Comics Anonymous

SECRET AVENGERS #18 by Linsay @softlyspokenlas

I 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 files. The character rotation keeps it fresh, a different artist on each issue likewise and enjoyable. This issue it is the turn of David Aja who is interpreting the mystical wisdom of the now legendary writer Warren Ellis.

Issue #18 is an improvement on #17 and part of the reason for this  may be strictly down to my preference for Aja’s art. I think his loose style lends itself well to action scenes and exciting set pieces full of movement. I also love #18’s cover by John Cassaday and Paul Mounts showing Shang-Chi, the World’s Greatest Martial Artist karate chopping an unknown man’s head in two. HIYA! Brilliant. The kaleidoscopic background of colours further floats my boat. DOUBLE HIYA! Doubt Brilliant.

Involved in today’s adventure ‘No Zone’, are Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter and of course our cover star Shang-Chi. In this comic book we will find our heroes in the most dangerous and outlandish of situations and this is exactly what I love about it. Rogers ‘Secret Avengers’ face threats too extreme and too crazy for normal comic books. They don’t have time to be bothered with 10 pages of continuity in order to justify what they are about to do. This is all about getting in and getting the job done and with a man like Steve Rogers in charge you know that all the stops will be pulled until that job is done.

Issue #18 begins with Shang-Chi taking to Rogers via their comms link as he orders Shang to shift to ‘Extreme Combat Protocol’. This allows Shang to unleash a bit of ‘Enter The Dragon’ as he ‘incapacitates’ a room full of ski mask wearing, blade wielding baddies using some of the most excellently drawn martial arts I’ve ever seen.

The book almost turns into a showcase for David Aja as your comic book is transformed into an MC Escher perception busting death trap. This is wide screen comics at their best. Ellis is thinking up the most jaw droppingly difficult missions and the most bizarre of confrontations and setting them in the most dynamic of layouts whilst in this book Aja is drawing the shit out of it all. The action scenes are second to none and the panels just after the centre page adverts draw you in like an old platform game on the NES. There is also a nice touch of romantic banter between Rogers and Carter.

I’m not going to waste any of the story here, just believe me that EVERY SINGLE PANEL in this comic book is going to be one of the coolest things you will see done in 4 colours all year. You must track this book down. Also, Moon Knight is in #19.


Linsay @softlyspokenlas

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