Cap´s Secret Avengers
The Writing - Millar shows us the new identities of Steve Rogers, Bill Foster, Hercules and Matt Murdock, as they´re quietly having breakfast, discussing Spider-Man´s shocking news: the fact that the one who was the most reserved about his secret identity has revealed himself and went public is deserving itself that Tony Stark isn´t fooling around. Millar is responsbile for not only a fantastic narrative (combining art and writing) but for excellent dialogues, such as Black Panther and Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Emma Frost, the guys in the coffeeteria and in the ruse in the Geffen-Meyer Chemicals. This is the climax of this issue, when Cap´s crew, after receiving a distress call, is ambushed by Tony Stark´s Avengers and here the struggle between who´s right - an idea conceived since issue # 1 - is elevated to it´s highest ground: 1) Tony Stark - Cap, please. I know you´re angry. I know it´s an enormous change from the way we´ve always worked, but we aren´t living in 1945 anymore. The public doesn´t want masks and secret identities. They want to feel safe when we´re around, and there´s no other way to win back their respect. You´ve known me half my adult life, Cap. You know I wouldn´t do this unless I believed in it with all my heart. We don´t have to fight you. Just give me the chance to tell you our plans for my 21st century overhaul." and 2) Captain America - reaches his hand to shake with Stark´s, as a sign that the agrees, just to plant a scrambler and win some time, showing that he doesn´t share Iron Man´s perspective and point of view at all (Cap´s lack of words were filled by his actions). This issue is about a line being crossed and the point of no return: Marvel Universe will never be the same. Millar is putting friends against friends (as Peter´d said: "Aw, c´mon. The only people who win when we´re fighting each other are the bad guys, big man"). Also this issue shows that despite the fact that Tony´s got more men, that doesn´t mean he has already won, as some big guns are turning him down.
The Art - McNiven can capture perfectly what Millar writes and puts up a beautifull art. I´ll point some examples: 1) Black Panther and Reed Richards - he pencils their body verbalization as a chanel of their speech (you see T´challa upsetness and Reed´s naivity); 2) Tony Stark and Emma - he pencils them very relax, cool and cynic at first, but then, as Emma shows Tony how she really feels, the change of scenario and face´s expressions are awesome. In this issue we get a lot of action, very well executed by McNiven and I dare say one of the best in the Marvel Universe: since the reunion at the coffee house from the teleportion and Cable detecting that it was a trap, Cloak and Wiccan being shot down, to the battle between Tony and Steve, it was magical!!! The battle of the giants: Goliath, Wasp, Atlas and Stature. Spider-Man kicking some serious butt (and cracking jokes about it). Tony really did hurt Cap with some serious punches and Hercules going for his rescue is speechless. Wonderful art. Amazing colors. Terrific issue.
The Verdict - Even having some dialogues that don´t fit, like Spider-Man in charge of the moves, this issue has nothing that depreciates the writing, the art, the covers, so it´s a solid Pick Up!!
5 out 5 Steve Roger´s teeth on the ground