Artist: Luke Ross
Being a huge fan of the original Secret Avengers series I was disappointed that my budget wouldn't allow me to get this series. I have however decided to get the series in trade, and now that the first one is out I can see exactly why it has gotten so much praise since it started.
Maria Hill puts together a team of Avengers that go into missions that are that top secret that even the members themselves can't have any memories of them.
This was a fantastic story, and a terrific introduction to the series. Nick Spencer isn't a writer that I'm overly familiar with, as although I've heard good things about some of his previous and current work having only read his minor work on the previous Secret Avengers series, as well as his work on Thief of Thieves and Ultimate Comics X-Men. His work on this story however was outstanding, and much better than anything that I've read from him before, being very unique and interesting. I also loved that it had the perfect espionage feel to it, as although that is expected from spy stories, a lot neglect that for more flashier content. There would also be a lot of mystery in this story, which Spencer handled perfectly, using it to make the story that much more suspenseful and dramatic. The follow of the story however could have been better, as the transitions between issues was very noticeable.
The artwork on this story was also fantastic, and Luke Ross did an outstanding job. I've seen Ross' artwork on a few stories in the past, but I have to say his artwork in this one was simply phenomenal, being very highly detailed throughout. I also felt that the layout of his art was also fantastic, as although not quite as unique or dynamic as other artists it did a brilliant job of adding drama and suspense to the story, setting the perfect tone and mood. The action sequences throughout the story would also be amazing, adding a lot of excitement and entertainment. Besides the brilliant detail it would be the spectacular way that Ross handled the characters facial expressions and emotions that would impress me, as it would help to add yet more depth to the story, making it feel more realistic. On top of that the colours from Matthew Wilson and Lee Loughridge would also help give tone and mood to the story as well.
Whenever a new team book starts it's always the team members that I'm most interested in. This series would have a perfect choice of characters, with Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury Jr., Phil Coulson, Mockingbird, and Hulk all being a part of the team, with Maria Hill and Daisy Johnson also being key characters in the story. Now the main character I was interested in was Nick Fury Jr., as although I've read him in other series he's more of a supporting character, whereas due to being a main character in this series he should have more depth. I also found Hawkeye working with his ex-wife Mokingbird to be very interesting, and the addition of the Hulk made me really happy, even if he was only in one issue.
The main concept in this was that the team members couldn't have any recollection of their missions, with the code word, "reverie" activating the mind wipe. Now the word itself already gave the clue that the story would have characters forgetting things, but the idea itself was very interesting, as it made it feel more mysterious, being the perfect concept for a spy story. I also found it very interesting to see the sneaky way that Coulson got Hawkeye and Black Widow to agree to the program, and how they were basically used as guinea pigs throughout the first issue.
The mains villains in the story would be A.I.M. who are lead by their newest Scientist Supreme Andrew Forson. Now A.I.M has been a very inconsistent team in my opinion, as there are times were they are very interesting, and other times were they aren't, feeling like pushovers. I did however enjoy this version of A.I.M. with their actions throughout the story making things even more interesting. I also found Forson himself to be very interesting, being very dark and mysterious. I also thought that Forson was the perfect type of villain for a spy story, as his characteristics was very similar to some of the James Bond villains, being similar to Dr. No.
The story would also reintroduce the Iron Patriot armour that was most famously worn by Norman Osborn during the Dark Reign, also being used by James "Rhodey" Rhodes in the Iron Man 3 film. Now in this story the Iron Patriot wouldn't have a human pilot, with it being run by A.I. software. Now although not necessarily original, this was a very interesting idea, and the way the story would develop it would become even more interesting. I also loved seeing the way that Daisy Johnson reacted when Senator Robert Ralston revealed the armour, with the fight that it would have with a certain character later on in the story being very exciting.
This was an amazing story, being very appropriate to the series title. The story itself would also be extremely suspenseful and dramatic, having some exciting sequences. It was however the tone and mood of the story from both writer and artist that made it brilliant, with the unique style making it stand out. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this story and can't wait to read the next volume when it's released.