adamwarlock's Secret Avengers #16 - Subland Empire review

Global Secret Avengers Frequency works!

Bringing Warren Ellis in to take the reins of this book and give each issue the done-in-one "Global Frequency" treatment was a BRILLIANT idea.  All the more so if each separate story ties, however loosely, into the greater plot-thread whole, as this one does.
I haven't read much from Warren Ellis in some time and I really missed his unique way of blending mad science, super espionage and witty dialogue.  Beast, as the team's science expert, serves largely in this issue as an exposition machine to explain the science of this issue's mad scheme that must be prevented, and while this breaks the "show, don't tell" rules of good storytelling, it works pretty well (considering that "showing" rather than "telling" how this particular scheme would have worked would have resulted in a disaster of epic proportions and perhaps a rewrite of the timeline).
Ellis has a fairly good take on each of the Avengers present in this issue, though is use of the 4 team members present here is just a tad myopic; zeroing in on very specific aspects of their characters.  It works within the confines of this single issue just fine, but I'm hoping to see some growth in later issues.
Jamie McKelvie's art, crisp though cartoon-ish, wasn't doing much for me at the start of the issue, but it was growing on me as the issue went on.  At points it's got somewhat of a Mike Allred quality, which I appreciate.  The coloring on it works very strikingly, making much of the art really jump off the page.  On the other hand... while I feel the art was very GOOD, it doesn't ultimately fit the tone of this kind of story.  This is a superspy caper, meant to come off as very kinetic I'm sure, but the art, while very pretty, usually feels somewhat static.  I really like the art, but this style just doesn't ultimately fit this kind of story; much like Gary Erskine's work on earlier spy caper "Jack Cross".
All in all, a very enjoyable issue.  It's got just a bit of room to come into its own, however.


Other reviews for Secret Avengers #16 - Subland Empire

    Still effective enough at medium range 0

    It is so rare to see a self contained issue these days that this issue deserves some praise just for trying to pull that off.  The fact that it does so in such a compact and sleek manner also makes it deserve some accolades.  The plot is pretty basic and while it does require a bit of knowledge of previous events for the Secret Avengers it mostly just jumps straight into the action .  There is a city which can be used for time travel below the city of Cincinatti and it is up to Beast, Moon Knigh...

    4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

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