Covering Issues #1-7
Picking up partly from the end of the previous version of this title, Maria Hill has cemented her position as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s head (again), but she is balancing on a precarious precipice with the secrets that she’s keeping. Knowing that the world will always have need for secret agents beyond even the clandestine operations of the planet’s premiere espionage agency, she leads the Secret Avengers against threats that are too terrible to bring to light for normal superheroes to take on; however, because no one knows their actions, it has also become something of an issue when back-up is needed.
Something that really is off-putting for the comic is Hill working with M.O.D.A.K. and his ilk; it isn’t that S.H.I.E.L.D. working with a villain is out of character, but the fact that this A.I.M. killing machine is now on the side of good is utterly ridiculous. M.O.D.A.K. has never been what I considered to be a likeable character, and the physical makeup of him is really impractical in a lot of ways. To me he’s been nothing but a joke, and even his new stance with Hill has done little to improve his likeability. Even his experiments leave little to the imagination and are completely distasteful in appearance and practicality.
At times I think the comic tries too hard to be both a serious and funny read, making a play at having important people act in weird ways that they commonly wouldn’t be seen as. The latest issues have even had a character who is well known to be used as a punchline through most of his appearances, and the writing for the very last issue has been rather ludicrous. When I see a title with the word “Avengers” in it, I expect there to be some serious, life-changing events taking place, not a breaking-the-fourth-wall commentary on the changing nature of comic books.
The only real saving grace of this comic is that it gives some insight into the operations of Maria Hill and how S.H.I.E.L.D. operates in the dark. The funny moments do occasionally make me laugh, but the fact that there is such an overwhelming inclusion of them leaves much to be desired. Likewise, the serious moments make the plot points feel unbalanced, but they do give some actual information for the readers. All in all, the title is very low on my pick-up list, and the only thing that even makes me want to read it is that it gives some insight into Spider-Woman’s interactions as a secret agent. Do yourself a favor, true believers; read something better.