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Review: Secret Avengers #20

Written by 365Dom on Saturday, December 31 2011 and posted in Reviews

Warren Ellis wraps up his Secret Avengers one shots with an elaborate time traveling story that even Alex Maleev couldn't keep-up with.

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Alex Maleev
Cover: John Cassaday

Marvel Comics - Published 12/28/2011


The last few Secret Avengers issues by Warren Ellis have been the strongest issues in the series. The king of one shot story telling, Ellis, has written fun little stories. However, the stars of the last few issues have been the artists: Kev Walker, David Aja, Michael Lark and more. Now, with Secret Avengers #20, Alex Maleev steps into illustration duties, but can his art help a complicated time-travel story?

Sort of.

The plot is pretty straight forward. The Black Widow needs to jump back in time to complete a "secret" mission and save the lives of her teammates. The issue becomes a bit difficult to follow due to the constant jumping back and forth between different years, months and weeks in the past. The dialog is still written well, and the character's are likable but the jumping of time becomes awkward.

Maleev's art is wonderful and consistent with his recent work on titles such as Moon Knight and Scarlet, however, one of the stranger things to appear in recent Marvel comics occurred on pages 7 through 9. It seems as if there were either new panels illustrated just before Secret Avengers #20 went to print, or Maleev just couldn't finish the panels with enough time for the issue's colorist to get to them. The panels still have Maleev and Ellis's name on each strip of paneling as if they were literally submitted hours before the issue was mass produced. It's the oddest thing I've seen in a mainstream comic book...possibly ever.

Weird incomplete paneling and confusing story telling aside...the issue wasn't that bad. It makes no sense to me. The issue should be horrible because of the flaws, but it just isn't. I for one will miss Warren Ellis on this title, but it is nice to know that a pro like Rick Remender will be taking over with the next issue.

Oh, one last thing regarding John Cassaday's cover! John...stop. Just stop. Please.

Review by: Dom G

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