The Secret Avengers have definitely been in better situations. A team that split up, has a mole, and is up against an entire army of super villains all possessed by the evil Abyss (and lead by a souped up Taskmaster)? And Venom’s the only one able to deal with it? Yeah, the team’s chances are looking rather dire right now. But that’s what makes it exciting, right?
This is the sort of comic in which you know the good guys are going to win, but you can’t figure out how the hell that’s going to work. Seriously, it’s Venom and the double-agent Ant-Man against an army sized Masters of Evil, who are all possessed by Abyss as well as members of their own team (including Hawkeye and Valkyrie) who are likewise possessed. Flash Thompson is a capable hero, but he’s certainly not going to be able to handle all of this on his own, and all of this is what makes this issue, and this story, so intriguing. Plus, with a never ending flow of interesting villains from Marvel’s past, Remender inserts tons of awesome action.
I feel like one of the aspects that makes Secret Avengers stand apart from Uncanny X-Force (as far as comparing Remender’s books go), Remender gets to be a lot more comedic with Secret Avengers. Even though the situation the team is in is real dire, he doesn’t shy away from writing these characters how they usually are—in this case, Flash Thompson and Eric O’Grady as a couple of witty one-liner slinging heroes.
What really makes this series work, and what Remender really got right when he started writing it, is all of the character work. He knows exactly how to voice these characters, and exactly how to make any of them work with (or against) each other perfectly. A team up between Ant-Man and Venom? Never thought I’d see that, but it’s awesome. Black Widow against Hawkeye? Super awesome. And the match teased at the end for next issue? Oh man, I am super excited.
Matteo Scalera continues to wow me with his work on this series. When it was announced that Gabriel Hardman was leaving the title, I was pretty upset given the fact that he’s a personal favorite of mine, and I’d only seen Scalera’s work on issues of Dan Way’s Deadpool series. After seeing preview art of his work for this series, I was definitely put back in my place because his style is perfectly suited to this story. I also believe that Remender has adjusted his style of writing to match the art, instilling that aforementioned comedy to a greater degree than it was in previous stories.
Remender certainly delivers another successful issue with this title, but knowing that the series is ending (or at least he is leaving as writer) with #37, it puts the book in a bit of another light. Specifically, it has me wondering what sort of conclusion he is working towards. Whatever it is, the road there is full of great character-work and awesome action. If the last six issues are as good as anything that came before then I’m sure we can stay confident in the fact that this run will conclude quite nicely.
GO Rating: 4/5