Comixology Sale Picks: Secret Avengers (2010)

Comixology Sale Picks: Secret Avengers (2010)
If you like Avengers - specifically Secret ones - this is the book for you. Featuring a cast stuffed with your favourite Marvel names! Captain America, Nick Fury, Ant-Man, War Machine, Nova, Moon Knight, Beast, Valkyrie, Black Widow, Agent Carter and Shang Chi. We know, we know. Settle down.

This series defined itself as the "espionage" Avengers title. If you want to know what that means (not a lot beyond the first 12 issues) you'll have to read it to see. But although there are four writers and two crossovers, it's got some good stuff scattered throughout its run. To make sure you know what to buy, here's our guide to Comixology's Secret Avengers sale.

Brubaker/Deodato Run: #1-12

Although billed as two different arcs - Mission to Mars and Eyes of the Dragon - this is essentially one story by Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato. It's a superb 12-issue run filled with Jim Steranko-influenced secret agent weirdness. The "Eyes of the Dragon" arc sort of relies on you knowing that Shang Chi is supposed to be Fu Manchu's son (the comic itself is a bit vague for copyright-related reasons) but otherwise it's easy to dip into. Good stuff, but treat it as one big story.
Nick Spencer Run: #12.1-15

Basically just a fill-in, Nick Spencer's run can be safely skipped. Personally I'm doubly inclined to skip issue #12.1, which appears to be Spencer's anti-Wikileaks issue. The remaining three issues - #13, #14 & #15 - are tie-ins to the "Fear Itself" crossover, but not particularly essential ones even by the meagre standard of most Marvel crossovers. There's not much interesting here, especially in light of what comes next
Warren Ellis Run: #16-21

YES PLEASE. Six one-shot issues with six different artists, all of which are SOLID GOLD. Just look at this roster of arists: Jamie McKelvie on #16, Kev Walker on #17, David Aja on #18, Michael Lark on #19, Alex Maleev on #20, Stuart Immonen on #21. They're all fantastic, but issue #20 in particular is one of the best Black Widow stories you'll ever read. If you only buy one issue from this sale, make it that one.
Rick Remender Run: #21.1-34

After that, this can't fail to be a bit of a let-down, but it has its moments. There's an overhaul of the cast, with Hawkeye taking the lead of a team consisting of Venom, Captain Britain, Valkyrie, Black Widow, Giant Man and Beast. Remender does follow up on some of the plot threads Ed Brubaker introduced (he uses Max Fury and John Steele, for example) so if you read the first issues of this there's some continuty here.

Depending on how you feel about crossovers, the three AvX issues - #26-28 - are either completely skippable or must-buy. Some of the Secret Avengers characters are in it, but it's also got Thor and Ms. Marvel and the story has nothing to do with the rest of the book's run. Despite that, the art is by Renato Guedes (and is therefore AMAZING) and as an Avengers story about Captain Marvel, it's actually really good, so worth buying for that reason.

Personally, I don't think Remender's run is especially good, but nor is it especially bad. As is often the case in these sales, it's mainly hard to recommend because it's surrounded by much better things. If you've already got Brubaker and Ellis' runs, give it a whirl.