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Secret Avengers #27 - Sacred Ground Review

4

Who's that on the cover? Could that really be Captain Mar-Vell? This Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover has less X-Men that the title would suggest but we're headed in an interesting direction.

How many times has Mar-Vell returned from the dead now? It's hard not to be skeptical.

The Good

With the apparent return of Captain Mar-Vell due to the use of a bit of the power of the Phoenix Force, we can't help but wonder what this really means. Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) plays a big role here as she and Noh'Var have turned against the Avengers in order to side with the Kree. The fact that Carol's here with Mar-Vell and because we know she's getting her own series entitled CAPTAIN MARVEL, there has to be a connection. The excitement I have over Carol getting her own series again had me glued to the issue.

But really, we're supposed to believe Mar-Vell is back? There is a lot of inner monologue/thoughts that he would have had. The story here almost pulls us away from the debacle that AVENGERS VS. X-MEN has been so far. I enjoy a good crossover but this isolated feel with these Avengers facing Mar-Vell, Carol and Protector makes me want to see more. There might not be any X-Men present but we do get to see Thor, Vision and others cut loose as there is still the looming threat of the Phoenix Force.

The art is something to see. Renato Guedes's style with Bettie Breitweiser and Matthew Wilson's art is phenomenal. There were moments were some of the characters looked off (which I'll mention below in the next section) but we get a unique vibe here that makes up for some of the average crossover titles we've been seeing. I would love to see Guedes do more of anything.

The Bad

I mentioned the art above. It's always hard following a story and having a drastic change in styles from one issue to the next. Captain Britain without his helmet is one of the instances where I felt the art didn't quite match what he should look like. Carol's look was nice but she almost looked like she lost a little of her mass/muscle. She should have a little more curves (as on the cover). She almost seemed a little too tall and thin.

It's unfortunate how these crossovers don't always coincide with the actual AVENGERS VS. X-MEN issues. Thor's still here in space and we're even told that this takes place before AVENGERS #26-27. For all the planning and prepping for this major event, we need to have better coordination with how these stories come out. If AvX is bi-weekly, the crossovers need to keep up with that pacing.

The Verdict

In some ways, this was one of the stranger AvX crossovers. The main thing, there aren't any X-Men (I'm not counting Beast since he's here as an Avenger). Remender's story takes us away from that battle as we see the apparent return of Captain Marvel. Knowing that Carol Danvers is about to get her own series under that same title, you can't help but take in every little bit carefully and wonder how these events will affect that series. Renato Guedes' art is quite the spectacle. There were a couple character designs I felt didn't quite work but I need to see more Guedes art on a monthly basis. It might be a minor quibble but I wish these crossovers flowed better with the main series. The feeling that we're jumping around in this issue and others when put alongside the main AVENGERS VS. X-MEN gives it all a disjointed feeling. Regardless, I want to enjoy this tale on its own because there is so much here worth checking out.

8 Comments
Posted by GBrutality

the pacing is terrible. the sudden noh-var and carol siding with all the kree is probably explained next issue but still, it seems to be a pretty crappy situation to deal with while also dealing with another threat that's immense in itself. also, since noh-var seemingly betrays, or whatever, the team for the kree in wanting to embrace, or something, the phoenix in another book just makes this team seemed damned from the get-go. however, i gotta say i actually like this team a lot. i'd read a book where this was the team. i love the regular roster, even though it's unclear just who the hell is on that one or the new avengers from issue to issue, but still the chemistry between these members just resonates for me.

Posted by Dernman

There were just so many little things that bugged me that it stopped me from enjoying the  book. I normally might have.

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Posted by longbowhunter

The fact that this seems disconnected from AvX is the reason I'm enjoying it. I buy Secret Avengers on a fairly regular basis, but am fed up with Marvel summer events so it worked out quite nice for me. This issue didnt have enough Beast for my tastes but I'm still diggin' the art.

Posted by jsphsmth

Trade waiting this series. Looks like I can skip this volume just like the Fear Itself volume.

Posted by aaunderoath

Loving the story here, but the art is just so difficult to get over I absolutely hate it

Posted by cyberchop979

I totally agree with you, Tony. I tie-in pacing is totally off the main story and even off from each other. Some stories are all over the place. Hopefully the trades will do a better job of streamlining the story, but I doubt it.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@longbowhunter said:

The fact that this seems disconnected from AvX is the reason I'm enjoying it. I am fed up with Marvel summer events so it worked out quite nice for me.

This.

Posted by Novaar

I've hated the AvX so far as it, sadly, went with my fear and expectation of the action/quest for money over any sensible use of the characters. I bought this more as a fan of Mar-Vell, Noh-Varr and Ms Marvel than anything. I'd agree with the sentiment that it feeling slightly disconnected from the rest of the AvX books actually helps it. There's some nice stuff in there but it's far from perfect. The 'betrayals' feel somewhat contrived and too quick in coming. This would have worked as a longer storyline leading up to them.