Marvel Comics – July, 2008 – $2.99 – 32pg. – Color
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis – Artist: Alex Maleev – Cover: Marko Djurdjevic
Before I jump into the review, first let me say if you haven’t read Secret War (5 issue mini-series back in 2004), I would HIGHLY suggest getting a trade or locating the issues somehow. It was a great series and was one of Bendis’ first works for Marvel after getting a contract, but more importantly he revealed in an interview that it was where he started working in his Secret Invasion storyline.
Anyway, the issue starts off with one of the main characters from Secret War who basically hasn’t been seen since: Daisy Johnson. She is talking to a man who looks a lot like the Ultimate version of Nick Fury, though it becomes clear very quickly that it actually is Nick using an image inducer. She basically explains the events of Secret War for the reader who may not know about it. He then tells her he has been keeping a secret “Caterpillar File” on people who have powers, some of them not even knowing so. He wants to tap these people and get them on his side, mainly because he knows they’ll be trustworthy since he is basically the only person that knows about them, which would make it impossible for the Skrulls to have replaced them.
Daisy heads off and recruits each one. First, Ares’ son Alexander, who doesn’t know that he is actually Phobos, the God of Fear. She then finds a young woman named Yo Yo Rodriguez, daughter of a small-time villain known as the Griffin with some kind of speed/slingshot powers and the grandson of the original Phantom Rider, a man named J.T. Slade who has inherited a bit of the fire powers. She heads to Mutant Town to try and recruit Layla Miller (who was already waiting outside for Daisy), but she refuses and says the mutants need her. She also tells Daisy that she’ll survive this whole ordeal, but she’ll lose a lot in the process. Daisy then goes to Dr. Strange’s abandoned Sanctum to find the the next recruit (after traveling to Hawaii where he was supposed to be), the son of Dr. Druid who has a bit of magical/chemical powers but doesn’t know how to use them. Last but not least, Daisy bails a guy named Jerry Sledge out of prison, though we don’t get any inkling as to who he may be related to or what his powers are, except that he is quite a large man. Daisy gathers them up and Nick explains that the must listen to him or they’ll die, but what they will be doing will make the world a better place.
Two things confused me about this issue. First, after the Ares mini-series a while back, Alexander knows all about his demi-god status. However, Bendis portrays him as being clueless about his powers, as well as being a few years younger than he used to be. Bendis admitted on his message board he read the mini-series and just said “stay tuned” in response to people questioning him. Second, I’m not sure when this takes place, because after Messiah Complex, Layla is stuck in the future.
Anyway, aside from those two things, I really hope Mighty Avengers stays like this. The past two issues have been so good. The advert for this issue called these people the new Howling Commandos. I really hate that name, but they never mention it in the issue at all. Might have just been a selling point. I’m liking these characters though. They all have that disenchanted feel to them that Bendis loves to use with his characters. They have powers and they’re not even that thrilled about it, but they know that makes them special and they can do something with them. I’m assuming Nick’s comment at the end meant that everyone would be dead because of the Skrull invasion, not that they were specifically in danger themselves, so that really gives the gravity of it. If these people fail in whatever mission Nick has cooked up, humanity may die off at the hand of the Skrulls. I can’t wait for Fury to show up in the main Secret Invasion series. That will be excellent.
Writing: 9.0 – Story: 10 – Art: 9.5 – Cover: 9.0