Sunday, 1 December 2013

Secret Avengers, Volume 1: Reverie Review (Nick Spencer, Luke Ross)

Remember that line from The Avengers movie during the Battle of New York where Black Widow says “This is just like Budapest” and Hawkeye says “You and I remember Budapest very differently”? Their Budapest story opens this volume. Also in this book is Agent Phil Coulson - whether that’s a good thing or no, depends on if you like him. Me? Nah. He’s boring. The guy’s monotone and wears a suit, I never got his appeal.

Nick Spencer, writer of the awful Image comics Morning Glories and Thief of Thieves, pens yet another dismal comic with Secret Avengers. Why Hawkeye and Black Widow sign up for covert ops isn’t revealed but it’s apparently a big deal - Coulson whispers it to them so we don’t hear - and Sam Jackson Nick Fury rounds out the team. Iron Patriot’s in it but not really because there are multiple empty Iron Patriot suits used as strike drones, and Hulk’s suddenly introduced to the team in the latter part of the book because as the recent TV series proved, SHIELD stories without superheroes are not interesting.

To help ease their guilty consciences, Black Widow and Hawkeye are given memory implants which wipe their memories after each mission and makes them perfectly able to withstand hostile interrogation (torture) by giving them no memory of why they’re there besides the target. The book mostly follows this rather bland powerless team (Hulk’s yet to make his cameo) through some rote missions - the Budapest story is ok but over very quickly - until they target a fairly big-ish villain, the head of AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), also known as those beekeeper dudes you sometimes see pop up.

Spencer’s writing is uninteresting at best. The SHIELD personnel just waffle on in the most interminable we’re-terribly-important-clever-and-so-very-cool language that’s so flat to read. You know the kind I mean where characters waffle on about nothing for pages and the dull writer pretends what they’re saying is witty - it’s just filler from a hack. Luke Ross’ art is similarly forgettable - ink heavy, decent but not very special or imaginative. Secret Avengers is definitely one of the most forgettable and boring titles in the Marvel NOW! lineup.

Secret Avengers - Volume 1: Reverie

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