’s Clayton Cowles on the letters and Tradd Moore and Matthew on the cover. The art here really was excellent. So much absurdity here (there’s that word again), especially in the scenes set on Tlön, where Black Widow and Lady Bullseye come up against a wholly unexpected threat. Or in the scenes where Modok reveals his elaborate scenes and the facial expressions and body language of everyone involved really pull you into the narrative. Pretty damn good work all around.

What else is there to be said?

Rating: 10/10

More Secret Avengers: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #11.

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