Part of being a Marvel fan these days is seeing how the comics affect the movies. Which character will cameo where? Who will play this new hero in that new movie? How much of that will make it into the TV show? But in an interesting turn of events, the films have now impacted the comics that inspire them in a bigger way than ever before. Agent Phil Coulson and Nick Fury Jr. (Marcus Johnson, the classic Nick Fury’s son who resembles a certain badass motherf*cker/actor) are now taking a large role in the Marvel Universe as they join Maria Hill and a few heroes on a brand new team of Secret Avengers.
Relaunched by Nick Spencer as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative, ‘Secret Avengers’ #1 sees S.H.I.E.L.D. bring together their very own team of Avengers. However, there’s a catch once you join this team: You get a memory implant that erases the events of the mission you were just on after it’s over. In the premiere issue, the first two recruits to join the team are Hawkeye and Black Widow and their first mission sees them in Budapest in yet another connection to Joss Whedon’s blockbuster movie.
The first thing that I noticed about this new series was the tone. ‘Secret Avengers’ has always had the black ops missions that the main team of Avengers couldn’t tackle straight on, but Spencer’s series involves even blacker ops. Things are straight shady with Coulson, Hill, and new S.H.I.E.L.D. director Daisy Johnson. The international peacekeeping organization is currently in a rebuilding phase, but it seems like their activities are more underground than ever. The first indication is the memory implants. Avengers have always helped S.H.I.E.L.D. in tight spots or with threats larger than they could handle, but now Maria Hill and company want to be in control of whomever they’re working with. Right from the get go, things are not what they seem and I can’t wait to see it all blow up.
Next, Coulson is right on the money, just like his big screen counterpart. He’s dangerous because he’s non-threatening and bright eyed, but he’s also a very skilled agent. He has his ways to get the job done, which is why the scene where he recruits Clint and Natasha to the team is so funny. Messed up, but still funny. Speaking of that scene and S.H.I.E.L.D. wanting to be in charge, the bit where they redact the info that gets them onto the team was clever. Very cheeky, Nick Spencer.
Finally, I’m most interested to see how this new recruitment goes over with the upcoming recruits. When the series was first announced, it was revealed that Mockingbird, Taskmaster, Iron Patriot, Hulk, and the Winter Soldier would join Hawkeye and Black Widow. I don’t see any of them taking the news of the new protocol for this team very well, so I can’t wait to see the beating that goes down when they all realize what the new S.H.I.E.L.D. is up to.
Overall, it’s an intriguing premise and an interesting first issue. Though it’s not exactly my favorite Avengers title right now, I’m very down to see the rest of the team come together on this team that technically doesn’t even exist.
SECRET AVENGERS #1
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Luke Ross & Matthew Wilson
Cover by Tomm Coker & Daniel Freedman