Comic Vine Review

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Secret Avengers #6 - Mission 006: Iliad, Part 1 Review

5

Maria Hill cuts through red tape (no machete needed), Mockingbird meets up with Taskmaster, and Rhodey puts his foot DOWN on some drones.

The Good

These Avengers books are coming out as fast and furious as that racing movie. You know: Torque? Nick Spencer keeps amping up the espionage and intrigue, seamlessly weaving through plotlines and character threads before tying them together in unexpected, and imaginative, ways. Now Col. James Rhodes has been called in as a last-ditch effort to regain control of the hacked, homicidal Iron Patriot drones but his methods are certainly unique and not what you'd expect. We also get an update on Taskmaster who, four issues ago, agreed to become a mole to infiltrate AIM Island, but had to undergo the same sleeper agent treatment that would force him to forget his role until "activated." Unfortunately, due to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s tampering that gave him his astounding abilities, (also solidifying his superlative mini-series as canonical) his brain is a labyrinthine maze and SHIELD can't seem to break him out, even as he duels to the death with their other agent Mockingbird.

Butch Guice takes over artistic duties with Rick Magyar on pencils and Matthew Wilson on colors and they're a perfect team to be on this book. The grittier, more realistic pencils along with the subdued art and sharp lines fit, and help establish, the perfect tone for the darker, more grounded book. The characters are distinct and well-defined (with one exception that the book hangs a lantern on, but I'll get to that in a moment), and the action, of which this issue has PLENTY of, is fluid and dynamically framed. It's a truly rare and amazing talent to draw both stationary characters and characters in motion with equal skill and effectiveness, so I hope these artists are here to stay.

The Bad

This is another book that does a lot in a very limited space, and at times feels just a bit too overstuffed. It juggles all its disparate parts well enough, but occasionally the back and forth becomes a little overwhelming. It's not a huge problem, but it's worth pointing out, though it also sets up plenty and does little to detract from the overall quality of the book.

The Verdict

Despite not fighting for the continued existence of the universe itself, or fending off transdimensional invaders, this book remains one of the most tense, high-stakes superhero comics on the shelf and this issue is no exception. There's something very gratifying about a book that still stars an Avengers cast, but takes its time not only in terms of action, but in terms of some very intriguing political maneuvering. When the boardroom conversations are as intense and engaging as the in-the-field fisticuffs, you've got something very special. The book never forgets to have a sense of humor though, both acknowledging the incredible similarities between Maria Hill and Daisy Johnson's appearance as well as having Rhodey's solution to the drone problem be...well I mentioned it before, but I still can't bring myself to spoil it, you've got to see it to believe it.

13 Comments
Edited by sweetesttoaster

I was about ready to drop this due to budget, but I was pleasantly surprised with last issue. Might just keep this series around for a bit.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
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Posted by Cap10nate

Another fantastic issue. We don't progress at all in the story time line but this issue fills in the details of a lot of what happened on that mission. I do love how they continue to add in the humor to counter a lot of the normal criticism (Nick Fury jr, Hawkeye in the movie uniform, Maria and Daisy looking identical, helicarrier crashing every other week). This is such a high octane book and incredibly fun to read. Twists and turns are abound. It's probably my favorite Marvel ongoing at the moment

Edited by daredevil21134

I wanna read this series

Edited by Veitha

This issue was a total nerdgasm

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Posted by frozenedge

My only problem with this issue: Rhodey's Iron Patriot armor just looked weird. I know they were trying to go the IM3 route but it just looked odd to me. Other than that I definitely enjoyed this issue

Edited by The_Titan_Lord

Can't wait to read it.

Posted by kilomac29

This is the only Avengers book I'm reading and I definitely love it.

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

If there's one thing I loved more than anything else in this issue is the fact that Butch Guice is the artist! Comixology has Luke Ross listed as the artist so when I opened it up & realized it was Butch I almost lost it, & Spencer is putting together a great story. I'm so in like with this title.

Posted by Emperormeister734

It's good to see Rhodey back in action

Posted by DarePool53

Just decided to jump on this series :D Glad I was able to get all the back issues! Uncanny Avengers was decent, but the usual line-up grows tiresome after a bit - this seems like a far more interesting choice to fill the $3.99 slot.