Yet another Point One issue from Marvel, and I’m starting to notice some trends. Creator change-ups on titles; less forced back-story exposition; and the stories are just getting better and better (except for anything Hulk related)! Secret Avengers #12.1 has all of these elements and is possibly the best issue yet in this stellar series. A very honourable mention goes out to Avengers #12.1 though, which is just as fun and interesting, and choosing which book to review this week was decided by a coin toss.
Nick Spencer – super hot writer of indie titles Morning Glories, Infinite Vacation, and DC’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents – takes over from Ed Brubaker with this issue. As a huge Brubaker fan, whose Captain America run is responsible for me exploring the crime-noir genre for the first time, I was worried about the change-up. I have always liked Nick Spencer’s work, but Brubaker is one of my Top 5 favourites. My concerns were unjustified as Nick Spencer hits it out of the park with this stand-alone storyline that had me cheering for its willingness to tackle of ‘shady’ morality of a “Secret” Avengers team, while still delivering fast paced action befitting a fun superhero read.
Scott Eaton produces a fantastically illustrated comic, and while an artist can easily make or break a series (why I am so glad to see John Romita Jr. leaving Avengers…sorry, but his style leaves me cold), I tend to follow writers. Spencer’s career has been stellar so far, but I had a few hesitations with him coming on board such a key issue of a high-profile title (also read: personal fave). The Point One issue is meant to succinctly sum up the character’s past, and also forge the title’s coming plot-trajectory. Spencer’s use of a terrorist donning the old Captain/U.S. Agent costume, all in the name of protecting the country, is brilliant. It brings to light Steve Rogers’ long road to the Secret Avengers and his “Top Cop” role. It also gives the character (writer) a chance to explain a logic and morality that is exists within a system of contradictions. It is the recognition of this constant tension and always struggling to find the right answers in our “not-simply-comic-book-black-and-white-world” that make this title such a great read!
This comic has consistently been my favourite Avengers title, and after this defining Point One issue, which is perfect for new readers to start with and also very rewarding for long time fans, I am excited for what the future has in store for Steve Rogers and his deniable, black op, Secret Avengers!