SECRET AVENGERS #19
What did the
Art by Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, & Brian Thies
Colors by Jose Villarubia
Letters by Dave Lanphear
Cover by John Cassaday, Paul Mounts, & Larry Stroman
Size: 0 pages
At this point, I pity the next artist that comes after the perfect issue of Secret Avengers #18. Warren Ellis is still the writer here, so I expect him to deliver another solid script. I’m not kidding though when I say Secret Avengers #18 is my favorite, and my vote for Best, single issue of the year. It delivered on everything I wanted in a comic from a great idea of a story to some of the best art I’ve seen in a single issue by David Aja. So with yet another ‘A’-listed artist with Michael Lark coming it, it’s amazing to think he’s got a lot to work to ‘wow’ me.
Wow me it did. This is yet another gorgeous issue and another amazing attempt for an artist. This issue takes place in a Cold War-like country (that might as well be Russia, let’s be honest) so it fits the aesthetic to most Michael Lark issues. It’s dark, cold, and unpleasant which fits all the requirements for a Lark comic. My favorite pages do come from the beginning because he handles the cold landscape of this country perfectly. From the grey buildings, to the snow covered ground, you can just feel how miserable a place this must be. Once the issue takes place inside the compound, he handles the drab interiors and action well. Lark’s design of Moon Knight in this ‘new’ costume is one of the best costumes I’ve seen all year. It’s like seeing James Bond put on a mask and never before have I wanted a comic book of superhero James Bond then now. The rest of the action that doesn’t involve Moon Knight is also solid. I particularly love the way the ‘demons’ (or whatever they are) are released from the bodies. It makes that two page spread in the beginning all the more gorgeous.
The story is simple and effective as the previous Ellis issues. The Secret Avengers have to sneak into a compound and fight their way to the big boss. It’s like a video game, but with more mysticism and gunfire. (No wait, it’s exactly like a video game…) The only thing that bothered me about the issue, and sadly doesn’t make me give a five for the story, is the villain explaining his actions towards the end. Getting some type of explanation is fine, but Ellis wrote a bit too much and in the end I was more confused once I was finished it. Thankfully Ellis writes himself out of this problem by Moon Knight, or sauve Superhero James Bond, kicking the problem (literally) out the window.
While this issue doesn’t top the previous, downright perfect, last issue; it does come close. Michael Lark is yet another great artist to be put into his series and his style is perfect for the drab, depressing country of Symkaria. Warren Ellis might have gotten a bit too clever towards the end of this issue, everything before hand is just as fantastic to read as the last couple of issues before. At the end of the day, I am so stoked to read another issue by Secret Avengers that I am crestfallen to know this run is going to end in about two months. Please Marvel, for once, can you listen to the fans and please (please!) continue this run somehow. Make it an alternate reality or something; I don’t care! This magic can’t just simply end…
Art: 5 - Excellent