Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Secret Avengers #18 Mixes Superheroes, Inception and Kung Fu!

Cue the Scooby Doo sneaking music!
On a whim I decided to pick up issue number 18 of Secret Avengers (written by Warren Ellis, with art by David Aja and Raul Allen) and my friend prompted me to pick up the variant cover, which is an amazing image! (Thanks Brian!That is good customer service!) The explosive action continues into the pages past the cover.

So the basic concept of Secret Avengers as I gather, is that there is a group of Avengers that take on deadly missions that no one can know about, foiling plots too terrible to imagine (kind of like Uncanny X-Force?). The mission in number 18 involves Steve Rogers (formerly Captain America) Sharon Carter, and Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, invading an enemy base in the Multiverse, to prevent them from bringing a chemical from the Multiverse to Earth that will transform it into a sun.

Our Heroes
The entire mission takes place inside of an enemy base in another dimension, that has it's own physics. For one thing, the station floating in the Multiverse has a hull too thin for gun use, and has the dimensions of an M.C.  Escher drawing. Think Inception, but with ninja bad guys and superheroes.  Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter bring Shang-Chi in to 'Incapacitate all comers', and incapacitate he does. The action here is paced amazingly, is clear, and uses every possible angle you could to show just how unstoppable these three are when it comes to a bear knuckle brawl. Action depicted this cleanly, clearly and pulse-poundingly is more rare than it should be in superhero books, Aja uses the crazy physics of the setting for all it is worth.

I love the use of color and space here.

Ellis writes a done-in-one story here, he introduces about a dozen awesome concepts, and writes likable, capable characters and fun dialogue.One of my favorite bits was Beast's explanation of the Multiverse, more specifically 'Bad Continuum' which are broken offshoots of the Multiverse:

" They are notable for flaws in the laws of physics. A bad continuum might have gravity, for instance, but water will boil there at ten degrees, or frozen water will turn into music instead of ice."

If that ain't an awesome piece of science fiction style goodness, I don't know what is. The enemy the three come up against is Arnim Zola 4.2.3., who is a man who can broadcast his mind into robot bodies, but apparently 4.2.3. is a broken copy trapped inside a robot body...who plans to kill Steve Rogers and become Arnim Zola OS X! 

If you don't like villains like this comics are not for you.
All in all, this single issue of Secret Avengers has everything I look for in a superhero comic. Cool action, interesting/far out settings and concepts, kooky bad guys, fun banter and awesome artwork. I am going to be checking out issues in the future, thanks a lot Marvel....yeesh (my poor wallet). Oh and I thought that the page below was aweeesome.


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