By Ales Kot, Michael Walsh & Matthew Willson
A lighter Secret Avengers special ops team takes on a familiar threat in this issue of Secret Avengers.
The issue moves at a steady pace as it follows the team on their mission with Maria Hill and M.O.D.O.K. monitoring from headquarters. Fury Jr, Hawkeye and a few red shirt S.H.I.E.L.D. agents investigate a city that shouldn’t exist in the pursuit of the Fury. It is a one-off story in terms of action and resolution but much like Zero, Ales uses these stories to further develop the characters and mystery surrounding them.The dialogue feels genuine and true to the characters and their actions help develop some further.
Ales always manages to navigate the perfect levels of humor and seriousness in Secret Avengers. While this issue takes a more serious tone with the action and subject matter, M.O.D.O.K. is still daintily drinking tea. When the more serious tones take place in the issue they resonate more in contrast to the well crafted humor from both Ales and Walsh.
There are a lot of questions and mystery surrounding Ales’ team of Avengers. Ales plays nicely with the S.H.I.E.L.D. trust issues and the inner workings of a secret task force. This is one of the more fleshed out Maria Hills in terms of her role as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what that means for her. The interactions and relationship between Maria and M.O.D.O.K. have been some of the break out moments of the series and it reaches new levels in this issue. There is an interesting dynamic between the two and builds more on the what don’t we know and what do others know mystery that is present in Secret Avengers.
Walsh delivers another beautiful issue of Secret Avengers. Walsh sequences panels that match the tone of the special ops opening of the story. The action is fluent and brutal. Always subtle but on point are Walsh’s expressions and emotions, Hawkeye screaming “Get out of the way!” has the look and energy of a person yelling. Wilson’s bright colors are toned down for the night time stealth action but he impressively uses the light from the goggles as a lighting source. Wilson blurs these bright lights to add extra movement to Walsh’s action sequences.
Secret Avengers is smart, funny and laced with intrigue. Ales Kot knows when to lighten the mood and when to knuckle down. Issue four is a one-shot mission that moves along the greater story and characters while still being enjoyable and looking beautiful. Secret Avengers continues to remind readers it is not your typical superhero book, it is better.