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Secret Avengers #1: Review

Feb 2013
Nick Spencer, Luke Ross

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Secret Avengers #1 Review by (November 14, 2023)

Review: Yikes and double yikes! SHIELD is setting up their own Secret Avengers and without Steve Rogers at the helm, it’s going to be full of dirty tricks. Shady spycraft goes back to John LeCarre whose books in the 1960s were the anti-James Bond. Espionage wasn’t full of sexy women, high-stakes gambling, and battles with supervillains, instead it was grubby little men, stealing grubby little secrets, deceiving and being deceived. So when did SHIELD go from James Bond to manipulators of their own agents? The story itself is great…it’s just that the bad guys seem to be in the wrong place. Since a wounded and confused Hawkeye was needed to locate the bad guy’s lair, Fury shoots him. Yes, the bullets, we are told, contain a magical healing factor. And it was all a test of the memory manipulating system. So SHIELD got what they wanted. Yes, they saved the President but that was actually on its way to being accomplished before Hawkeye was shot. The rest was just the good guys playing some dirty tricks on one of their own to clean up a few details and discover the system works. Oooh that’s low. And this is only issue #1.

Comments:Marvel Now!” First appearance of the new SHIELD-based Secret Avengers team. Only appearance of villain Andras Bertesy. Sebastian Druid was introduced in MIGHTY AVENGERS #13, showed up in a lot of comics with the word SECRET in the title before becoming a regular in SECRET WARRIORS. Hawkeye refers to the fan theory that all of the James Bond actors represent different agents using “James Bond” as a code name, which isn’t really supported by the movies as Hawkeye points out with FOR YOUR EYES ONLY; Nick Fury Jr. also has opinions on the subject.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Avengers #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The word “reverie” is repeated throughout the issue, signaling someone’s memory is being manipulated. Starting…now….

[Reverie] Hawkeye awakens on a rooftop in Budapest, three bullets in his abdomen and no idea of where he is or how he got there. He is captured by soldiers who bring him before their boss, arms dealer Andras Bertesy who questions him. Torture, truth serum, a psychic, and a nasty octopus-like creature inserted in his nose—all confirm that Hawkeye does not know where he is or why. Then Black Widow enters, shooting….

Ten hours earlier, Hawkeye and Black Widow met with SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson who told them that SHIELD was putting together their own version of the Secret Avengers and he would like them to join. Clint is reluctant. Coulson mentions that memory implants would play an important part and Natasha rebels. Coulson mentions an incentive, a mission the two Avengers would like to deal with themselves, which they will be permitted to if they join the team. They are reluctant until they hear about the case (redacted from the readers’ view) and they agree. Then Coulson reveals they have already been injected with the memory implant nanotech when they shook his hand. Hawkeye is angry but Coulson is oh-so-reasonable….

Aboard the SHIELD Helicarrier Iliad, Maria Hill explains to Clint and Natasha that the memory erase program will be activated should there be any deviation from the plan. Nick Fury Jr. arrives to explain the mission: arms dealer Andras Bertesy is selling a piece of Darkforce to give a terrorist group the power to teleport and they are planning a high profile assassination against an American target….

Hawkeye and Fury are soon on a Budapest rooftop, chasing the last link in their chain when they capture a terrorist as he jumps through a portal. Watching from the Iliad, their magic expert Sebastian Druid tells them the man controls the portal with his hands so Fury breaks some fingers, trapping him there and forcing him to turn over the coordinates of the target. Fury shoots the man in the head, eliciting a shocked reaction from Hawkeye; Fury explains it is a special type of bullet that has a healing factor, reviving the victim in a few hours. Another enemy shoots Clint three times in the gut and Fury shoots him down. Fury takes off to save the target while Clint is captured by the baddies, bringing us back to the beginning. Hawkeye is rescued by Black Widow and taken to a hospital….

Meanwhile, a terrorist walks through a portal into he Oval Office but finds Nick Fury in the President’s chair; Fury shoots him….

Later, in the hospital, Hill tells Fury that the unreliable memory implant systems was being tested on Hawkeye and Black Widow and it was a success. With the code word “reverie,” Hawkeye will never learn that it was Nick Fury who shot him, not a terrorist….

Luke Ross
Luke Ross
Matthew Wilson
Tomm Coker (Cover Penciler)
Tomm Coker (Cover Inker)
Daniel Freedman (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)
Nick Fury Jr.
Nick Fury Jr.

(Marcus Johnson)
Phil Coulson
Phil Coulson


Plus: Sebastian Druid.

> Secret Avengers: Book info and issue index

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