Rick Remender returns to the main story in his run on Secret Avengers and takes the available members of his team and investigates the “Red Light District” nation of Bagalia; a nation where villains thrive and anything goes. On top of that, we have Max Fury, the living LMD of Nick Fury who is leading the Shadow Council, heading a new and greatly expanded Masters of Evil team. Frankly, the Secret Avengers seem like they’re waist deep right now and there’s no easy way out.
Read on for my review!
The best part about Remender’s run on Secret Avengers thus far, and there are tons of great things about it, is that he’s not ignoring plot points set up by Ed Brubaker when he started this series a couple of years ago. Max Fury and the Shadow Council were created and then kind of left to hang with no hope of ever clearing up anything about them or their goals. Remender makes sure to show us just what’s going on with Max while making these stories fresh and definitively different from what Brubaker did before.
Part of what makes the title awesome is Remender’s cast of heroes. As a whole, the team is pretty expansive, consisting of the leader Hawkeye, as well as Giant Man, Ant-Man, Valkyrie, Beast, War Machine, Captain Britain, Human Torch, and Venom. However, with most of the team incapacitated or off on other missions, we just focus on a small group consisting of Hawkeye, Ant-Men, Valkyrie and Venom, the latter of which really steals the show. It’s not surprising knowing how well Remender has handled Flash Thompson as Venom over in his own series for the last couple of years, but what he does here really effectively makes him stand out as part of this team. Especially when Flash has never been a character who believed in not killing his enemies, and Hawkeye has to remind him that “Avengers don’t kill”.
Remender also brings back Bagalia, which he introduced back in his first issue on the series. He really illustrates how interesting a place filled with villains, who can literally do anything they want, can be, especially when he drops the team right in the middle of it all.
Mattero Scalera joins Remender in this arc, and he really does well to illustrate the numerous characters as well as Bagalia itself. Every page is literally stuffed with characters, as well as action between them, and Scalera captures it all perfectly. He also handles Venom with perfection, illustrating the fluidity of the symbiote and it’s ever-changing nature, and it makes me excited how he’ll handle the next issue, which is set to feature a barroom brawl between Venom and Taskmaster.
After taking a break from the main story for three issues for an Avengers VS X-Men tie-in, it’s great to have Secret Avengers back. Remender proves again that this book is one of the best Marvel has coming out each month, right up there with his other series Uncanny X-Force. Remender’s proved himself as a writer that comic fans should definitely keep an eye out for, and it’ll always be worth the money to buy something with his name on it.
GO Rating: 4.5/5