Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who Is A Secret Avenger?

Ed Brubaker has been announced as the writer for a new title, Secret Avengers. This is massive news yet it seems to have been overshadowed by some silhouettes that may turn out to be anyone. It's a shame because Brubaker on a flagship title that he may be able to bend to his own will is something that I find newsworthy indeed.

I'm not a flagship Marvel reader. I like my writers, and generally I find they work better in the more boutique titles that are out there; Criminal/Incognito, Casanova, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors. They don't tie into the main crossovers of the Marvel U (and let's face it, I am still a Marvel kid, the DCU just doesn't attract me) and I like that things can be self-contained.

But then an announcement is made that intrigues me. Ed Brubaker will be writing an Avengers title, Secret Avengers. The title isn't the greatest thing in the world as we've now had an assortment of Avengers titles from, New, Mighty, Dark, Young, and now this. I'm not excited by the big A logo, I'm excited by the writer.

Brubaker's Pedigree

Ed Brubaker has written Sleeper, and Criminal and Incognito. A stack of issues that when you put them together you get some of my favourite writing from the four colour world of all time. The man knows how to do very cool pulpy crime stories, even with capes and cowls. I have faith in the man to write a torrid tale when the time calls for it.

Yet, the Avengers are generally not known for being a boutique title. They also don't stand on the outside of the Marvel U anymore. They run the direction completely. And this worries me as Brubaker might not even drag me into that sort of dreck. He wrote The Immortal Iron Fist, with Matt Fraction, and it worked superbly. He also wrote The Uncanny X-Men and it didn't exactly melt any faces with its pure awesomeness. I just don't think his style suits being dead centre of the blockbuster crossovers that comic companies thrive on nowadays. Even his Captain America run sits just to the side, most of the time. He tells his own tale most of the time and I worry that his Secret Avengers will just fall a little flat for me.

I worry, but I will wait. I have not made my mind up on this title just yet. Bendis is getting the main Avengers title, named such, and that does not interest me. I know this and it is settled, but the Brubaker element will hover and I'll wait. So far all he has mentioned is that this group of Avengers will be much more street level, and that it will include an espionage tint to the stories told. This interests me greatly, but I want to see who is in the team. So far we only have silhouetted teaser images that I can't really figure out at all, not with any certainty anyway. People are speculating all across the internets, but not me.

Brubaker's Vision

Brubaker has also said that the title, along with his only other ongoing Captain America, will be heavily influenced by Steranko, but also have this crazy sort of Kirby shit, too. Brubaker seems to be keeping the title closer to his roots,, as he's meddled with Steranko styles before in Captain America, and rather than have himself changed by the premise of the title. he's going to work himself into this new title. He says he likes to use superheroes in that over the top kind of James Bond or pulp fiction style. In the end he hopes it will feel different from any other Avengers team, ever.

That sounds promising to me but I will say if it's $3.99 then there is a massive chance I might have to skip it. But, if it has Iron Fist in it I might have to be all over it.

If I were the editor, I would be conscious of fitting Brubaker together with a Secret Avengers team that would be a little bit espionage, a little bit Sterako, a little bit Kirby crazy, and a whole lot of awesome. He's a winning formula in his own style so why not take a chance to suit the title to meet his strengths.

I Am A Secret Avenger

There have been six secret silhouettes released by Marvel that tease who will be a Secret Avenger. Much speculation has abounded and here are a few of my choices as to who they might be, or at least should be.

Steve Rogers - The Leader

Bucky as Captain America is already locked in for the other Avengers so Steve Rogers would be a great choice to lead this team. He's obviously the leader of the group, but would Rogers also feature in Captain America, and could Brubaker double handle him across two titles? 

Otherwise, Steve is battle trained, he's inspiring, he's looking for a new shot, and he'd be great at heading the hopefully newly reformed S.H.I.E.L.D. and kicking ass and chewing bubble gum in this new role. He's been out of the Marvel U for some time due to his time displacement and I'd like to see him stay away from the shield, at least for as long as we can, to give Bucky due process in the role and find Steve a new home. 

Rogers never completely interested me as Cap but, as a new man, I could actually get behind him and appreciate him as a tactical field leader of a covert team of Avengers.

Dr Strange - The Mystic

If your looking for some Steranko/Kirby awesome, then go no further than the character that best showcased it all, the previous Sorcerer Supreme. Stephen Strange is an interesting character as he's spent years training to be the greatest sorcerer on Earth, and held the job for many years as well. 

He's fought the dread Dormammu, as well as chatted with a guy made up of stars and galaxies. He knows how to hold his own with the big guns and now finds himself no longer the sorcerer supreme. He's just some guy who makes cool gang signs and still knows how to tussle with the best of the best in the mystic arts. 

He'd be a handy man to have on a team, part advisor, part magical weapon. He'd also be the elder statesman of the team and, without his own title to hold, this would be a great home for him. It also means we get to see more of the Sanctum Sanctorum which is always a nice thing.

Beast - The Brains

Hank McCoy just lost his co-starring role, with his girlfriend,  Agent Brand, in the form of S.W.O.R.D. and I'm sure he needs a new home. He also needs to be written as a smart character and he would fulfill the smart guy aspect of this group. 

He could argue science versus mysticism with Strange and they'd spend days in the lab concocting all sorts of great weapons and aids in their espionage tales. 

Beast is also a very funny character and can provide great comic relief in any situation. When it comes to battle, Beast knows how to hold his own and would stand up with his team-mates against any opponent. I

don't want to fill the group with a bunch of has-beens who can't hold their own title, but you have to admit that so far this would be a cool team. I feel they would all work well together and all fit organically to make a whole.

Scarlet Witch - The Appeal

Wanda Maximoff has become a very poor character of late because of House of M and her crazy mind doing all sorts of dastardly things to her and the world that surrounds her. She's also been off the table for a while and I think Brubaker would be a very decent writer to bring her back in from the cold.

If you stripped her back (metaphorically speaking) and rebuilt her as a real, and damaged, character with the devil in her past and redemption always a few kilometres on the road ahead of her, then she'd be a perfect noir lady. 

I'd like to see her treated as more than just refrigerator fodder and actually made someone that readers could understand and like once more. Well, maybe not like, but at least find interesting and want to read about again. 

Also, get her out of the stupid and usually sexist attire and have her lead with her character not with her revealed hips. That is a female that Brubaker could write well, much like Miss Misery before her, or Ava Destruction. A lady with a terrible power, and death in her soul, but a fire that burns bright nonetheless.

That leaves two other silhouettes and they seem to lend themselves to certain characters, but I'm generally unsure of who exactly they might be. Have a look and a think over each. They just seem a little generic with no distinguishing features for either, but one certainly does look like a certain Camp Hammond instructor from way back.

They might very well have some more to announce/teaser, so here's my dream pick for a hopeful silhouette number seven (as Brubaker has hinted on Twitter, these silhouettes aren't the only Secret Avengers in the book):

Iron Fist - The Fu

Brubaker has shown that he can write Danny Rand really well. Rand needs a title of his own as his doesn't seem to be coming back any time soon, and what better place than with the man who reinvented his mythos and brought him into the new millennium? 

Rand is a strong character and so can serve with the group easily in missions no matter who they go up against. He's punched helicarriers down to the ground and he knows how to dodge a few bullets. There's no doubting that the iron fist is a cool power set and is always pretty to look at. 

Deodato would have a blast showing us new and improved uses for the fist that becomes like unto a thing of iron. He's just some good looking blonde guy, so he could easily go undercover, which is the sort of thing I want to see this team do. Stealth around and bring down AIM or HYDRA, that sort of thing.  I'd make this one a lock as I don't see any negatives from placing Rand into a team.  It could also lead to more Fat Cobra appearances.  What's not to love about that?


On top of these picks, I'd be happy to see a few extras, but this core unit would have me buying Secret Avengers in a heartbeat. I don't currently buy any Avengers titles due to general disinterest in what's on offer at the moment and so I am not looking to add a new Avengers title that is the same as the old one. 

For those that are all in favour of more of the same, and I appear to be in the minority here, I wish them the best with Bendis' title, but I would prefer something different and I hope that's why Brubaker was chosen to helm this Secret Avengers title. Before, Bendis was the only voice for the Avengers (well, Slott recently took control of Mighty Avengers for those looking for a more classic interpretation, but it was mostly a Bendis led set of Avengers titles up until then) and you were either in or out. With a selection of writers handling them in different ways, the Avengers just might get me to stand up and take notice again.

So, I ask, gentle reader, how excited are you at the prospect of some new blood taking on an Avengers title?  Are you as excited for Brubaker as I am?  What do you think of my choices for Secret Avengers and who do you think would constitute a Secret Avengers or fit the above teaser images?

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Henry said...

Pretty sure that might be Nova on the right. Rumour has it he'll be back on Earth sometime soon.

Ivan said...

I'm getting a War Machine vibe from the "consequences" silhouette.

Then again I could be full of it, I have no idea what's War Machine's current status.

Klep said...

I'm guessing War Machine and Noh-Varr for the last two. I also think the cloaked guy is not Strange, but Moon Knight.

ComicsAllTooReal's Chris said...

It's funny that the same reasons that make Brubaker so appealing to you, are the ones that make me not liking him so much.

Anyway, I really hope that's not the Scarlett Witch. I'd love to see her in the main Avengers book and not a conspiracy-spy-pulp thing.

We'll have to wait and see.

MisterSmith said...

I could definitely get behind Brubaker involving himself with Iron Fist again.

I also would have never thought of Strange for the redemption one, but it makes infinitely more sense, especially with Moon Knight already having his own ongoing to redeem himself with.

Anonymous said...

Well Brubaker has already said that there are more Avengers not yet teased. Iron Fist would be an excellent choice. Mr. Rand definitely has money in the pocket the team would need to finance covert operations (if it's not directly on SHIELD payroll).

mugiwara said...

Muy first pick was Scarlet Witch too, but isn't she locked for the next Young Avengers story, whenever it comes?
Some people mentioned the Valkyrie.

Sam said...

Here are my wrong picks for the Secret Avengers line up.

First picture: Steve Rodgers, pretty much every place I've looked seems to think he is a lock in for team leader and I can't see marvel wasting having him around by not putting him in some sort of leader roll. Second picture: Brother/Dr. Voodoo, pretty much for the some of the same reasons listed for Strange, just with a cape that fits the silhouette. Also with the cancellation of his book he is an open character to use and after all the build up that has been put into him I once again don't see Marvel wanting to waste him. Third Picture: Beast, or at least it better be. Fourth Picture: Wanda. Sixth Picture: War Machine, black ops Ironman. Seventh Picture: Noh-Varr, once again with my build up argument.

I don't have any problems with any of the other guesses I have seen and would be perfectly fine with pretty much any team members that end up in the book as I trust Brubaker to make this awesome. That said, I'll be rather disappointed if Nova is on this team. He is pretty far from being street level these days and his best stories are the ones in space.

PMMJ said...

I'm sorry you're not into DC, because it totally sounds like you'd enjoy the recent Rucka run on Checkmate.

You know who I would love to see on the team? Taskmaster. But then again, I'm just a big Taskmaster fan.

My guess on the two silhouettes is, uh, they're both Wolverine. Because, Marvel.

Mike-El said...

"My guess on the two silhouettes is, uh, they're both Wolverine. Because, Marvel."

That is such an incredibly awesome comment.

e.g. seitz said...

Now days they would both be Deadpool.

I don't think any of the silhouettes is Iron Fist but I would literally jump for joy if Bru included him. I'm still bummed his solo series is no more.

DoctorDoom said...

Huh. For some reason, when I saw the "convictions" quote and read Camp Hammond, I thought of the Gauntlet.

Anonymous said...

I have heard a lot of people say that picture is beast, but it actually doesnt look anything like him, its just the pose. The picture has no claws, and its not furry. I would love to see him back as an avenger but I just dont think its him.

However, I do think that last one is Marvel Boy or whatever he is called now. He had a whole avengers issue devoted to him not long ago, and was only in Dark Avengers for a short period

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