Why You Should Be Reading… Secret Avengers | FanboysInc

Why You Should Be Reading… Secret Avengers

By Cody Mudge

Spider-Man! Spider-Man! He does whatever a spider can! You’re welcome for getting that stuck in your head. Sing it while you’re driving home from work, while you’re brushing your teeth, while you begin to pick up random objects and begin to freestyle lyrics (Does whatever a corn chip can?). No, my end goal isn’t just ruining the various relationships you have with the people unfortunate enough to be in close proximity to you, I was going somewhere with this. Because, while that song maybe be cheesy, poorly written and annoyingly retro, it’s also right on the nose. It tells you exactly what you need to know. Spider-Man, Spider-Man, the dude can do whatever a spider can.

When it comes to the Secret Avengers, the opposite is true. They can do whatever the Avengers can’t and premises don’t get much for compelling than that in superhero comics.


Back in 2010 the original iteration of the series launched with Ed Brubaker at the helm and the phenomenally talented Mike Deodato on art duties. The series was a great success and it became one of my personal favourites. Since then, the series has undergone a number of creative team changes. With those inevitably comes a change in creative direction and somehow all of these changes have had a net positive result. That is to say, they’ve all been awesome.

The Avengers as a brand had steadily been growing in popularity for a few years before 2010’s Secret Avengers. Brian Michael Bendis, a prolific scribe to say the least, was in the midst of his incredibly popular run on Avengers and New Avengers. Bendis was penning or laying the groundwork for all of Marvel’s big cross-over events, many of which featured the Avengers as main protagonists. A force of nature, Bendis essentially willed the super-team into the spotlight. And the rest, as they say, is history.


This was a major change of pace for Marvel as a company as they had always relied on the sales momentum and popularity of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and the X-Men to carry the company. But as the Avengers began to emerge as a rival to those franchises, it began to show the signs of becoming even more popular. Thus a momentous change came to form as the Avengers franchise became pivotal to Marvel’s line-up. Avengers vs. X-Men pitted the two popular super-teams against each other. Joss Whedon’s blockbuster movie exposed millions to the franchise. And not long after the market was flooded with Avengers books: Avengers, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, Avengers Arena, Undercover Avengers, Young Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers A.I., Avengers World and the list goes one.

With so many titles playing off of the same concept, it can be difficult to stand out, to be original and tell stories that haven’t already been told already in the same month. And Secret Avengers has always been good at that, whether it was Brubaker’s debut, Warren Ellis’ critically acclaimed, incredibly short run thereafter, as a stop in Rick Remender’s ascending status at Marvel or a chance for Nick Spencer and Luke Ross to change the game yet again.

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Consistently this title has always been about a team that can do things that the main Avengers teams can’t. Be that due to skill-sets or plausible deniability, run the mission, save the world, don’t get caught, has been the motto of this team since Ellis’ run. Something this latest version of the title has embraced and thrived under.

The current team of Ales Kot and Michael Walsh have bestowed upon us yet another paradigm shift. Secret Avengers has taken on a more light-hearted and comedic tone in its latest iteration and while it didn’t sound like a home-run concept at first, with four issues under their belt, Kot and Walsh have made me a believer. The humour allows the team to really impress you when something turns serious and deadly and vice versa.


The Secret Avengers, whose roster now consists of Maria Hill, Nick Fury Jr., Phil Coulson, Hawkeye, Black Widow and M.O.D.O.K., has become one of the most compelling groups of characters in Marvel’s current line-up.

You should be reading this series because Michael Walsh is an artist you’ll want to see more from as soon as you get to know his work. He excels at personal interactions and displaying facial expressions and emotions. Every issue of this series so far has featured some form of personal touch and flair that have given the book a unique look that sets it apart. The need to compete with so many other great looking books has driven Walsh to create a world that you just can’t get anywhere else.


Ales Kot is one of the most underappreciated writers in the industry, but his day is coming. He is the next superstar writer and Marvel would be wise to get their claws into him now because readers are going to flock to his work as he gets more attention from the media and is given the reins to more popular series. A younger generation of writers like Kot and Dennis Hopeless are primed to carry Marvel into a new demographic.

And that, is why you should be reading Secret Avengers.