Thursday, January 19, 2012

Secret Avengers #21

What a wrap-up to an entertaining run. Warren Ellis delivers his last word on the Avengers with the same gonzo, original ideas that he’s delivered through his run. Utilizing a nice forgotten piece of Marvel minutiae, the Secret Avengers invade a ONE base (Office of National Emergency, last seen around the X-Men’s Decimation) to root out a Shadow Council spy. I wasn’t pleased to see Cap resorting to torture (by association), especially when it worked once again.

I did like that Ellis surprises us with the actual traitor, and it is all worth it for the great battle scenes in the office building’s basement. The weird, tentacled creatures are pretty reminiscent of those in The Mist from a few years ago, but it’s very different seeing them clearly blasting their way through office building floors and lashing out at heroes.

Ellis makes sure to give almost every member of the team a few lines, although he saves the best for Steve Rogers, Beast, and Valkyrie. The potential in this lineup really is fantastic, I suppose Ed Brubaker deserves the credit for that. The straight-up heroics of War Machine make a great contrast with the more… unrestrained methods of Moon Knight and Black Widow.

I love Stuart Immonen’s artwork. His sleek, powerful War Machine is one of the best Iron Man style designs that I’ve ever seen. I love that you can see the difference between Sharon Carter and Valkyrie by their flowing battle-hair. And the aforementioned creature design is a great blend of sci-fi and horror. I know most people love this creative team for their Nextwave work, but I would have loved more straight-up super-heroics like this.


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