Man, I really want to like this comic, but I have some concerns. It is called “Secret” Avengers, and the line-up reflects that. Phil Coulson, Nick Fury Jr. Quake, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Black Widow all fit nicely into the espionage world. The villain, the current AIM Scientist Supreme and his fantastic team of underlings are perfect too. But next issue, Nick Spencer is adding the Hulk! Why? Hulk doesn’t belong on this team, and he already stars in so many other books! Keep things on the DL in this book, man! Add in another stealthier like Black Panther or Tigra or something! I’m even OK with a more military addition like War Machine. But Hulk just doesn’t seem to fit to me.
This is very much a middle chapter, with the main team mostly exploring the aftermath of AIM’s actions in previous issues. The excitement is focused on Fury Jr and Quake as they attend a military trade show. Spencer decides to further clear the deck of old Howling Commandos, killing off when he tries to aid the SHIELD agents. I don’t know the guy too well, but I always get concerned about killing off long-standing characters when their deaths aren’t “earned.”
I am a sucker for SHIELD books, ever since the old Nick Fury vs. SHIELD series in the ‘80s. But man, I do have a problem with Quake becoming the director of SHIELD. I understand the desire to keep your cast young, but when the characters are commenting that their boss isn’t old enough to drink? That’s a problem. Maria Hill has been a great addition to the Marvel U, and she’s now well-established in both movies and TV shows. Daisy Johnson/Quake has a lot of potential, but there is no way she should have the top job over “Acting” Director Maria Hill. I’m hoping this is an ongoing plot point; I just can’t imagine too many SHIELD agents taking orders from a kid who should be a freshman in college.
Luke Ross is doing a tremendous job on this book. I’ve spoken before about how much I love his Hawkeye and Black Widow, but his ability to keep everyone “classic” looking is amazing. To me, Mockingbird’s current look was established by David Lopez in the Hawkeye & Mockingbird title. Mock looks dead on perfect in this book. Totally on-model and consistent. Mentallo looks great too; carrying a modern look while maintaining his historical gear and uniform.