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This week we got a sneak peek at one of our ever-growing spectrum of Avengers books, in this case the Secret ones. As was spectacularly introduced by a website of dazzling intellect and phenomenal taste (and they’re all snappy dressers there too!) the Secret Avengers will be the team that no one can know about … but everyone will talk about! The irony!
So let’s break some rules here and talk about them because, by God, no advertising slogan is going to tell me what to do (unless it’s The Dew)! The line-up thus far is Nova, Valkyrie, the Beast, War Machine, Moon Knight and a suspicious-looking blond-haired man in a funny, but familiar looking costume. Astute readers (who are also snappy dressers) have noted the uniform’s similarity to the Fighting American, a character more known for how much looking like Captain America gets you in a court of law than any particular storylines of his own. So we can make our assumptions and say that blond guy is Steve Rogers in an homage get-up. You can kill the man and give his job to someone else, but you can’t really take the job out of the man.
Looking at the roster, aside from a couple exceptions, you could surmise that this is a ‘Kooky Quartet Reborn'; this is an odd bunch of characters who are in it for the justice and perhaps some personal absolution from the Sentinel of Liberty himself. Maybe he believes in Moon Knight or knows enough about War Machine to want him on his side when things get ugly. Maybe Beast is just looking for a solid sense of justice and some heart, maybe Valkyrie doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Maybe there’s a few more people on this team that will make their true purpose come to light.
And then there’s Nova.
Yeah, we all saw the silhouette and wracked our brains for who the blasting, helmet-wearing hero who excels through adversity. There is no other answer, Nova is going to be grounded for a time back on Earth which would seem ludicrous considering how removed the character has been from ‘common’ continuity.
Richard Rider (make your jokes now) has been in space as the last guardian of an intergalactic peace-keeping force for quite some time now. In the past year or so, he’s gotten a head start on deputizing some new recruits, but with Invasions, Wars, Kings and now Space Chthulu on the way, why on Earth would he come to Earth? His adventures in the cosmic lore of the Marvel Universe have been exciting and fulfilling when the our adventures back with Wolverine, Spider-Man and others have been complicated and less-than-heroic.
Nova has been a force for good through adversity, madness and giant evil planets. He has survived on his own, grown his own family and looked out for The Right Thing no matter what others told him, galactic Worldminds or secret AIM scientists. He’s a man who has some pretty wicked cosmic powers at his fingertips, but that’s not as important as his constant struggle to be the only cop on an interstellar beat. The Marvel Way of comics makes you care for the common man and Richard Rider is a young man with parents back home and an overeager younger brother. He’s a great analogy for the best of today’s modern soldier, someone who signed up to do good by our country because that’s where his heart lies. Nova’s out there because he has Earth to look after.
So maybe that’s why he’s getting called back home. Personally, I think it’s a shame that he might leave active space duty when Thanos looms on the horizon with an Imperative, not to mention Old Ones living in a nearby universe that might spring at any minute. Oh, you can’t forget not to mention the cadets he still has out there and how recent it was that Richard Rider was the Last Nova Left. But at the same time, this is the Heroic Age. We should call fine examples of this trait back to our planet to serve as an example to others. To work alongside Steve Rogers for a greater, if still secret, good.
Nova wasn’t solicited for June, and I at least assumed this had to do with the Thanos Imperative. Then again, when you assume, u and me have to answer for it, so maybe he’ll be finding his home here on Terra Firma rather than the stars. A lot can happen between now and June and with Ed Brubaker in charge, I gotta good feeling about this.
And yet there are two unrevealed members of the Secret Avengers team. What on Earth could make Steve Rogers keep secrets?