Comics Anonymous

SECRET AVENGERS #16 by Linsay @softlyspokenlas

Recently I’ve begun to make  the foray into the world of Marvel Comics and I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps my paltry bank account thinks I’m not spending enough on comics? Perhaps my bedroom does indeed have room for more long-boxes? Nah! Its because the scales of ignorance have fallen from my eyes! Marvel do make some bloody great comic books!

If you’ve read many of my other posts here on you’ll know this isn’t the first Marvel book I’ve spoken about, I’ve been a bit crazy for Journey into Mystery since I first saw a few panels online and you can expect an in-depth discussion of this book to be posted very soon.

Now, back to the book in question – number 16 is an ideal jumping on point for Secret Avengers, despite not being a .1 issue. Its the first issue from the desk of blistering hot new creative team Warren ‘Needs No Introduction’ Ellis and Jamie ‘I Can Draw More Than Introspective Goth Girls’ McKelvie. It serves as a great introduction to the characters, team dynamics and almost gives us a complete story which I hope sets the tone for future issues.

What made me buy this book, in addition to the fellahs writing and drawing it, was the cover. John Cassaday and Paul Mounts have given us such a strong and vibrant first look at the book. Of the Avengers on the cover, well they really are a secret. Cap is the only one who I recognised, but thats not to say the others don’t looks like a well balanced bunch. A lassie with a lip piercing, a beast man and a dude in a cloak. Aye, I’m sold and turning to page one…

How thoughtful those guys are at Marvel, they must’ve used the power of extreme foresight, knew I had no idea who was in this book and so decided to give me a run down of key players, complete with witticisms that make me like them more. ‘Moon Knight: Crazy Person’ eh? My kind of guy.

Artistically, the first thing that strikes me is how clean this book looks. Not because it arrived bagged and boarded 😉 but rather due to an abundance of slick, clean lines. It reminds me of where the wedding chapel in Kill Bill was, El Paso, TX I think. Anyway, McKelvie is obviously ripping the pish right out of me here, as we move into panels 2 & 3 we find out that we are not in wide open country at all. We are over a mile underground, beneath the city of Cincinatti.

Our Secret Avengers are have arrived in a secret city, whose existence they have only recently become aware of due to some stray Von Doom Radiation particles. Thankfully Mr Ellis has an excellent way or writing for the science idiot as even I understood what this is about… I think…

Von Doom Radiation – Apart from sounding quite menacing it is an emission or refuse from the act of time travel. The Beast(y) also tells us just how very dangerous it is. I’ll no be messing.

How did I do? Full marks?

Other cool things going on in this issue include an Atomic Cadillac, some cool ‘Shocktoxin’ weapon that neither myself or Moon Knight really understood, a baddie who gets the jaggy end of a grappling gun through his face, a brilliantly drawn action packed chase between the Secret Avengers in the Atomic Cadillac and the baddies in helicopters and cars.

One thing I don’t understand though, is we’re in the secret city, which McKelvie even goes to the pains of a 2 page splash to show how empty it is when all of a sudden our heroes are faced with baddies and tanks. Hmmm.

The most cool bit of issue 16 though is the ending. It involves the Atomic Cadillac and the destruction of a whole lot of stuff.

I would encourage you to pick this book up on its 2nd printing and get in aboot it. I really enjoyed it, the dialogue flowed really well, the art was top notch. No faults whatsoever. A really fun and exciting read.

Words by Warren Ellis, Art by Jamie McKelvie, Colours by Matthew Wilson.


Linsay @softlyspokenlas

4 Comments so far
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Damn – you beat me to it – I was planning to write a little something on this after giving it a read the other night. Like you, I loved it – but then what’s not to love? I’ve slowly been falling in love with Ellis’ writing, now trying to get my hands on everything he’s done, and McElvie’s art is breathtakingly good. As you know too well I’m not much of a Marvel-man either, however my one weakness is the X-Men – something that Ellis has had a bash at before in Astonishing and McElvie has coming up in next year’s Season 1 (which again looks bloody brilliant!). I think this might be the reason I enjoyed Secret Avengers as much as I did, it had the same dynamics as their mutant counterparts (including one of their members!) mixing humor with action. It’s very rare for me to laugh out loud when reading most of the time, but there were many occasions where I got the giggles. I’m also quite pleased at how accessible the issue was – my normal tendency to pick up all 15 of the issues that came before this one were put aside and I was able to enjoy jumping on like a normal person. Definitely one I’ll be picking up again in the future!

Comment by Craig

[…] started reading Secret Avengers with the Jamie McKelvie issue and what I love about this book is that each issue is like a standalone excerpt from their case […]

Pingback by SECRET AVENGERS #18 « Comics Anonymous

[…] He’s also featured in Secret Avengers, a highly rated series of one shots currently written by Warren Ellis. You can read my review of issue #16 featuring moon knight here. […]

Pingback by HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011 DAY 20 – MOON KNIGHT « Comics Anonymous

[…] I’m trying out some Marvel this week – Daredevil‘s at a jumping-on point (#10.1) and I want to see what it’s about.  Also, as Al Ewing seemed like a decent guy in the Hi-Ex! panels, I’m going to give Jennifer Blood a go. The character was created by Garth Ennis, so frankly I’m surprised I didn’t try it sooner.  There’s also the end of Fear Itself Fearless, issue #12 of 12 and new Ultimate Spidey and Secret Avengers (review of issue #16 here). […]

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