Comic Book Review: Secret Avengers #16 | Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Comic Book Review: Secret Avengers #16

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I started reading Marvel’s Secret Avengers because Ed Brubaker was writing it. Simple as that. When Nick Spencer and Scot Eaton took over, I continued reading with apprehension. But Spencer smashed it with his four-issue run and made me love this comic even more.

Secret Avengers #16 kicks off yet another creative team, as fan favorite writer Warren Ellis teams up with artist Jamie McKelvie. I know of Ellis’ work, but can’t say whether I’ve ever read any of his stuff. So coming into Secret Avengers #16 I wasn’t really sure what to expect. If nothing else, the weird sideways cover by John Cassaday and Paul Mounts gave me a feeling that this issue was going to be interesting.

Secret Avengers #16 finds Steve Rogers (though he’s back as Captain America in his own book, he’s not in his Captain America costume here), Hank McCoy (Beast: Mutant Genius), Natasha Romanova (Black Widow: Super Spy) and Marc Spector (Moon Knight: Crazy Person) in a super-secret-subterranean city beneath Cincinnati where they have to deal with a weapon of mass destruction.

McKelvie variant cover - Image via

Ellis is the master of the single-issue epic. In 26 pages, we’re given a complete story (beginning, middle and ending) with great characterization and much action and adventure. You can keep your twelve-issue-forty-five-tie-ins-mega-company-crossovers, because in one issue Ellis gives you a story that can stand shoulder to shoulder (and in most cases, stand head and shoulders above) those massive events that we get two or three times a year.

The art by McKelvie took a bit of getting used to. His style is reminiscent of the old school books I grew up on: clear and crisp lines with no cross-hatching (leaving Matthew Wilson’s colors the job of creating depth and shade). But the more I read, the more I grew to like the artwork. McKelvie has a unique style that I look forward to seeing again.

Secret Avengers #16 is another great jumping-on point for new readers. Great storytelling, great characters, and a great adventure with an interesting and thought-provoking moral question on the very last page.

Well? What are you waiting for? Turn off your computer and head out to your local comic joint and get Secret Avengers #16. This comic book is the superhero/spy book you’ve been waiting for.

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