Review by: Nick Fovargue

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Avg Rating: 4.3
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Story by Warren Ellis
Art by David Aja & Raul Allen
Letters by Dave Lanphear
Cover by John Cassaday & Paul Mounts

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.99

Of all the really good and great books I read this week, this was the only one I keep picking up over and over again. Between this issue and the Wolverine one-shot a while back, I have been reminded just how much I miss the Immortal Iron Fist and how much David Aja can do to transform a book.

We all talk about an artist’s “style” a lot but with a guy like Aja it goes far beyond line work and figure designs. Aja evokes a genre, a time and a place in our pop culture brains withwhat he chooses to draw as much as with how he draws it. You put Aja on a book and you change it in a way that transcends the quality of his pencils. There is a vision behind his work that communicates atmosphere, tone and energy. His storytelling always surprises me, always finds some new way to choreograph the action.

What Warren Ellis has been doing in these Secret Avengers issues creating playgrounds for his artists to do their thing. Knowing how to get out of your artist’s way is the mark of a mature comic writer and as the years have gone by it has become one Ellis’ strengths. What he has been doing isn’t flashy but it should be appreciated. He has always had a back for making somewhat goofy, esoteric high concepts work and seem fun and for capturing the essence of a character in just a couple of quick lines. Both of those skills are seen in these issues.

I can still remember the first comic I read that totally thrilled me with its art, with the look and design of the book and with how the action seemed to leap off the page. I still own that issue and still go back and read it. I still love it. Twenty years later it doesn’t seem to happen as easily, the feeling of excitement at the amazing images in front of me. The drawback of familiarity and experience. This book did it for me this week.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. What was the comic??

    • Do you mean what was the comic from 20 years ago? If so it was a 2 issue Cable mini series called Blood and Metal. The art was by JR Jr. and it still has some of my favorite action sequences in it. Also, Romita is the only artist i have seen take the time to make all those big guns seem to make sense and look functional. Plus it is a pretty good story.

  2. Couldn’t agree more about the thrill of the art – as with “Debt of Death”, I’m buying copies to give to my friend’s kids.

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