photo credit: marvel.com
I know it’s a couple of months late, but I needed to get my feelings written down, so I’ve decided to do a review about the final instalment of the Secret Avengers series.
This 2014 series was written by Ales Kot, Michael Walsh on Art and Matthew Wilson on Colour, and is honestly one of my favourite comic series to date. There are so many reasons for this, it would honestly be difficult to list them all, but hey, I’ll give in a shot.
I started reading this series after I finished Faction’s Hawkeye, and most of the comics in Black Widow’s history, and the fact that they, along with Coulson (aka Cheese), Fury, Spider Woman and Maria Hill were all listed as regular members of the team bumped this series right up to the top of my to-read list. Kot both perfectly writes the relationship between the characters, but also tackles individual story arcs in this series with the same importance. He expertly handles all of the characters, and gives the audience things to love about each of them.
Not only does Kot look at the arcs of individual characters, he also looks at the arcs of the relationships between characters. My favourite one has to be the relationship between Black Widow and Spider-Woman. At the beginning of the series Spider Woman is a ‘Secret Avenger in Training’ while Black Widow is a ‘Secret Avenger – Old School’, and because of this Black Widow treats Spider-Woman with almost kid-like-gloves. She doesn’t look at her like she is less, she is just worried about her, and feels a sense of responsibility towards her. In issue three however, she must let go of those feelings, and is shown to the readers in an unconventional, yet effective manner. Black Widow is able to “break through [her] fears and trust [her] colleague.” And because of this action we’re able to see not only the growth in the relationship between the two, but also their individual growth – which really is why I read comics, not solely for the plot, but for the characters and their development as well.
One of my favourite things about this series is the humour. Honestly, it is one of the funniest series I’ve read, not only did I find myself smiling at most of the jokes like I normally do while reading, I also found myself literally laughing out loud (and getting weird looks on the bus). I have to say, my favourite thing about each issue is getting to reach the narration boxes, both in general and when introducing the characters. Some notable introductions include:
Black Widow – Played by Scarlett Johansson, except when she’s not.
Hawkeye – not a secret avenger
! – Exclamation mark!
Maria Hill – Runs S.H.I.E.L.D. and Secret Avengers. Rarely sleeps. Please make sure you sleep enough. Sleep is important
To me personally, the thing that makes a comic book successful is if it is fun or not, and the humour presented here definitely makes it fun.
But not only does is this series full of humour, it also tackles the harder stuff. Coulson (understandably) gets PTSD after a close encounter with an alien-like creature. His arc follows his own personal recovery – from noticing that something is wrong, to accepting that he needs help, to what he goes through to help himself through it. There are questions raised about morality and belief systems. Not only does this series make you laugh, but it makes you think. This series also tugs on your heartstrings. Never before this would I have thought a bomb could make me tear up, but well, here we are #RIPVLAD.
I also need to point out how amazing the art and colouring of this series is. I started reading this series when I was new-ish to comics. I didn’t really know what to expect art-wise, and we all know how important art is when attracting the reader. This style that Michael Walsh and Matthew Wilson used not only fits the humour of the story, but in essence brings the story alive. It would be one thing to read this series without the images, but the way that Walsh and Wilson work so effectively seamlessly links the words to the action, a task that is very hard to accomplish.
I know I’ve stated it before, but I’ll say it again, this series is one of my favourite comic series I have read to date. It hooked me from day one, and I am so glad that I kept up with it because it was an amazing ride. For me I would have to say the final issue was very bittersweet. It was a great way to see how they managed to wrap up the series, tie off all the loose ends, and leave everyone happy (Including Vlad, don’t worry). But, I would be lying if I didn’t shed a tear or two, the end of this series meant I wouldn’t get to see what my favourite group was up to next. But at least I know they are happy.
Ales Kot: “This is good. This is really really good” (Final sentence of Secret Avengers 2014)