When Secret Avengers debuted it was one of the most highly anticipated books to come out of Marvel for yours truly in that it offered a spotlight on the "B" characters with the Avengers name attached, of course Nova was onboard!
However, the secret behind Secret Avengers was that it was just another Captain America book, and with that I was off with issue #4.
Somewhere between then and now I did manage to pick up an issue; however, not one "secret" Avenger appeared in the issue - it was all Cap?!
And that all changes with Rick Remender coming onboard Secret Avengers #21.1.
While Hawkeye is not ordinarily one of my fav's (a bow and arrow? really?), Remender has more than proved himself with Uncanny X-Force, hands down Marvel's current best book on the racks.
So what did I think?
To be honest, I found it lacking both in writing and art.
First off, the only difference between a street-clothed Captain America and Hawkeye is the purple tint of Clint's suit. No man in his right mind is going to wear a purple suit. Purple tie? Yes. Business suit? No. I think what the artist was trying to do was use a purple and blue hue to differentiate between Steve and Clint, but they came off looking like identical twins, with slightly different hair styles. To put this in perspective, there is a big difference between the look of Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner. Yeah, I went there with The Avengers movie reference, because they did change Clint's costume, and let's be honest, the movie is the reason for the big Hawkeye push. Of course, not to say that is necessarily a bad reason.
Second, the villains. It was great to see a new Masters of Evil, especially with Vengeance! That is one heck of a cool character, so to see him going at it with Cap was pretty good! However, just how did they capture Cap? It wasn't drawn well. In that one panel Cap is shown jumping and then a huge snake is shown across the next panel. Did it eat him? Was it some sort of psychic snake?
And how the heck didn't Max Fury know that Hawkeye was there?
Fury used a life decoy model to trap Cap, pinning a murder on him, while using a device that can record through the camouflage buttons. Wasn't Hawkeye on the footage? Or are we led to believe that the five hours they held Cap for, Fury never checked out the footage? In addition, Cap and Hawkeye lit up some security guards in the hotel; now how can Fury think Cap was alone? Did the Masters of Evil just happen upon Cap, and that's when they started following him, and that's when they started filming him? Because if they filmed Cap after those events, why would the footage be used against Cap? It wouldn't, it would just be footage of Cap running around the streets. That's not illegal, is it? Furthermore, it was in the newspapers that they captured an American spy. Now, you have to assume that was leaked by Max Fury, but again, it would come back from the hotel that there was more than one assailant.
Hawkeye even says something similar to Max Fury at the end about not realizing he was there.
For a new arc, a new direction, a new writer, a new lead role and new villains, this issue is full of so many holes as Hawkeye himself can shoot them!