Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Secret Avengers #21.1

First review of the week? As promised, Secret Avengers #21.1. This issue gives us the beginning of the Rick Remender era(hear that fans of Venom and Uncanny X-Force?? That means you should give this a shot!), and as important, for me at least, the start of Hawkeye(my favorite Avenger) as this team's leader. I am expecting SO much from this comic...

Secret Avengers #21.1:

Summary: Captain America takes Hawkeye on a covert mission to a rogue nation called Bagalia to protect an American senator from an assassination attempt. In case you're curious, Bagalia is one of those countries where anything goes if you are rich enough... Cap and Hawkeye do the stealth thing and Hawkeye pinpoints the senator's location in a private room, and does as Hawkeye always does when tasked with using stealth, kicks the door in and tells the senator they were there to protect him... Ah Hawkeye... But wait! It turns out the senator was actually a life model decoy(LMD) and attacks the two heroes, leading to a hasty retreat before the LMD explodes. The two heroes manage to make it to the ground, and in true Cap fashion, he tears into Hawkeye for not being cautious enough, and for walking the two of them into an obvious trap. With that, Cap tells Hawkeye he wasn't ready to lead the Secret Avengers, which(rightly!) pisses Hawkeye off. The two argue, and Cap throws Hawkeye's family into his face, telling him that much like his dead father, Hawkeye was weak... DAY-UM!! Needless to say, Hawkeye gets uber-pissed and leaves Cap behind. Cap stands there pondering the fact that maybe he went too far in trying to see if Hawkeye could control his temper and not take a swing at Cap for his nasty words. While Cap is pondering, he is attacked by Vengeance(!!), Whiplash, and Princess Python, and is summarily captured. While on the train out of the country, Hawkeye hears that an American assassin had been captured(obviously Cap) and broods. The trio of villains take Cap to Max Fury, who taunts Cap for a bit and tells him that he'll show the world that Captain America himself had invaded a sovereign nation to assassinate a senator. Which while not true, would definitely be picked up as true in certain parts of the world. Before Max can set up a camera filming Cap's inglorious defeat, Hawkeye arrives, having used his stealth device to sneak right into Max's inner lair and takes out Max's three goons. Instead of killing Max(because Avengers DON'T kill! I'm looking at YOU, Wolverine!), Hawkeye grabs Cap and uses a rocket arrow to escape Max's lair, which was now compromised. This issue ends with Hawkeye telling Cap that he didn't need Cap's approval to become a leader for the Avengers, as you have to find that approval in yourself, thus solidifying Cap's decision to name Hawkeye the leader of the Secret Avengers.

Thoughts: What can I say? I loved this comic. Rick Remender PERFECTLY depicted the relationship between Cap and Hawkeye here. There is massive respect between the two, but at the end of the day, they go about their business in completely opposite ways. Cap is the consummate professional who is seemingly always right(as Hawkeye points out here), while Hawkeye is the brash, in-your-face type of guy who'd rather smash down the door and rush in flinging arrows. This comic was ALMOST perfect... The ONLY thing that bugged me(and it only bugged me a little bit because I understood why Cap did it) was Cap harping on Hawkeye's dead parents and calling Hawkeye weak in an effort to get him to lose his temper. That was kind of a low blow. Although, as stated, I did understand Cap's strategy behind his harsh words. That and the fact that Hawkeye, who has led the West Coast Avengers, the Avengers and the Thunderbolts, had to be “tested” by Cap I found a bit vexing, but other than that, this was the best comic book I've read thus far in 2012. I'd say the Rick Remender Secret Avengers era is off to a HUGE success!

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.
secret Avengers #21.1
Even on the first page of this issue Hawkeye's dialogue got a chuckle out of me!


  1. You know i also like this issue, I really did, but for some reason i was sure this was going to tie into AVX somehow

  2. Agreed on all aspects Supurb issue!
    i im glad to see here that Remminder is not afraid to go all out Insane in the middle of a good story
    i mean Vengence and Whiplash! FOR THE WIN!
    also agree on the cap hawkeye stuff
    i repeatedly had to look back at the cover to see if i was reading a book from the ultimate universe after how cap was being a dick but that makes me even more intersted to see how remminder will write the Hawkeye Cap Brit Relashonship in the coming Arcs

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  4. That banner on the top of the cover really made it look like this was gonna tie into the AvX event, didn't it? It's weird that they put that big banner on this issue but not on the X-books that came out this week...

    That's a really good comparison, Movieartman. The Cap/Ultimate Cap one. Especially since 616 Hawkeye has adopted Ultimate Hawkeye's look! But yeah, while Cap's stinging words about Hawkeye's folks bugged me a bit, I did get what he was up to, so I could kind of forgive it... Although it really was a rather dickish move, and not something you'd expect from Cap!

  5. Loved itttttt. I gotta admit that i love the idea of bagalia (a super villian/corrupt city. SOunds like Batman inc. might want to take a look! lol jk. But yes I loved this issue. It was like a buddy cop film mixed with mission impossible antics. Cap and hawkeye is always a great tandem. I am hoping that cap sticks around. Maybe not to be a member but i hope they bring him in alot.
    - Captain Britain is like a mixtures of shazam and the GL corp. However, with remender wrting i have faith in this series. I don't read a lot of team books either so i am thrilled with where this is headed.
    -The new masters of evil look pretty good, I am very curious to see who else is in their ranks! I give this issue a 9. only because cap was a bit out of character but i do understand the circumstances. I loved cap admitting to the whole "this where being called boy scout comes in handy. Cap is just so dang cool!

  6. Keeping the new Masters of Evil in Bagalia could give Clint's Secret Avengers a long term enemy going forward, which would be great. As a massive fan of both Clint and Steve, I have to say, Remender really hit the nail on the head with their relationship. He did a great job channeling some of the Gruenwald Cap books where Clint would pop up to team with, fight with and/or try to cheer Cap up.

    And TOTALLY agreed with keeping Cap in this series in some manner, shape or form, um, Cap! He could always pop up to give Clint missions, or even check up on Clint to evaluate how Clint is doing, which would surely lead to some fireworks between the two.

  7. I read this one at the end of a long line of disappointing "Avengers" books, so I actually spent most of the book annoyed over the Cap characterization and, like you said, the idea that Hawkeye would have to prove himself to him. (Good call on the WCA and Thunderbolts points. They hadn't dawned on me, but they make me even more annoyed on Clint's behalf!) I enjoyed the banter in the casino, but the heavy-handed diatribe just really got to me. I'm trying not to let it spoil the new line-up for me, because I know Remender was under editorial mandate to give everyone Clint's story as part of the .1 initiative.

  8. HA, yeah, I can imagine how reading a line of Bendis Avengers books could put anybody in a foul mood, JW! I did that once during Secret Invasion, I think I had built up a good 5 months worth of books, and I read them all in one sitting... Needless to say, I was left in a very foul mood afterwards!

    As for this issue, I still do understand what Cap was doing by trying to push Clint's buttons, but man did that seem wildly out of character... And that's something a lot of people forget about Clint. If I were to rank Avengers leaders, my list would be Cap, Iron Man, Clint. Clint has led teams for YEARS! The fact that he suddenly had to prove himself to Cap was definitely vexing.