Friday, April 25, 2014

Secret Avengers #1 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

OK, this issue is a pretty awesome start to a series in desperate need of a re-boot (an ironic, though honest, statement, given that we're already on the third series of essentially 54-issue series).

First, the addition of Spider-Woman to the roster is inspired.  It not only raises the sexual-tension quotient, given her relationship with Hawkeye, but it also brings out some personality in the Black Widow.  Natasha was pretty much just an efficient killer in the last "Secret Avengers" series, but, in Kot's hands, she isn't just the resident assassin.  (She may still be the resident assassin, but she isn't just the resident assassin.)  She like herself some hard massages, caramel gelato, and target practice.  It's not all death all the time.

Moreover, this issue is fun.  Kot and Walsh aren't pretending to have invented the naked-fighting genre; in fact, they pay homage to Fraction and Aja's amazing sequence from "Hawkeye" #3.  But, they also don't just make it feel like a played-out gimmick.  Hawkeye accidentally leading A.I.M. to the Russian baths where Jessica and Natasha are getting massages results in just a down-right hilarious sequence of slipping towels and general melĂ©e.  It's fun and tense all at the same time.

But, Kot makes it clear that we also still have the usual intrigue, as Coulson and Fury face an unexpected confrontation on a space station and Hill suddenly becomes the target of a grudge-holding assassin.  Kot manages to convey a sort of "It's chaos so it must be Tuesday" resignation among the characters while making it clear that they're also fighting for their lives.  (Maria looking through the hole where the middle of her hand used to be conveys that message pretty well.)

This whole issue just sings like some of the best "Hawkeye" issues, high praise indeed.

**** (four of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment