By Rick Remender (Writer), Matteo Scalera (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Colorist)
The Story: The Secret Avengers tells Captain America how their latest mission ended and how everything ended and who were the heroes and villains of this story.
The Review: Secret Avengers always had a tough time as a title, ever since its inception. When Ed Brubaker launched the title, we all had huge expectations about just what we’d find in the book, only for us to find that he was not as great at writing team books as he was writing about crime or espionage. Then after came Nick Spencer for the Fear Itself tie-ins, giving us some small stories about some of the more neglected team-members during the first twelve issues. Right after came Warren Ellis with a number of delightful one-shots for six issues, only to leave right after to let Rick Remender on the title.
The expectations were huge on the title. Not only was this the writer of Uncanny X-Force, the smash hit of the time, but he had Gabriel Hardman and some new team members. Taking some of the established points from Uncanny X-Force, most notably Father, Remender tried his best to continue the plot points inserted by other writers before him while making his own story along the way. While it is true it was nowhere near as good as the title that made Rick Remender reputation at Marvel, it is still noteworthy to say that Secret Avengers was still a good book worthy to follow months after months and this final issue is a testament to all of that.
Finishing Father’s story with the nano-mist infection and the rise of the Descendants, Rick Remender does so with panache, giving us plenty of actions with some of the more highlighted characters from his series, like Captain Britain, Hawkeye and Venom. Unfortunately, other characters like Black Widow, Beast and Valkyrie are close to inexistent here, which is a shame considering the fact that the three were part of the title from the very start. Still, what we do get here is fantastic action, with Captain Britain kicking all sort of mechanical gears, Venom resuming his fight with Black Ant and Hawkeye coming to grip with the hard decision of destroying the Descendants.
All of these scenes contribute to the tension, even though we do know they make out of it okay considering the very first scene of the comic. There are some very nervous scenes in the comics, especially with Hawkeye and his view of the critical decision he has to do. The way it is written and presented, it makes for a great scene, cementing it with the dialogue and the way the panels are zooming on the key elements. It seems that Rick Remender always has key elements in his mind, be it characters, specific actions or concepts, it makes his work seem very continuous and seamless. Right in this finale, he has placed at least three plot points that could be exploited in further series of his or in the entire Marvel universe. It makes me hope that his contributions will be seen in other titles or at least continued by other writers.
One contributor that was seen, however, was Matteo Scalera who had taken the art duty in a line of artists that had worked on this title, with the list containing names like Mike Deodato Jr., Gabriel Hardman, Stuart Immonen, Kev Walker and so forth. From my point of view, he brought his own style to this title and demarked himself from the other, bringing a unique vision to the title. Considering the fact that the book evolved from heavy spy stories to full action book under Rick Remender tenure, his art fitted the bill well enough with his big sense of scale and his energy in the action department. Some of his faces might have been wonky, but they drove the point home, something that not every artist can do. Accompanied by Matthew Wilson chaotic yet fitting colors, the book never looked stale.
The Conclusion: A good and fitting conclusion to a series that had it rough. Full of potential for other stories and filled with great scenes… Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera and Matthew Wilson did a great job on the title and it is something that deserves to be remembered as the ambitious storyline it was.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière