The GeeksverseSecret Avengers #29-30

Secret Avengers #29-30
Published on Saturday, August 25, 2012 by

The last Secret Avengers issue I read was right before the AvX crossover. The team was struggling against a city of Life Model Decoys that were under the direction of Father. Now, after the crossover event, I picked up two issues and am happy to find out that it feels like I didn’t skip issues at all.Since I read Circle of Four only because it was a one title event and cherry picked my way through Fear Itself, I saw no reason to buy into AvX. I’m sure it will all be resolved or retconned later.

I only pick up Secret Avengers because they have Venom in the group. I like the new take on Venom as a secret agent and have been following his title closely for a while now. I like the visual. I like the story. I like the character. I wanted to see what he was up to in the team book. In Venom’s solo book he has had very little contact with his super group for a variety of reasons.

I expected consistent characterization from Flash Thompson’s Venom given that Rick Remender is penning Secret Avengers and just finished up his run on Venom.

I found the cover of #30 odd since it didn’t show the secret agent, gun-blazing Venom but instead the villainous over sized monster. At the comic shop shelf this struck me as odd. I flipped through the issue to see if Arthur Adams was just doing something strange with the cover, but inside was a monster bad guy version of Venom. It made sense when I finally started reading the story.

I found the solicitation to be a tad off. Like the covers they only hinted at what was going on. That isn’t bad, except that I expected Black Widow to have a larger role in these two issues. Instead of guns blazing, she is back in the office in space tending the computers.

Secret Avengers #30

Penciller Cover: Arthur Adams
Artist: Matteo Scalera

High-spy-adventure! Hawkeye, Venom and Ant-Man must defeat an army of villains to grab Max Fury! • Secrets! The truth behind the Shadow Council’s ultimate plot! • Finally! The new Masters of Evil strike! • Paranoia! Black Widow knows who the traitor is, but can she get to her teammates in time to save them from his schemes?

Despite the odd solicitations for the past two issues that make Black Widow seem more important than she is, the rest of these two issues make sense. They read well back to back for fans like me trying to catch up after the last cross-over event. I was pleased to see Venom having a larger role in the team book. I don’t quite know where this title fits into the continuity of his solo title. In Venom Remender has only recently shattered Flash Thompson’s relationship to Betty Brandt. Now, in issue #29 the bad boy secret agent appears far from heart broken as he tries to kiss Valkyrie.

The plot works well here. Max Fury is a LMD trying to take over the world by joining three magical crowns. He is set up in the middle of a land of villains which should provide him safety. Meanwhile Ant-Man is struggling with brain washing that happened before the cross-over event. Venom gets to finally contribute to the team by using more than his guns and webs.

I was less pleased overall with the dialogue. Spots felt rough. Dialogue is one of the reasons I like rick Remender as a writer so I was disappointed in page after page of static conversation. Luckily I know he has better dialogue in his experience and expect it to pick up in other issues.

Since the team of Secret Avengers take the fight to Bagalia the background of this book is full of C-Z list villains. Most are not very distinct but a few familiar outfits pop up. Oddly, villains in Bagalia unwind in a bar where the dancers dress like female versions of heroes? Would villains want a lap dance from Miss-Captain America or Miss Thor? I’ve never thought about it, but it does make the backgrounds fun. I don’t know if Remender chose the background people or if Scalera just had fun with the choices, but either way it worked.

Overall these are a couple of fun books. They work without relying on knowing what happened in the last cross-over event. They work without reading Avengers. They work without reading Venom. Not that you shouldn’t read all of those other titles, but it is nice to know that you can enjoy this by itself.

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