"Secret Avengers" #35 elevates every plot thread into high alert in preparation to climax on all fronts. The heroes on Earth-666 survive an attack and regroup to get out of the undead Marvel duplicate world. Those still in the Core work their way towards a final complication while in the real world Father enacts his plan to use all fake life -- robotic, synthetic, etc -- to take over the world.
While this issue is mostly all transition and character moving for the final act, you have to respect the scope Rick Remender is laying out for this story. This bombastic tale feels like it could be an event book due to the wide spread nature of this threat. There are no punches pulled, the villain is playing for keeps, and everyone is affected. Whether this can all be managed and tracked in just this one title remains to be seen. For now, I enjoyed the fact this book is telling a grand story that's not tied to anything else.
There isn't a lot of time for the actual members of this team in the issue. Everyone gets a few panels but this is really Father's show. He leads his Descendent army and hogs all of the limelight. His plan is concretely elaborated and everyone can see the melee that's brewed for the next issue. Sometimes the characters only get to express themselves through personal dialogue choices but mostly we are feeling these Avengers through their actions and their ability to interact with the teammates present.
Matteo Scalera uses sketchy inks to make this world of the villains seem broken and hidden. He paces fight sequences incredibly well across the page and Matthew Wilson does a great job at making sure depths of field are perceptible in these energetic pages. Scalera manages to draw all of these characters so they are instantly recognizable while also still feeling unique for this title. It's almost as if these Avengers change themselves minutely just to go on the secret missions.
"Secret Avengers" #35 is a great ramp for the audience to leap off and into the next issue. The character moments are pushed aside in order for villainous exposition and the end of this issue will make you want to come back next month. The art is spectacular, and so well fit to this storyline, and there are some great lines peppered throughout. This issue works well within the narrative structure, though could have been improved by having more heroic action instead of waiting for all the reaction to happen later.