Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Secret Avengers #5

By Colin Andersen
September 22, 2010 - 18:35

If you came to Secret Avengers #5 looking for the same kind of slam-bang action featured in the previous four issues, then be prepared to see something else entirely. In fact, aside from some scenes with Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers (formerly Captain America) you won’t find a single member of Secret Avengers team at all in this issue. Everything here revolves around explaining just what exactly was going on with the Nick Fury seen briefly in the past four issues. As such, a good chunk of this issue is flashback and exposition, but don’t let that discourage you from picking up this issue. WARNING: THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. YOU COULD PROBABLY HAVE FIGURED SOME OF THESE SPOILERS OUT, BUT IF YOU’RE REALLY CONCERNED, THEN TURN AWAY NOW.


Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, we can get to discussing the plot. As I’m sure many readers were able to guess, the Nick Fury that has been working with the villains in the previous four issues is not, in fact, Nick Fury. Instead, this is a synthetic (but not robotic) copy of Nick Fury that was created by Nick’s Brother Jake (AKA Scorpio) years ago that believed himself to actually be Nick Fury. I won’t go into why he believed that or why he is behaving the way he is now, but you should also know that he now goes by the name “Max Fury.” Despite the relatively little action of the issue, it is still a lot of fun to read. I honestly don’t know if Max Fury has ever actually been seen before this issue or if writer Ed Brubaker created him, though my research seems to point to him being a new character. Either way, the story of his past is an entertaining one with some truly emotional scenes. Even if it is not the most original back story ever, that didn’t stop me from feeling for genuinely sorry for the character more than once. Brubaker does a really commendable job of making the emotions come off the page. He also seems to really “get” how Nick Fury thinks and feels and that comes across excellently in this issue. He behaves in exactly the ways you would expect him to as he tells Steve Rogers what he knows and it makes me wish he were in this series more often.
   This issue probably won’t work for everyone though. I enjoyed it well enough, but it is still nearly all exposition and background. There is little action here and that may turn some people off. This exposition is written very well, but I would not have minded if Brubaker could have figured out some way to work it in that didn’t essentially devote an entire issue to explanation and set-up. In this respect, this issue is like moving to a slow crawl after the fast-pace of the first arc of the series. It also doesn’t help that there are a rather liberal amount of clichéd story elements to be found here. This issue has plot devices in it such as making the readers sympathetic for the created life, someone returning from the dead when other watched them die, and the person that manages to sneak into a spy organization with seemingly little effort. These things don’t necessarily hurt the story, but I know that Brubaker could have come up with some other way to make all these events happen that didn’t feel quite so…tired. Also, if you haven’t read certain other comic books, the reveal of a character at the end will fall completely flat as you will have no idea who the person be introduced is (I didn’t).

    Until I read the preview of issue #5 a few days ago, I had no idea that Mike Deodato Jr. would not be handling art duties on this particular issue. It’s a disappointment to say the least. I have come to really appreciate his dark, sketchy style lately, which is impressive since I normally don’t care for that kind of art style. While I will say that I strongly hope this isn’t a permanent arrangement, David Aja and Michael Lark do perfectly fine job filling in this month. I’ve always been fairly… indifferent about their art. For some reason, and this applies to both of them, their artwork has always appeared a bit too realistic and harsh and it sometimes seems to like detail. Some of the characters they illustrate end up having strange body sizes and can stand in some awkward poses. However, I can recognize their talent, especially in terms of panel organization and making their panels flow into each other. Normally, I would not have liked their style on this book, but this whole issue is devoted to more grounded stories that don’t feature the superhero cast it normally has so it works. I would not like to see them stay on Secret Avengers for long, but it works for now and I know some will love it.

    It may not have the crazy action of the past four issues, but Secret Avengers still certainly doesn’t disappoint. This month is a little bit more predictable than the other were, but things promise to pick up again next month, so I don’t mind the changes seen here. If you’ve been enjoying Secret Avengers so far, I don’t see any reason why this month should be any different.

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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