“Secret Avengers” #33 from Rick Remender and Andy Kuhn is a great single issue portion of story within a much larger scope of narrative. The new Eric O’Grady, the Black Ant, becomes a devilish thorn in the side of good while Hawkeye is whisked away by Captain Britain into a terrible situation on Earth 666. Remender crafts a script that makes 20 pages actually feel like a lot more story. The result is an issue that seems to deliver more than enough story for your dollar.
This is the second major team book Rick Remender has taken on and much like in “Uncanny X-Force,” he tells a long form story that runs its course over a multitude of issues. While the last issue seemed to close the book on an arc of sorts, this issue picks up on B plot elements while new A plot threads are inserted to project other characters forward. If there is a writer using a more Chris Claremont approach to structure with superheroes working today, they aren’t doing it better than Remender. His runs feel like entire morphing lava lamps of story and character and that flow allows for a multitude of set ups and executions.
The opening scene with Max Fury is brutal and dark, befitting a true reveal of the Black Ant and his capabilities. However, once the action hits Earth 666, things jump off the rails in a very good way. This is the second time in recent history Remender has excellently toyed with an alternate timeline superhero team and he does it even better here. The Avengers of the Undead features nods to previously zany stories and leaves room for Remender to insert his own brand of humor and taste. The dark CapWolf and Wolverine, Lord of the Vampires, is excellent and everyone should be happy to see Franken-Castle on the page again. Hopefully they will get more play time later on.
Andy Kuhn brings a new and yet safely familiar style to the book. Matching the almost sketchy style of those who collaborated with Remender before on this title, Kuhn is loose on these pages while still bringing the characters and worlds to life in apparent simplicity. The colors from Matthew Wilson develop the very disparate scenes in opposite ways. The Earth 666 pages are the highlights because the art team gets to experiment more with fun results. Wilson also uses color on the other pages to describe importance and affect the flow of action and where the eye feels the most impact.
“Secret Avengers” #33 is a dark issue that leaves every character in peril by its end. Using a team of heroes amazing powers and abilities to travel such distances, Remender makes solid leaps in the narrative to bring a great amount of fun to the audience. If nothing else, just come to see Robo-Wasp backhand Hank Pym in his lab.