Saturday, December 25, 2010

Secret Avengers #8

“Eyes of the Dragon” Part 3 by Ed Brubaker and artist Mike Deodator Jr.  Steve Rogers’ black ops team continues fighting the Shadow Council and the Hai-Dai while trying to protect Shang-Chi, who has become a target of the villainous organizations.

After two direct -and failed- attempts to retrieve Shang-Chi for their evil purposes, the Hai-Dai and the Shadow Council bring in their big guns, who go a different way about it and concoct a very simple but effective plan.  The Secret Avengers get played when Max Fury and John Steele stage a massacre in Hong Kong to distract Earth’s Mightiest while they go after Sharon Carter, who will be later used to be traded for the Master of Kung-Fu.

And that’s pretty much it.  I like this title a lot, but it is such a short read.  I despise decompressed storytelling and find it to be an excuse for uncreative writing.  A story that used to take three issues to be told ten years ago, now is told by Marvel in an eight-issue limited series, four one-shots, a companion “Front Line” series, a “The Confession” special, two-parter tie-ins in twelve or thirteen ongoing titles, and all of it ends up being just the lead-in to the following year’s big event.  That said, I want to clarify that the writing in this series is not bad, it is just that not a lot happens from one issue to the next.

Readers may be confused by the presence of characters like John Steele and the Prince of Orphans, but I am willing to give Brubaker the benefit of the doubt and believe that soon we will learn who they are and where they come from (these characters actually go a long way back -the 40’s to be more precise- and have been recently reintroduced to current continuity in titles such as Iron Fist), just like he did with Max Fury.

My only exposition to Shang-Chi was back when he was a guest of the X-Men in “Games of Deceit and Death” (X-Men 62-64), and I wasn’t too impressed; however, I like him much more now, and he would be a great addition to the Secret Avengers.

The Secret Avengers Current Cast (minus War Machine)
Mike Deodato Jr. is one of my favorite artists; to me, he can do no wrong, and his art just gets better and better with time.  He is not afraid of illustrating the action from unusual angles and the result is just breathtaking.  My favorite scene in this issue is when Steve Rogers runs towards the Quinjet as it explodes; what a shot!  He is also one of the few who can make the now cat-like Beast look impressive instead of like a joke.

Overall, this third installment of “Eyes of the Dragon” was an issue full of action and you truly get the black ops feeling the series is intended to have.  The art is amazing, and the story is kind of moving along.  My only wish is that we could get more story in one issue; I am not asking for the story to move faster, just for more things to happen in one issue.

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