Thursday, March 17, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Secret Avengers #10 (Review)

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
Cover by Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

The last week of February brought another huge stack of comics to read with more Marvel books than I usually find, which is always refreshing. Several previous top of the stack winners had issues come out, including Detective Comics, Fantastic Four, Secret Avengers and Star Wars: Legacy - War so it was not surprising that the latter two books were contenders to be at the top of this week's stack. And while the new issue of the Star Wars: Legacy - War mini-series was solid, in the end it was the consistent quality of my favorite current Avengers book to read that put Secret Avengers #10 over the top.

Ed Brubaker has been the writer for Secret Avengers since its inception and in that time has produced a solidly entertaining story with a well thought out team put around Steve Rogers where you see each character do their part to contribute into the overall success of the team. The mix of action, mystery, romance and humor bring a level of simple complexity to the book that I do not find in any of the other Avengers titles.

This issue was the conclusion of the story arc involving the attempted resurrection of Shang-Chi's father by the Hai-Dai and the opposition of John Steele and the wacky life model decoy of Nick Fury, Max. There were some great moments in the issue, like Moon Knight's signal to the Secret Avengers, and then how the rest of the team arrived to the temple, and as well how they dealt with the bulletproof John Steele who was too much for Steve alone.

One of the best things to come out of this series has been my increased appreciation for Mike Deodato's art. I never saw much of his work on Dark Avengers because of my distaste for villain books but I had thought the look of the book was too dark for my liking. Yet now on Secret Avengers, I think the dark style of Deodato works brilliantly with the tone of the series and having several characters with bright colors (Steve Rogers, Beast, Moon Knight) really help with the contrasts on the pages and add to some awesome panels that continually pop up in every issue.

Unfortunately Brubaker only has two more issues left on the series, and this was Deodato's last issue drawing the interiors. They made a superb creative team that left the book at a high level that will be heard for the next writer and artists to match. I hope that the relationship of Steve and Sharon Carter continues with the creative change, some of the best moments in the series have been the few panels dedicated to the couple that always work so smoothly into the story and are true to the characters bond with each other. I hope Secret Avengers continues to be my favorite Avengers book through 2011.

Check out GeekPlate's Tumblr for today's Secret Avengers themed picspam.

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