Written by Ales Kot
Art by Michael Walsh
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 9, 2014

SECAVN2014002_DC11jpg_Page1Comics can be light and fun or heavy and dark. Comics can ask tough questions, making the readers look inside themselves to come up with an answer or comics can just aim to entertain, asking readers to shut off their brains and simply enjoy it on a visceral level. The fact that comics can be so many different things is one of the reasons why I love the medium so much. It’s a special comic that can do all of those things, and Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, and Matthew Wilson’s Secret Avengers aims to do just that.

Ales Kot is the new kid on the block at Marvel. He worked his way up at Image with Wild Children and Change, and he continues to do amazing work on the ongoing series Zero. Ales Kot is a writer interested in big ideas, the abstract, and the universal struggles that all humans share. In Secret Avengers #2, Kot implements those big ideas with a good dose of humor and fun. The result is something that feels incredibly unique and like a breath of fresh air.

Kot juggles a few different storylines in Secret Avengers, as he is working with an ensemble cast. Phil Coulson and Nick Fury are floating in space after defeating The Fury. They are slowly descending towards Earth, waiting to be burned up during entry into the atmosphere. Kot channels some of what I felt while watching the film Gravity. Two characters coming face to face with their humanity, up against impossible odds at survival. Also, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and Hawkeye, are rocketing their way up to space to try to save them. Hawkeye used to date both of these women, so expect lots of funny banter from these three. All the while this is happening, Maria Hill is dealing with a new enemy, and Modok is being his typical egomanic self. The Phil Coulson/Nick Fury storyline works as the emotional center of the issue. Hearing Coulson contemplate the beauty of life and what happens when we die is incredibly moving. These are some of the best scenes from those characters I have ever read. Ales Kot succeeded in making these characters more than just your standard comic book characters on a piece of paper, he makes them feel real. Overall, his writing is sparse but very well thought out, making every word matter. He spares us the chore of reading through pages of exposition, and instead gets us right into the action.

The art of Michael Walsh fits perfectly with the tone of Ales Kot’s writing. Walsh is able to capture a wide variety of human emotions with few lines. His page layouts are also a thing to marvel at, using lots of panels to convey actions or switch from different character perspectives. The scenes he draws in space are particularly breathtaking, and perfectly capture the feeling of isolation. Walsh is helped immensely by the colors of Matthew Wilson who does a fantastic job here. Walsh and Wilson are two guys that are only getting better, and they show some really strong work here. I hope this creative team sticks together for the long haul because it’s pretty.

Secret Avengers is a book that tries to do many things, and succeeds at pretty much everything. Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, and Matthew Wilson, have created themselves one of the best offerings to come out of the All-New Marvel NOW. It juggles a fun and humorous tone while also being incredibly sad and poignant. It’s the comic book that does it all.

The Verdict: 10/10


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