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Secret Avengers: Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World
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Secret Avengers: Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World (Secret Avengers, Vol. 1 #4)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  407 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A secret city buried a mile under America is discovered through the leakage of Von Doom radiation--a type of energy emitted only by time-travel devices. The Secret Avengers hea underground to a weird metropolis forgotten for decades, because a time machine in the wrong hands is the worst kind of WMD imaginable. Then: MI:13 learns that people are being abducted from village...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 11th 2012 by Marvel
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Once again, Warren Ellis proves how ahead of everyone else he is. His 6 issue run pre-empts both The New 52 and Marvel Now by a year or so, but you can see he's trying to achieve things here that both Marvel and DC are now trying to achieve with their current publishing plans. Shorter story arcs but not at the expense of a good story.

The artists he's paired with also help give each story a unique look in design and story telling. My favourite has to be the story drawn by David Aja, which is als...more
Son of Sam Quixote
This is a collection of one-issue missions the Secret Avengers go on, essentially superhero short stories. The line-up changes with each mission but it’s usually Captain America, Black Widow, Moon Knight, Beast, and War Machine. All second string characters (except for Cap) but I thought the brilliant Warren Ellis would bring them to life in new and interesting ways to make them more than the sum of their parts – unfortunately he doesn’t.

The book is made up of missions that feel like leftover i...more
I loved this book. It has so many good things going for it that the few things I didn't like about it get negated. Hence the 5-star rating. This is a comic book geek's dream come true: A gold standard writer writing done-in-one stories for six different artists with different art styles. With covers by John Cassaday. What more could you ask for? Let's review each in turn:

(#16) "Subland Empire" Artist: Jamie McKelvie
This was by far my favourite story in this book. I absolutely love McKelvie's ar...more
Hmmmm...on a frame-by-frame basis, this instalment of the Marvelverse was awesome. I loved the artwork in most of the short stories (the facial expressions during several of the fight scenes really pulled me in), and the interactions between characters had all the snark and banter I could wish for.

Plus, I'm a complete sucker for dark, jaded post-Captain-America Steve Rogers (and lines like "I don't believe in torture. It's ugly, dishonourable and unreliable." *turns away* "So I'm going to let my...more
This book is lots of fun. I'm not usually a fan of comics that are one issues rather than decompressed into a book length.

Moon Knight gets a few good lines. I often wonder what Beast is doing on a team like this. He's far too opposed to killing anyone. Steve is a little too torn up about the consequences of running these missions. Black Widow gets her star moment. War Machine, Shannon and Valkyrie don't really get a lot of face time, so they're a bit of a let down.

The art varies from issue to is...more
Excellent set of one-off missions that Ellis throws at our band of covert semi-heroes. This collection of what I worry could be Ellis' final contribution to capes-and-tights storytelling are a fine example of what he contributes to the medium: new ideas, grounded in science and futurism, wrapped in super-tight plotting and dialog.

I especially liked the tesseract and how easily Shang-Chi adapted to impossible physics, and I loved Black Widow's time-travel adventure (especially her relationship wi...more
This is a mixed bag, something I've simply come to expect from a certain echelon of comic writer: Warren Ellis has reached that level of fame where he can really do whatever he wants with very little editorial tweaking. That's why it's so maddening when those things that he does choose to do seem so poorly constructed ie lacking editorial control. This collection - ostensibly individual stories but a veiled interconnected story - feels like I need to have read something else in order to understa...more
Chris Lemmerman
This is how the Secret Avengers should be. Six one-shot issues in which they do exactly what it says on the tin - save the world, secretly, and be extremely awesome at the same time and even finding time for some humour too. Ellis captures each character's voice excellently, and the focus on a four/three man team in each issue was very well done, allowing each member to get some spotlight (except Ant-Man, for some reason). I was especially impressed with Ellis' Sharon Carter, who became more of...more
This trade collects Secret Avengers issues #16-21. These are six individually contained stories and are meant to be accessible. Familiarity with the core characters helps, but isn't needed.

In this collection, subtitled "Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World", Warren Ellis has taken the concept of Earth shattering peril that must be dealt with out of the public's eye and condensed it down into a single issue story. Six times. Each issue here contains an action epic boiled down to the hi...more
No tengo muy claro qué pretendía Marvel al poner como guionista a Warren Ellis durante 6 meses ¿Ganar tiempo para imaginarse como acabar la saga del Consejo de las Sombras (o como les hayan llamado en la edición española)? La verdad es que eso es lo que parece. Seis números en los que los Vengadores Secretos van desmantelando misiones de los supuestos malos malísimos pero sin averiguar nada. Con escenas tan "impresionantes" como esa en la que un prisionero al que has estado interrogando saque un...more
This was quite good. It is a collection of single-issue stories that together form something of a sketch of an overarching storyline. It features characters from a number of sources, including two of my favorites (Beast and Moon Knight), and involves weird science fiction tales combined with espionage. Time travel features prominently, but is pretty well done, and I find myself interested in seeing what happens next.
Ellis delivers a series of done-in-one stories of espionage, and it's right up his alley, so of course it's great. He gets paired with one talented artist after another, doing one odd, dark story after another. Moral quandaries, time travel, and awesome violence all come up a lot. Each issue of Ellis' run is among the best the book had.
I'm an admitted Warren Ellis fanboy. As the back cover blurb says, " spy-fi thriller". Ellis does what only Greg Rucka had done before him in comics. Mix the grittiness of good British spy novels/television shows (think Sandbaggers) with American super heroes.

In most American comic stories of this type you do not see the martial arts master actually damage people, or the hero make the decision to kill 100s, perhaps 1000s to save millions. Another story is the best use of time travel I've read si...more
Warren Ellis is a great writer who, even at his worst, knows how to tell a story with pace and impact. In this volume of Secret Avengers, he is given license to write six single issue stories that portray this group of clandestine heroes taking on all kinds of dark, shadowy villains, and does so with his signature style of snappy dialogue, fast action, in-medias res storytelling, all punctured with the speculative pseudo-sciene he loves to use as MacGuffins.

Really, what Ellis does is take the s...more
James Schneider
Secret Avengers is the very best type of Warren Ellis work that can exist in corporate comics. High concept sci-fi, between continuity, unrelated to other stories. This clearly exists as an idea dump, the characters as existing constructs to place into futurist stories. Ellis seems to be having fun here, and the artists attached, different for each story, are uniformly excellent. Jamie McKelvie and David Aja in particular are doing remarkable work these days.

This isn't my favorite Ellis work, I...more
Ondra Král
Ellis ve svém živlu. Spousta špionážních a technických serepetiček, cesty v času i prostoru... trochu mi to připomínalo Planetary.
One author, Six artists. That usually tells you something about a troubled title. And indeed this is a troubled title. I really can't stress how bad this really is, but let me say, they make a Mass Killer out of the gentlest of Avengers, Hank McCoy - The Beast in one issue and the next it's not even mentioned. Warren Ellis' careers had some highs and lows. This is certainly his lowest. It's just a toss of scene. It's horrifyingly bad writing. The art is of course uneven throughout, but it's most...more
Shannon Appelcline
Pretty much Secret Avengers as Stormwatch with a dash of the super-spy Captain America of recent years. Crazy science, big-picture plots, and super coolness. The result should be great, but it’s subverted by an uncharacterized and constantly changing cast, and single issue missions which don’t give any room for depth. (At least Ellis remembers about the Shadow Council from the Brubaker issues!) It’s a pity because some of the individual concepts are quite clever, including all of the Black Widow...more
Bill Mazzola
Ellis saves the day
Joe Sergi
Warren Ellis is a master plotter. This trade features several individual adventures that tie together into a larger story. Each has a different artist (and each is top notch). For the most part, the stories are more existential than the mainstream Avengers book, but doesn't require much work to keep up.

My favorite story in the book is the Black Widow centric one. I know from personal experience how hard it is to write a time travel adventure and Ellis pulls it off masterfully.
Warren Ellis and six different artists, particular favourites in this collection being David Aja and Alex Maleev. Other than that this is a fairly boring collection which is disappointing given that Ellis is the writer.

The stories are one issue like Global Frequency but unlike Global Frequency these stories seem terribly short and uneventful, A lot of these issues seem like leftover plots from Global Frequency it self or aborted stories from other Ellis works.
Lewis Manalo
Awesomeness. Unlike the previous trades of the Secret Avengers, there isn't just one story arc covered in the volume. The issues collected in volume 3 are basically separate stories, and the overall effect - as these Avengers explore secret underground cities and fight supernatural Russian mobsters - made me feel a nostalgia for the pulp days of Doc Savage and The Shadow, an era that I'm waaay to young to feel nostalgia for.
Travis Roberson
While still fun, Warren Ellis' run on Secret Avengers is hardly as exciting as Brubaker's. Even though the six separate adventures featured in this collection are nice throwbacks to the comics of the 70s and early 80s, there's a lot left to be desired. The one-shot stories are nothing special and you tend to forget about the last as you start on the next one.

Guess it's time to see how Remender is handling the title now.
Oct 22, 2013 Rob rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Okay this is more like it. A vast improvement over the horrible last volume. Some clever stuff here, especially the time travel story and the bit of it told through comic strips. Also, I'm a big fan of David Aja now. The only downsides are that this is a series of unconnected vignettes and not an overarching story line, and that the villains are turning out to be generic Lovecraftians.
***Dave Hill
Warren Ellis can sometimes be too high concept for his own good, but here he manages to bring his "weird world" sensibilities to the Avengers -- "run the mission, don't get seen, save the world." Magic, strange science, some off-beat characters, definitely off-beat settings ... it's all triffically wonderful stuff, all centered on both secrecy and Steve Rogers.

Highly recommended.
I didn't like this as much as I expected to. Rather than be a six issue series with a continuous overarching plot, like Brubaker's run, this book is more like Global Frequency (a great series by the way) in that the stories are all self contained and drawn by different artists. I preferred Brubaker's run over this here Ellis book, but G.F. trumps everything else.
Honestly the only reason I powered through this at first was because they were in/underneath Cincinnati. Which I just felt like a little boy while reading that the AVENGERS were running around in my hometown hahaha. Not sure I'll keep on with the Secret Avengers though unfortunately...
Some more really excellent, self-contained, single issue stories from Warren Ellis. Six issues, six stories, six different artists (why?). The standout for me was a mind-twisting story in which Black Widow uses time travel to save the team from a mission gone wrong.
Individual issues on marvel unlimited
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  • Secret Avengers Vol. 2: Eyes of the Dragon
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  • Daredevil, Volume 3
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Has written comics & graphic novels, books, journalism, animation, tv, film, videogames and anything else that looks like it might pay a bill or buy whisky.

Second novel, GUN MACHINE, due from Mulholland Books in autumn of 2012.

First non-fiction book due from FSG in 2014.

Currently a weekly columnist for VICE UK.


More about Warren Ellis...
Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street (Transmetropolitan, #1) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard (Transmetropolitan, #3) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life (Transmetropolitan, #2) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City (Transmetropolitan, #5) Planetary, Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories

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