The Most Dangerous Secrets We Have… Are The Ones We Keep From Ourselves.” The new Nick Fury leads a covert Avengers strike team including but not limited to Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Hulk, The Winter Soldier, Maria Hill and Phil Coulson on missions so dangerous, even the team members themselves can’t know about them!
In Budapest now Hawkeye is captured and interrogated by some criminals. They are unable to discern whether through interrogation, telepathy or magic. He is rescued by Black Widow while Nick Jr. kills a teleporting terrorist from killing the President of the United States.
In the past Coulson makes Black Widow and Hawkeye an offer they can’t refuse. On the mission leading up to Hawkeye being injured we realize that Nick Jr. was the one to shoot him to complete the mission.
As Hawkeye lies recovering we realize his memory has been altered to believe he was injured in a firefight with the enemy.
Cover- Pretty dark and noir looking; I like it! Perhaps it’s the composition of the team shot. We have Black Widow with her gorgeous red hair in the foreground while Hawkeye and Nick Jr. are in the mid-ground with Maria Hill and agent Coulson in the background.
Set Up- I’m really digging the idea of agents in the secret Avengers having alterable memories for the missions. This first issue really sells that idea! I mean the many uses of said plot device are showcased superbly this issue. From the perspective of the agents we have no idea why they agreed to be in this program in the first place, IF they actually did! Secondly, immunity from telepathic and magical probes is a huge bonus!
Action- Guns blazing ass kicking frenzy in this fiery first issue! I love it!
Art- Luke Ross’s shadowy, dark somber style is at home in this espionage tale meets superheroics. This man needs to be on this book for a long ass time because it’s just that good.
Black Hero- We get Nick Fury jr alone but we can’t complain since he’s a central cast member who literally drives the plot and story home. If you don’t know who Nick Fury/Marcus Johnson is you need to check our Battle Scars and read his biography.
Emotion- Honestly you really can’t help but wonder how Black Widow or Hawkeye ended up in this operation and just how much emotional upheaval and/or trauma they will be forced to undergo over the course of this book. What’s worse is they are treated as completely expendable with Shield literally jerking their chain at every turn. Shot in the stomach by a teammate while your mind is altered to not remember said fact is pretty messed up on so many levels!
The shady government institutions cliche has been used since way back when, hopefully this series can pull a few original elements out of this or else this book may become stale real quick.
A thrill ride of an adventure with so many grey areas you wonder if your in limbo! Nick Spencer and Luke Ross deliver the best espionage antics in years! You should be reading this book! 4/5