Written by Ed Brubaker
Pencils by Mike Deodato
Cover by Marko Djurdjevic
It was the ever reliable Secret Avengers book written by Ed Brubaker that stood out in a week where it seemed like every other title came up short in one way or another. The one Avengers book that gets pushed aside - undeservedly - by the more well known Avengers books (Avengers, New Avengers) but is by far my favorite incarnation of Avengers and as a result is the only one I am still reading.
There is something about Brubaker's Steve Rogers that shows off the best he has to offer as a leader, fighter and someone to care about. While Brubaker's Captain America struggles to get free from the past it can not let go, here in Secret Avengers the characters are free from such burdens.
One of the best things I have enjoyed about reading Brubaker's Steve Rogers is how important he has made Sharon Carter and their relationship together to the ongoing story. Too many times, especially lately, the fact that the heroes have another part to their personality besides crime-fighting and numerous characters from the big two comic studios do not seem to have relationships anymore or even be seen thinking of the opposite sex. Normally I would say the writers were staying true to their target audience of young boys, but then the rest of the content in these books seem written for adults instead but that one angle of storytelling is woefully underused.
I will admit to being a little confused to some of the characters in this issue; was not familiar with Shang-Chi, his father or the Prince of Orphans. I loved the casual intimacy between Steve and Sharon, her massaging him while they talk about their day and what is going on with their mission.
Mike Deodato's art fits perfectly for the mood of this book, and while his barechested Steve Rogers might be a tad too buff, his version of Beast is great and Sharon Carter and Black Widow look fantastic. And if that was not enough, the cover by Marko Djurdvejic kicked up the art quality another notch. I am glad Black Widow is a part of this team, and dating Bucky because Brubaker writing Natasha seems like a more appropriate version than the one in her current solo title.
As the only Avengers book that has my interest I hope that the title and Brubaker's presence writing it will be around for a long while. There is also the fact that this group has several characters that I am a fan of but aren't big enough to support their own series like Valkyrie, Beast, War Machine, Sharon Carter. It is fantastic to get Beast away from the Mutant terror/discriminating stories that plague X-books and be a science man. Now if only Brubaker could sneak Agent Brand into this book.
Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Secret Avengers themed picspam.