Marcus Johnson Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Nick Spencer is holding too many secrets in ‘Secret Avengers’

Holding too many cards spoils the game.

Holding too many cards spoils the game.

I didn’t talk about the first issue of the new, more NOW! Secret Avengers last week for a few reasons: First off, I try to keep things positive as I can here at The Fifth Color; I can’t say I always succeed, but being fair is good goal to shoot for. Secondly, I would have wanted to talk about the ending of Rick Remender’s run on the title way more than Nick Spencer’s new gig. Seriously, how amazing was that last issue? Remender really pulled out all the stops on his fascinating robot revolution and really made me sit up and take notice toward the end despite what was more of a expositional start. I hope he has time to come back to his philosophical super-science take on man vs. machine, but I’m guessing it’ll be awhile before Deathlok is back under his employ. Then again, the Uncanny Avengers are specifically the “non-discriminatory: Avengers group, so maybe Deathlok will be sneaking into a few more pages- and see? I told you.

Lastly, it was the day after Valentine’s Day and I am a huge sap.

Thankfully, the esteemed Michael May was dashingly handsome enough to compare the new NOW! Nick Spencer spy story with the similarly cast new storyline in Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Avengers Assemble. Comparing their sp-ytastic stories against one another, it was easy to see where one had suceeded at being a movie-like throwback to secret agent action and where one sadly failed.

Below, I’m going to talk about how Secret Avengers drew the short straw in comic storytelling and how that cool new ‘indy look’ for Marvel comics can fall flat on it’s face. Join me, won’t you?

WARNING: We’re talking about Secret Avengers #1 and Winter Soldier #14, so grab your copies and read along!

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The Fifth Color | Marvel and Man

Battle Scars slipped my ever-vigilant shelf search of what to read, but it’s not terribly surprising to see why. It’s only vaguely tied into the events of Fear Itself, the title is kind of bland and the banner of “Shattered Heroes” seems kind of arbitrary. I mean, that banner hasn’t exactly pulled readers to books with the big bold words above the title, have they? All the rest of the banner-titled book have made a little more sense before; “Initiative” spun out of Civil War, “Dark Reign” spun out of Secret Invasion and so on. I know our heroes are little more fragile after facing the deified embodiment of fear itself, but I wouldn’t say “Shattered Heroes” is all that essential reading for a continuation of story. Everyone came together, had a good fight, then went home and back to their jobs, a little wiser or thoughtful from the experience. Not really worth picking up.

Back to Battle Scars: it seems a very mild book. I did read the first issue and learned about Marcus Johnson, but little else of why this books was going to be the most important book for the future of the Marvel U. Stories about intrigue and espionage are par for the course and sadly, the first issue left me with more questions than answers. Worse, Spider-Man wasn’t even in it.

Anyhow, I picked it up last week for whatever reason, something tingling the old Plot-Senses and lo and behold, issue #4 brought in a very unique development. Something so extraordinary that it had me digging into old issues and invested in Marcus Johnson’s great secret. Not only that, I was even starting to believe the hype and ruminated on how this book really could change the future of the Marvel Universe.

And we’re not even talking about Nick Fury’s shocking last page statements…

WARNING: Battle Scars, we’re talking about it! There’s only four issues out of this six-issues miniseries, so it’s a short investment for a big payoff, so go grab your copies and read along!

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