A new team of black-ops Avengers assemble to take down an emerging threat.
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Gabriel Hardman
Colourist: Bettie Breitweiser
Published by Marvel
The newest creative team of Rick Remender and Gabriel Hardman join Secret Avengers proper. After a glimpse at what Hardman was bringing to the series with #21.1, he hits the ground running by introducing new members to the team and a new threat for them to tackle.
With Captain America leaving the team, Hawkeye has replaced him and from the get go you can tell it’s a big change to the status quo. Replacing the professionalism of Cap with the brashness of Clint Barton is made immediately apparent with him embarrassing new recruit Captain Britain in front of the rest of the team. The conflict between these two echoes the relationship between Hawkeye and Captain America, but Brian Braddock has no experience working with Clint, and so he has zero respect for him (“Yes. ‘Shooting things with accuracy’ is far more important impressive than ‘Protector of the Omniverse.’). The discord between the two is the opposite of Captain America and Hawkeye, with Cap Britain, as the more mature, experienced leader, feels he is much more suited to take control than Hawkeye (and even assumed he’d been given the role when he was recruited) rather than the brazen Hawkeye who felt he’d be a better leader than Steve Rogers.
Black Widow, Beast. Ant-Man and Valkyrie, remain on the team, but along with Hawkeye and Captain Britain, Giant-Man; Hank Pym has also enlisted, providing the team with their new shrunken down space headquarters. I’m wondering what Pym will bring to the team outside a HQ as Beast has been filling the role of technician/inventor, and Ant-Man bringing a size changing power niche. The shrunken down floating headquarters, while a neat idea, is quite similar to the base being used in DC’s Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E so for me, the idea lost some of it’s impact. The upcoming inclusion of current Venom; Flash Thompson, is something I’m looking forward to as it’ll bring fresh dimensions to the team.
The new threat the Descendents, a group of sleeper androids, seems like they’ll give the team a run for their money by including various cybernetic enemies such as the adaptoids and the sentinels. I’m aware of the fact that the Descendents first appeared within the pages of Remender’s Uncanny X-Force, but I felt that the information on them in this issue was lacking and what little I know I gained from reading articles online. At the end of the issue, the inclusion of Life Model Decoy and Shadow Council member Max Fury was a welcome inclusion of merging new and existing stories together.
The art by Gabriel Hardman is grittier than other artists who’ve pencilled the series and his style is a great fit. It’s tough, realism works perfectly for the opening scenes of terrorists in a Pakistan market and also is right at home with drawing super hero battles, multiverse castles, space stations, and more. Hardman also inks his work, using a thinner rougher style than compliments his pencil work nicely, especially when combined with the muted colours of Bettie Breitweiser.
A good start by Remender and Hardman keeps up the high standard that has become associated with Secret Avengers.