Secret Avengers #5 (Comics Review)

In the last four months Ales Kot and Michael Walsh have dazzled me with their take on this secret group of Avengers working for SHIELD. Hawkeye, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, Nick Fury Jr., Phil Coulson and Maria Hill have been stunning almost every step of the way and this has certainly been one of the most impressive of the new titles launched by Marvel this year for its All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, marking the second major launch of its titles since late 2012. The four issues thus far have been impressive sure, but I think we are entering an all-new phase that is even better..

This past week’s Secret Avengers #5 deepens the character mysteries and really tones down all the action so that the plot moves along in a very different manner. It is given however that when Maria Hill and Nick Fury Jr, are involved, especially a straight-and-narrow guy like Coulson, there is going to be a lot of friction between them over all the secrets being kept, and the biggest secret on this team is that Modok is working for SHIELD! Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, Matthew Wilson and Tradd Moore are at their best in this issue and they deliver on the goods in a handsome manner.

There are primarily three storylines here. The first of these deals with Maria Hill and Modok as they discuss the situation they find themselves in and their reflections on the work that they do and their natures. The second deals with some of the things that Coulson has discovered about the team and his own feelings about the kind of work he is doing for SHIELD, which kind of indirectly seems to refer Captain America’s own state of mind from the beginning of the Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier movie. And then there is the small subplot dealing with Spider-Woman and Vladimir, a suicidal sentient bomb that the team recovered a couple issues back.

There is almost no direct action in the issue. What happens is there is a ton of character interaction here as Ales Kot builds up a really suspenseful atmosphere and he starts interconnecting a lot of different dots to create a very deep mystery here related to the murder that happened of the assassin who tried to kill Maria Hill back in issues #1 and #2. The conflict in this issue all comes out through the dialogue and how the characters act toward each other. They all have secrets of their own and right now their friendships and their professionalism and their morals and their secrets are clashing with each other. It is definitely not a pretty picture.

Roughly three-quarters through the issue, there is a pretty big development related to Nick Fury Jr., Phil Coulson and Maria Hill. Given some of the things that happened earlier on, I was expecting something major, but nothing I imagined came even close to what happened here. It throws a lot of things in doubt and then there’s the final page of the issue, which raises even more question and even drags Modok into the whole double mystery-whammy.

Thing with this series is that it continues to surprise at every turn. You think events are going in one way and then go in right the opposite direction, so you are left wondering what the hell just happened. Trust is a big part of the daily life of these characters, and right now their faith, their belief and their trust in each other is being tested on every single level. There are betrayals aplenty here, or chances for it, and it remains to be seen how things are going to shake out. I for one however am really interested in seeing where things go from here.

As before, Michael Walsh does the pencils while Matthew Wilson does the colours, VC’s Clayton Cowles does the letters and Tradd Moore does the cover with Matthew Wilson. The art in this issue was a bit more on the sombre, shady, dark, indistinct side than it usually is, and that kind of made me didn’t enjoy the comic as much as I usually do. And given that the script itself doesn’t have all that much of its traditional humour in place, it means that the artwork is even more sombre in relation. There are some really good moments here, such as Modok’s expressions, which are just too awesome. Or the bottom panel sequence of Hawkeye practicing his archery which are rendered really nicely, or all of Maria Hill’s character-work in its entirety.

So, a great issue, and one of the best to be sure.

Rating: 9.5/10

More Secret Avengers: #1, #2, #3, #4.

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Posted on July 21, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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