Thursday, July 26, 2012

Secret Avengers #29

Hoo boy. I’m a big fan of the costumed villains of the Marvel U, so I’m pretty happy with this issue. Rick Remender absolutely packs this thing with characters. Most of whom I recognize, but I’ll admit I’m a bit fuzzy on a couple.

It’s pretty funny, after two or three issues in space, it’s like nothing happened and we’re right back dealing with the Father storyline. Evil robots infiltrating the team and plans for world domination from the Secret Empire. It does feel like the John Steel/Max Fury thing is out of nowhere, a bit. I didn’t read this book for awhile, has that story been sitting since issue 12?

Our heroes are Hawkeye, Valkyrie, frat-boy Venom, and a suspicious Ant-Man. That’s it. The rest of the team is off dealing with other problems, so having them face off against this many bad guys is not gonna go well. I do have some hope that Eric O’Grady isn’t a robot, though; it seems he’s showing some remorse over his “situation” so perhaps he’s salvageable. (It also makes me laugh that Black Widow is just hanging at the Lighthouse HQ while her team is in danger.) Couldn’t Hawkeye wrangle up a couple of reserves?

Two villains take center stage, Taskmaster and the new Princess Python. But there are a LOT more in cameos and in just a couple panels. Here’s who I spotted: Scarecrow, Whiplash, Brothers Grimm, Ringer, Constrictor, El Diablo, Crossfire, Griffon, Carrion, Killer Shrike, Stilt-(Wo)Man, Madcap, Vengeance, Circus of Crime, Coachwhip, Digitek?, U-Foes, Batroc, Madame Masque, Arcade, the BiBeast (!!!). And there’s a couple I don’t remember. Some Octopus lady, a big gal, possibly Dread Knight or Dark Wraith, and a couple ladies I think Remender resurrected in his Punisher series. Help me out, nerds! Who are these last couple folks?

So yeah, I think our heroes might be in trouble.

Matteo Scalera does a serviceable job, but he’s got big shoes to fill. Gabriel Hardman’s work was extraordinary, and Warren Ellis had a row of fantastic artists for his whole run. Scalera’s work is a tad dark, and his takes on these classics are a tad scratchy. That said, his work fits the tone of the story well. I’d just love to see some of these villains from someone like Patrick Zircher or Scott Kolins.


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