Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Secret Warriors #3 Review

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Stefano Caselli

Secret Warriors continues to impress this month and is easily my front runner for best new book this year. After taking a break from Fury's newest warriors last month to spotlight the rebirth and reunification of Hydra under Baron Strucker, Kraken, Madame Hydra, Viper and several other high profile Hydra villains, Hickman and Caselli thrust the team back into the spotlight with some excellent character moments intersperced with the teams first failure in the field.

To be honest, the only problem I had with the issue was that it ended. The book was already packed with content from cover to cover, but left me dying for more at the same time, which is something few books are able to do these days.

That said, this issue broke down into two major parts - a character driven moment between Nick Fury and his off again, on again ex-lover, Contessa Allegra de Fontaine, and the action packed confrontation between the recently resurrected Hydra powerhouse, Gorgon, and our Secret Warriors.

The Nick Fury/Contessa scene was my favourite part of the issue. It was packed with razer sharp dialogue from both parties involved and really drove home the relationship between the two as well as the current mindframe of Nick Fury. The use of Contessa for this scene was well chosen as she is one of the few characters that can speak to Fury on this level and the way Fury reacts to her is completely different than anyone on the Secret Warriors team.

In regards to the action part of this issue, Caselli's art made this sequence. I've loved his work on Avengers: The Iniative and I love it on this title, too. The squad was sent by Fury to prevent Hydra from raiding any more top secret SHIELD facilities. However, the team was too late getting to a psi-ops intel base and was forced to watch as Gorgon executed several of the facility's operatives.

Unable to stand idly by, Quake ordered the team to engage, a command I'm sure she's likely to regret over the coming months as Yo-Yo, the resident team speedster, proved too slow for Gorgon, who made use of his katana to severly injure and nearly kill the young hero. It wasn't made completely clear how badly Yo-Yo was hurt, but we can easily see at least one of her forearms sliced off and flying through the air and we were told, as she was rushed to surgery, that she had lost a lot of blood going in.

The other combatant of note was Phobos, the God of Fear. The youngest member of the team stepped up to confront Gorgon as the team made their escape and, in what I thought was a great moment, was forced to run as Gorgon calmly points out he's already died once and come back, so no longer fears anything.

Finally, the aftermath of the botched mission saw Fury reach out to Dum Dum Dugan, former SHIELD agent and ex-Howling Commando. It's not stated outright what Fury wants from him, but he's looking for some people willing to get their hands dirty and people that shoot first and ask questions later. To this Dugan simply replies with a, "I might be able to round up some guys.". Will the Secret Warriors be expanding to include the old Howling Commandos squad or will Fury be running another team unbeknownst to his inexperienced squad?

Verdict - Must Read. Action, suspense, great character moments and beautiful art - what's not to love?

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