Comic Vine Review

11 Comments

Secret Avengers #3 - Path of Least Resistance Review

5

Now that the team is official, it's time for a couple crazy missions. It might not all go according to plan.

The Good

Let me start off by saying, I love this book. I've said it before, as much as I'm digging the other Avengers titles, I love the self-contained feel and the vibe this book delivers. Of course this isn't a traditional Avengers team. Obviously inspired by the Cinematic Universe, we have a joint team of Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Nick Fury Jr and Agent Coulson with the team overseen by Maria Hill. Like many, I was skeptical about Fury Jr and Coulson in comics but Ales Kot is making them work. Throw in Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and Hawkeye, how could you not like this team?

There is a nice mix of humor and action that simply makes this a fun comic to read. The combination of the heroes and Agents in the middle of a crazy mission, all showcased by Michael Walsh's brilliant art makes me want to read the comic all over as soon as I finish. The way Kot mixes up the storytelling allows Walsh to do different things. And I have to mention an overhead panel that lays out all the action was incredible.

With the team splitting up for two separate missions, we see the majority of the first in this issue. The action will continue in the next.

The Bad

I have no complaints. I love the vibe and feel of this series. It's not often we can have series, deeply rooted in the Marvel Universe, that can easily stand on its own. I love a shared universe as much as the next person but it's great being able to read a book with cool characters, doing their own thing and not have to worry about other crazy scenarios.

Actually, there is one complaint. Not enough M.O.D.O.K. in this issue.

The Verdict

This is my favorite Avengers title. Because of the nature of the team and the missions they go on, there is a nice and separate feel from the rest of the Marvel Universe. That means You can easily enjoy this series without having to worry about what's happening in other titles. Ales Kot gives the series a light-hearted and sometimes humorous tone but when it comes time for the action, he puts Michael Walsh to work. Walsh's scenes are priceless, regardless if the characters are standing around or in the middle of a gunfight. This is a book I look forward to reading every month. I can't get enough.

12 Comments
Posted by AdmiralPetty

Issue #2 really sold me on this series. I'm not sure why I found it quite so funny, but the toxic mouse sequence really cracked me up. "Clap for me. Clap for M.O.D.O.K.!"

Edited by LiveForever

@g_man, did you ever finish reading the previous incarnation by Spencer & Kot? I thought it was a lot better than this one. Less light and fun, for sure, but I think some of the things you love about this series was shared (and in some cases done better) by the previous iteration.

You like this version a lot more than I do. It's trying a bit too hard to be funny for my tastes. I thought the last volume did a better job of making these "ordinary" heroes seem capable and worthy of their roles as Avengers.

Posted by Owie

I have a completely different take on this from gman. This series isn't working for me. I like the way Marvel has been weaving humor and absurdity into some of their books, such as Hawkeye and Superior Foes of Spider-man, both of which are obvious inspirations for this. But the thing is, the characters in those books are aligned with the kind of humorous writing in those books. Hawkeye has always had a goofy, sort-of-dumb side. And we can easily perceive how the villains in the Sinister "Six," while usually written as being more serious in intent, can be understood as being the self-interested losers they are in the current book.

Whereas Secret Avengers paints the completely competent and always-serious Black Widow and the also completely competent and usually pretty serious (ex-Hydra and SWORD agent, etc) Spider-woman as inexperienced slap-happy morons who like to talk about ice cream and squeal when they get to go to a pretty island. Things like the page where Natasha goes through a series of choices before deciding what to do reads like she has never had to work with a teammate before in her life. And look at her face where they're talking about PTSD--she's smiling, it's totally out of character (for anyone). Coulsen and Fury? All right, whatever, I can deal with them here. But then they throw in Hawkeye just to be clear that this book is supposed to be idiosyncratic and funny like Hawkeye. Except that instead of using him in a thoughtful way that makes you care about him even though he's an idiot, as he is in his own book, here he's just an idiot.

As someone who loves existentialism and critical theory, it's fun to see what are probably the only references to Derrida or Artaud in a mainstream comic book. If only "Taste the hyperreal! Eat my discourse!" had anything to do with what the Derrida character was doing, it would be really funny. The bomb is kind of entertaining, and is the highlight of the issue for me.

Overall, I think this book would be fine if they just used an entirely different set of characters. The ones they've got just don't fit with the material. And it doesn't help that two of them (Natasha and Clint) both have their own solo series whose tones jar with this one (Black Widow's because its serious, Hawkeye's because it's also funny, but in a better way). In that way I agree with the review that the biggest problem with this issue is that there's no MODOK--because he, like the Superior Foes villains, easily works in an absurdist book like this because he is so patently absurd a character. Hopefully he just takes over the book.

Posted by sparty-dbq

I'm all for one of the ump-teen Avengers books to have this goofy, comical feel to it, but considering the pedigree this series has thanks to Brubaker, and Remender, and Spencer, it just seems like a wild tonal shift for this new volume. Don't get me wrong, it's funny and I like it, but sometimes I think whether or not this should be the slap-sticky book in the line.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

It feels like any time a book is "Light Hearted" it gets a good review

Posted by HumanRocket

Lol the "troubled one". I love this series, and the fact that Hawkeye is part if the team is just awesome sauce.

Posted by LiveForever
@owie said:

I have a completely different take on this from gman. This series isn't working for me. I like the way Marvel has been weaving humor and absurdity into some of their books, such as Hawkeye and Superior Foes of Spider-man, both of which are obvious inspirations for this. But the thing is, the characters in those books are aligned with the kind of humorous writing in those books. Hawkeye has always had a goofy, sort-of-dumb side. And we can easily perceive how the villains in the Sinister "Six," while usually written as being more serious in intent, can be understood as being the self-interested losers they are in the current book.

Whereas Secret Avengers paints the completely competent and always-serious Black Widow and the also completely competent and usually pretty serious (ex-Hydra and SWORD agent, etc) Spider-woman as inexperienced slap-happy morons who like to talk about ice cream and squeal when they get to go to a pretty island. Things like the page where Natasha goes through a series of choices before deciding what to do reads like she has never had to work with a teammate before in her life. And look at her face where they're talking about PTSD--she's smiling, it's totally out of character (for anyone). Coulsen and Fury? All right, whatever, I can deal with them here. But then they throw in Hawkeye just to be clear that this book is supposed to be idiosyncratic and funny like Hawkeye. Except that instead of using him in a thoughtful way that makes you care about him even though he's an idiot, as he is in his own book, here he's just an idiot.

As someone who loves existentialism and critical theory, it's fun to see what are probably the only references to Derrida or Artaud in a mainstream comic book. If only "Taste the hyperreal! Eat my discourse!" had anything to do with what the Derrida character was doing, it would be really funny. The bomb is kind of entertaining, and is the highlight of the issue for me.

Overall, I think this book would be fine if they just used an entirely different set of characters. The ones they've got just don't fit with the material. And it doesn't help that two of them (Natasha and Clint) both have their own solo series whose tones jar with this one (Black Widow's because its serious, Hawkeye's because it's also funny, but in a better way). In that way I agree with the review that the biggest problem with this issue is that there's no MODOK--because he, like the Superior Foes villains, easily works in an absurdist book like this because he is so patently absurd a character. Hopefully he just takes over the book.

This is all tremendously well-said. Only thing I disagree about is that I didn't find the bomb that funny. Just too silly for me.

Sadly this book went from my favorite (especially in the latter half of the last run) to probably dropped before next issue.

Posted by muttput

I'm not sure about this book yet. Spider-woman is my favourite character but i'm disliking this version of her. Normally I like her sarcastic humour. Also I don't know if its me but the Natasha and Jessica seem to be very out of sync with each other compared to other books where they've worked together.

Plus the book could benefit from losing Hawkeye, he doesn't need to be in it. In fact i would go as far as saying this current Hawkeye characterisation wouldn't fit well with a black ops team.

Posted by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

I absolutely HATED the last volume of this. Couldn't stand it. Bored me to death. But, yeah, I am really loving this so far. It's not my top Avengers title, but it really is great (and significantly funnier than Hawkeye OR Superior Foes, by the way).

Posted by ComicBookCoby
Edited by Teerack

I just caught up on this book. I can't believe I was so unaware of something this good for four months. I love this series! The art in the book is also amazing and looks nothing like the covers.