THE SECRET AVENGERS
FORMAT – So here we have a new series with a new team. In my opinion the only way to go about this is to introduce a lot of new villains. I’d love to co-write this series along with Ed Brubaker. I’d have two rotating artist; Mike Deodato Jr. and Roberto Da La Torre. Those two artists would do the arcs and the arcs would last between four and six issues. Between arcs or rather after each arc I would feature either a single issue or two issue arc focused on the villain of the previous arc. Each of the stories focusing on villains would feature a different artist each time, artists who Brubaker has worked with before such as; Steve Epting, Sean Phillips, Luke Ross, Michael Lark, Mike Perkins and others. The book would be monthly of course with a standalone Annual once a year. The Annuals would be written by a different writer each year with a plot that would/will later tie into the series. The team as a whole would not be featured in other series.
MISSION TO MARS – When Sharon catches Steve up on what’s happened since his death he gets the idea of putting together a black ops team. This secret ops team is meant to work behind the scenes going after threats before they become threats to the public. Some characters are suggested and some aren’t. I’d show a big digital screen with these characters on it; Iron Fist, X-23, Beast, Moon Knight, Wong, War Machine, Spider-Woman, Cloak, Nova, Black Panther, American Eagle, Echo, Valkyrie, Black Widow, John Jameson, Ant-Man, Sif, Vision, and even the Black Cat. Steve and Sharon choose their roster giving each member a purpose. Such as Moon Knight for his military background, Cloak for his teleportation abilities, Black Widow for her espionage skills and Spider-Woman as she is a direct tie to S.W.O.R.D. Moon Knight is suggested by Sharon but is eliminated by Steve do to him also having a mercenary history. Steve claims that it wouldn’t be any different than using Paladin, Solo or even the Punisher. That’s when Sharon drops the ball on Steve and informs him Frank picking up the Cap mantle for a short time with a shocking look on Steve’s face. X-23 is highly considered with Steve seeing a lot of potential in the girl from when they met but understands that he would have to talk to Wolverine about it due to him being her guardian and out of respect. I’d show Steve actually approach Spider-Woman in attempts to recruit her as he does the others within the first couple of issues. Steve wanted to recruit her for the New Avengers but we all know how that worked out. Spider-Woman would decline membership due to wanting to fix her reputation with the public after the Skrull Queen took her place and invaded the world. But honestly, I just like the idea of someone telling Steve no for once.
After these three pages of set up, two weeks later is when I’d start the actual arc as is. I liked the idea of the team heading out into space right away and introducing the Shadow Council as well as Archon. My roster is different which I’ll get into in a second but I would really keep this arc the same as it was. I did feel that the dialog was very off in my opinion. With this being a black ops team and not a public superhero team I’d have Cap view it differently and use more military lingo when directing everyone.
Here is my full roster for the first arc;
COMMANDER STEVE ROGERS – The big boss who is calling all of the shots. Not always in the field but always a head of the game. He trusts the people he puts on this team so he expects results.
SHARON CARTER – Ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 is and always been Steve’s girl. She’s also the person who killed him but that’s beside the point. As someone Steve fully trusts her role on the team is the tactical operator as well as intelligence. Sharon is always in communication with whoever is in the field and is always stationed in the team’s HQ. She also keeps in touch with Maria Hill and Victoria Hand who all report in to Steve.
NOVA – Richard Rider is Steve’s eyes and ears out in space. Nova has been involved in all of the recent major cosmic arcs from Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest, Secret Invasion, War of the Kings and Realm of Kings. So Nova is the right man for the job. Steve wants info on all cosmic threats before they become a problem for Earth. Also, with Nova’s Worldmind connection that will provide a lot of intelligence that may be helpful down the line.
BEAST – Hank McCoy basically serves the role of research and development on the team. I’d constantly keep him in a lab coat in HQ but barely out in the field. In the first arc that came out his costume confused me. I asked myself why he had a giant “A” on his chest if the main concept for the team is that they are a secret. If a villain were to see two members of the team they’d think, “Oh, random super hero team up.” Now if the villain were to see a member of the team along with Beast with the “A” the they’d think, “Oh, must be one of the Avengers teams!” So I’m glad that in the second arc they changed it. Good job someone! As mentioned before, I’d keep Beast in a lab. Now for Beast to be out in the field he’d either be assisting the team on research or it would have to be because they actually need his strength. But along with keeping the team a secret, a giant blue cat that’s mainly known as an X-Man, I’d keep him behind doors.
WAR MACHINE – Rhodey is the team artillery force hands down. Especially with his new Iron Man 2.0 design coming in which I’d love to play on in the series. As the team’s fire power and their weapons specialist he’d be called in when needed. But I would also establish a close relationship with Beast as both would be designing new tech for the team. And I’d also play on his military career in the Marines and bring in a high level of respect in Steve’s perspective. I’d like to have an arc where Rhodey didn’t have his armor to show that he can still be a challenge without it. He’d also serve as one of the teams pilots.
VENOM – This is John Jameson, not Flash Thompson. I picked John because of his past relationship with Steve. He’s trusted on many levels and even without the symbiote John is still a badass. I just feel that John has a lot of potential and this is a great way to take advantage of that. Reed Richards cured him of his Man-Wolf persona in the pages of Sensational so that is no longer a problem. Use the new military inspired design for Venom and use him as a stealth operative. I’d focus a lot on the symbiotes abilities. I’d still give him an ongoing to where we’d see Steve and Beast use Reed’s old research on the Venom suit to try to understand it. Steve see’s the potential in Venom with his incarceration in Thunderbolts and him being controlled in Dark Avengers. What Steve doesn’t know is that at times the Venom suit can regain control for a limited amount of time as seen when Venom was eating Skrulls in Dark Avengers. Beast would suggest giving John limited access to the suit to avoid permanent bonding in which the suit would remain locked up. John can only remain in the suit for no more than 48 hours so containers would need to be stationed in a few places like the roving headquarters and the mini Quinjets. But like I said, even without the suit John is still a badass so the suit may not always be needed/used. Conflict would arise later on when the suit starts to slowly take control of John and attempt to bond with him.
ECHO – Maya Lopez is Steve’s original Secret Avengers. If you remember correctly in the pages of New Avengers, Steve secretly recruited her as Ronin and didn’t trust anyone on the team to tell them who she was. Afterwards he left her in Japan to keep an eye on their criminal underground including the Hand. Steve died before he could get her back and even though she joined the New Avengers, she hasn’t been seen since Secret Invasion. With Steve being back I’d love for him to call her back into duty. Someone with photographic reflexes can be a huge asset! Just having her watch one of the pilots one time adds her to the list of pilots. I’d also use her as an undercover agent if needed and as a stealth operative. And somewhere down the line I’d like to create a hybrid design for the Ronin suit. Maybe make the suit slightly feminine and loose the mask and keep the white hand print on her face.
SIF – I like Sif a lot more than I do Valkyrie. With Valkyrie we’ve see her on teams before so we already know what that’s like. As an agent with ties to Asgard I would rather much use Sif. She had her arm cut off, was killed, was resurrected in a dying woman’s body while Loki masquerade in her body and as soon as she returns Asgard is destroyed. I like to play off of all of those things. So I’d have her leave Asgard for something new when Steve recruits her. I’d like to see how she would interact with a team like this instead of her always being used as Thor’s side chick. She’d add to the team as a powerhouse plus as a field operative.
I love the idea of the Shadow Council being revealed. I’d stick with nothing being known of them or them having a purpose for a long time within the series. The immortal, Director Aloysius Thorndrake, would become a major threat for Steve and his team as both men want their teams/organizations to remain in secrecy. With the introduction of Max Fury and the reintroduction of John Steel the Shadow Council and their goals are all shrouded in mystery. The thing is we don’t know how long they’ve been around or what they want. Or even how they’ve remained a secret for this long! This also has me thinking, who else is part of the Shadow Council? At the end of the arc Nova is called off to deal with Thanos and the Cancerverse by the Guardian of the Galaxy. As Sharon starts looking for a replacement for Nova since his duties are too high to be on a team he actually dies in his conflict. So in a lot of ways the team isn’t really off to a great start. Spider-Woman denies membership which kinda bothers Steve, a secret organization is revealed and a member dies without the team knowing it.
Another sweet part of the arc was Steve putting on Worldmind. Awesome stuff!
THE SECRET LIFE OF MAX FURY – Max’s origin is pretty cool. With him having Nick’s memories makes him a major threat to all heroes. With knowing all of their real identities and knowing all of the S.H.I.E.L.D. secret bases Nick only knows about are big concerns. But with him being an android I’d make it kind of obvious. Maybe give him a laser eye underneath that eye patch or something.
EYES OF THE DRAGON – I loved this arc! Basic kung-fu meets spy! The Shadow Council attempts to resurrect Fu Manchu, excuse me, Zheng Zu which is revealed to be his real name. Zu is the father of Shang Chi and needs his son’s blood to be fully brought back instead of looking like a zombie. The Shadow Council assist Zu with Thorndrake claiming that having a man in the Chinese underground will be a great asset. Shang Chi in this arc becomes an unofficial member of the team as he leaves at the end of the arc. There’s a part in this arc where the team is out in public and Steve and Rhody release a small EMP specific for camera’s and such to keep the team from the media. That was a great idea and kept the secrecy feel to the team which it should always have. This arc was great. I wouldn’t change anything about it. Oh, and we are introduced to a new member in which I would make as a reserve member.
PRINCE OF ORPHANS – I like that fact that he knows Steve on a friendship level. We know from Jon’s first appearance that he was around in the 30’s fighting Orson Randall so it kind of makes sense that he was involved in the war somehow. I’d barely use him but he would show up from time to time as a reserve member of the team. With his ability to turn into mist he’d be great as a stealth operative. Plus, he has a long history of the mystic arts which can always come into hand when needed.
THE TROUBLE WITH JOHN STEEL – At the end of the last arc John Steel is captured by Steve and company and is sent to the Raft Prison. Here we get somewhat of an origin story since not much is known about Steel in the first place. Wouldn’t change anything here.
-THE FUTURE OF THE SERIES-
Okay now, here is where I jump in. First things first, Steve and Sharon are concerned about Nova being MIA so they call someone in;
DARKHAWK – Simple, cosmic intelligence. With Nova being called away after the first arc and the team not knowing that he’s deceased there needs to be a replacement. Last we saw Chris he was badly injured at Project Pegasus alongside Nova so he is still on Earth. Steve needs eyes and ears out in space so as soon as Chris’ recovered properly I’d have him be sent right back out there. Plus, with Nova being dead but missing to the team’s knowledge it would make sense for Steve to send someone out to look for Nova. I’d also play on his new power upgrade that we saw in War of the Kings. Plus, his past history with Venom would be fun to play with since they’ve had conflict more than a few times.
JOSIAH X (JOSIAH BRADLEY) – Remember I mentioned not knowing who is all in the Shadow Council? Well, I’d add Josiah. We haven’t seen him since the pages of The Crew so I’d like to play with that idea and say that he got recruited soon after the series ended. Thorndrake and the Council strongly believe that they are doing the right thing, now whatever that is X agrees with it. During the first two arcs he’s been off country dealing with Viktor Adonis…
VIKTOR ADONIS – This is a character I’ve made up. Let me make that clear. Viktor Adonis is a Greek mutant whom was born in the early 1900’s. His mutant power is similar to Ultimate Colossus, with metal organic skin with no lines like the original 616 Colossus. With no origin and an empty S.H.I.E.L.D. file not much is knows about him. Adonis is a weapons/items dealer. If you’ve noticed since the “Bendis Era” stated a lot of things have been destroyed. Here’s my list;
-Stark Tower – World War Hulk
-Stark’s Gold Helicarrier – Hulk #1
-Fisk Tower – Spider-Man: Big Time
-Sanctum Sanctorum – New Avengers Annual #2
-Baxter Building – Secret Invasion
-Castle Doom – Mighty Avengers: Venom Bomb
-Avengers Mansion – Avengers: Disassembled
-Xavier Mansion for Gifted Children – Messiah Complex
-S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Chicago – Secret Warriors #1
-Asgard – Siege
-Atlantis – Sub-Mariner: Revolution
Now one thing I’ve noticed is that yet all of these have been destroyed or leveled, they still remain the same way. No one has gone to fix them or even section them off. The X-Mansion is still just sitting there and just recently was the Avengers Mansion fixed up but after how long? Now this is where Adonis kicks in, he’s started off as a weapons dealer but when he noticed that these places are just sitting there he decided to investigate. Upon checking out these places he finds tons of items, weapons, costumes and more just lying around. So now this mutant international weapons dealer has now become a major threat.
After years of being a weapons dealer he’s become paranoid when making deals. This has made him stay in mutant form for the past few decades to where he’s now not able to return back to human form. Adonis is very strict and smart when it comes to making deals. He’s always well prepared for the deals to go down south. The only reasons the heroes have never came across him is due to all of the major events in the Marvel Universe. Basically, the heroes have been too busy. But now with him having a more interesting inventory besides his normal guns, he’s about to be noticed when Steve starts questioning where the Shadow Council and other villains/organizations are getting certain supplies. Adonis has deals to Hydra, A.I.M., the Hand, Ultimatum, and the Secret Empire. He has a previous close friendship with Aleksander Lukin before he became the Red Skull. Other characters he’s crossed paths are Orson Randall, Monica Rappaccini, Sabretooth, Mr. Negative, Viper and even has a previous romantic relationship with Victoria Hand before she worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. which no one knows about. Adonis prefers to work in secrecy. Hiring help when needed, but then eliminating the help after they finish their task in attempts to cover his tracks. Adonis is tall, bald with a black beard and has purple eyes. Steve becomes very concerned with this mystery man when Adonis attempts to sell the original Vision’s body which has been sitting in a S.H.I.E.L.D. base since Iron Lad left it there. But who wants to buy it and for what purpose…?
Adonis would be like the Shadow Council in the sense that he’d be a threat in the background of the series who is constantly there.
ATLANTIS RISING – In Wolverine: Vendetta, Logan went after Nitro due to the Stamford incident which caused the Civil War. Throughout the story we were shown that Namor had Atlantean sleeper agents hidden as civilians in North America. We were introduced to three; Janus, Amir, and Politus. There were said to be more but we don’t know how many. Their purpose serves to inform Prince Namor of what happens on the surface world. Politus is killed by Nitro. Amir and Wolverine date for a while but then she is killed like all his other girlfriends. Janus, who looks a lot like the new Aqualad over at DC is able to stand toe to toe to Wolverine and considers him an ally. Soon after in Sub-Mariner: Revolution, a rogue splinter cell led by Namor’s son Kamar. Kamar and his cell group were out killing humans in different cities but was killed later on along with Atlantis being destroyed. Most Atlanteans went to take residence in Latveria while others were spread out in hiding either underwater or on the surface world. In Dark Avengers # 5-6, a terrorist group of Atlanteans attacked LA and Norman Osborn sent the Sentry to attack them all. Now with this being constant, I do see this is a national threat or even a worldwide threat. With Namor being too busy being an X-man and some Atlanteans rebuilding Atlantis underneath Utopia, what if someone activated all of the sleeper cells and gave them order to attack? Janus, would be given the task of investigating these events and the Atlanteans themselves having him cross paths with Commander Rogers and his team. Janus would eventually become Steve’s eyes and ears in Atlantis and a reserve member of the SA.
WRAITH – The Kree/Clint Eastwood hybrid character we were introduced in Annihilation: Conquest hasn’t been seen or used since said event. As Darkhawk is out in space I’d have him cross paths with Wraith who has stumbled upon a threat/secret that now has him on the run. Now the two of them are hunted on an alien planet with no escape…
SKRULLS – When Secret Invasion happened the Skrulls invaded Earth. Yeah, they were defeated and most were either captured or escaped back into space to unknown destinations. Some Skrulls have remained on Earth in hiding but we don’t know what their up to. I’d still continue having them as a threat but not in America. I’d possibly have a group of them hiding out in a desert in Egypt creating weapons in hopes of regaining the planet.
THE REDEEMERS – I’d like to put together a new team stationed in Seattle, WA. Nighthawk puts together a team of friends/heroes/ who all have wanted the same thing, to become heroes. So he leaves NY and heads to Washington where no big teams are except for them now. The roster is Nighthawk, Hellcat, Constrictor, Diamondback, Bengal and Atlas. The team accidently stumbles across a secret plan led by the Secret Empire. They have acquired DNA of the Destroyer and have made clone copies of him. Their plan is to attack D.C. and assassinate the President. Diamondback, an ex-girlfriend of Steve’s, informs him as to their plans. Now this concept would show the Redeemers in the public as being the heroes as the SA operate behind the scene to help stop the threat. So in a sense, we would get two different points of view that never cross but have the same outcome in stopping the Shadow Empire.
X-23 – As mentioned before I would love to add X23 to the roster. Commander Rogers would work very closely to her in a meaning as a hero. She is not allowed to kill which is something she would struggle with. She would become very close friends with Echo and view her as a somewhat big sister. I’d keep her in the black/gray X-Force design with the eye mask.
ZOMBIE VERSE – Commander Rogers pays a visit to an A.R.M.O.R. base which is led by Portal. There, Steve interrogates a zombie version of a hero in order to understand them and help find a cure. The zombie escapes and opens up a dimension hole which lets a handful of zombie version of the heroes through. Agents of A.R.M.O.R. are slaughtered and the compounds A.I. security kicks in quarantines the building locking it down. Portal is highly injured and can’t open a portal to escape. The SA team is informed as they attempt everything they can while Steve is forced to kill zombie version of his friends.
A.I.M. – To my understanding A.I.M. is a group of scientist who have become terrorist for whatever reason. Throughout most of their appearances they are shown to be a joke, made fun of due to wearing bee suits, and are always easily beaten. Why aren’t these guys doing some of the crazy science stuff we see in the television show FRINGE? Like using cities as science experiments, opening parallel worm holes or anything like that? Imagined if they released the Carrion virus on a while city. These guys can be a major threat if used right. Monica Rappaccini leads a threat that needs to be shown!
MR. & MRS. DVORAK – Here I want to attempt something different when it comes to the concept of a villain(s). A lot of rivals are either direct negative mirror images, lame rogues, or a high level threat that a whole team would fight. Also, all/most are always powered. I’d like to introduce Mr. & Mrs. Dvorak. A very wealthy married Czech couple with no powers who have immigrated to the coast lines of South America. Radek and Anna Dvorak have set up a form of entertainment for the wealthy. Commander Rogers and the SA team are investigating a high level of MGH being shipped out of the country. With Beast being its inventor, this case is very personal. The Dvorak couple has been shipping MGH to their location for some time at a very high cost. MGH used to be a street drug but things have changed since Decimation X. In X-Men: Endangered Species Beast and Dark Best found out that the MGH of depowered mutants is useless but the others aren’t. So now MGH has become very limited with the mutants becoming an endangered species. A once street level drug has no become a very high priced super enhancer. The Dvorak invite the wealthy to stay at their private resort in secrecy to observe gladiatorial battles taking place off shore in what is disguised as an oil rig. Bets are placed on criminals taken from all over the world as they are each supplied with a sample of MGH to make the matches more interesting. Steve sends in John Jameson and Maya Lopez undercover so acquire more information. When the couple is found out they are sent into the arena. The SA arrives at the oil rig and battle hyped up criminals. Towards the end of the battle Steve looks at a monitor and recognizes Mr. Negative, General Ryker, Justine Hammer, Rose and a few other new characters from across the globe. Steve says, “You all know who I am. And now I know who you all are. Enjoy your life because it’s short. I will be coming after each and every one of you.” This arc sets up tons of future plots due to introducing over a dozen new villains and some old as threats!
So, I know it’s somewhat long but this is what I’d do with the SECRET AVENGERS. It’s a great team and it has potential to be around for a long time.
Hating SKYWATCHER since forever!