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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 (2010) #4)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  872 ratings  ·  65 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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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  872 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I will follow Ellis to the ends of the earth. This isn't the most amazing of his work I've ever read, but whenever you read Ellis on a team book, it's gonna be good. After finishing Brubaker's initial run on Secret Avengers, I was all but ready to give it up. There was just too much loud, explosive nonsense for a book that's meant to be about undercover operations and, well, "secrets." Ellis doesn't really nail the espionage aspect of this, either, but he at least justifies all the massive super ...more
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
A lot of fun to read, even if these aren't stories so much as a collection of action scenes. That's ok, I like action scenes. Especially action scenes that are well-written, have interesting visuals, and are filled with cool characters. Each issue is a stand alone story, and there isn't an actual dud in the collection. But I think I liked best the first story, for the interplay between the characters, for Natasha's love affair with an atomic car, and for Jamie McKelvie's art. Honorable mention g ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: marvel-comics
Much better than the previous Fear Itself tie-in book. It's a collection of single mission/single issue stories. ...more
Vinton Bayne
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of one-shots
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
On like, the very first page, we have the Secret Avengers team going to a base beneath Cincinnati's unfinished subway. How does Warren Ellis (who I think is British) even know about the unfinished subway???


So yeah, I loved it from page one,
of course I love an Avengers team that does super-hero-black ops
and has Moon Knight in it!

I sent my book to my older brother for Christmas. :)
Rocky Sunico
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, avengers
Well, this was certainly a Warren Ellis book. This volume of the Secret Avengers comics may not tell a single cohesive story, but it does present different examples of the interesting potential for the Secret Avengers fighting secret societies and the remnants of old Nazi experiments. But then that's really just a Warren Ellis story the likes of Planetary but using the Secret Avengers as proxies for characters. Thus Black Widow gets a lot more screentime as she plays to Ellis' story style and al ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Definitely the best of the Secret Avengers that I have read so far. Warren Ellis preserves the darkness of the setup (I mean, it is a black-ops team) without making everything unremittingly grim, and the characters have a great dynamic and some great lines, and the action/adventure is great. This is basically just a series of mostly-unconnected one-shot issues, but they're a lot of fun; I think my favorite is the one with the underground base below Cincinnati, although one of the later issues ha ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
In many ways, this is Warren Ellis attempting to pay penance for his decompressed comics, yet ultimately his issues do not sum a sort of whole--I think he'd later perfect this style with his run on Moon Knight--but the idea is still fun.

This is Warren Ellis throwing darts and seeing what sticks--fun ideas, but perhaps not good enough to warrant an entire decompressed story arc, so instead he gets to work with some of the best artists at Marvel for some clock and dagger "one and dones".

Again, Wa
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
this series keeps getting better! i've only read one of warren ellis' other books, so it was really great to see him do what are basically a series of short stories for this book. the artwork has been fantastic on every issue. i'm a big fan of both mckelvie + wilson as artist and colourist respectively, and am very happy to be introduced to the other artists in this volume (because seriously, there isn't a single bad one there. all good. 100%)

[insert obligatory comment about cap's stealth suit h
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Collects Secret Avengers issues #16-21

This volume collects Warren Ellis' brief stint on this title. The issues tied into Brubaker's original storyline, but the whole thing felt like a bunch of stand-alone issues. The Shang Chi story was my favorite because of the awesome artwork by David Aja. Each of the six issues has a different artist on them. Overall, this collection was fine, but not as great as those early issues.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
It seems like every character makes sense here except Beast.

Oh, also, prefiguring the "cinematic universe," Ellis doesn't seem to know what to do with the Black Widow . . . for the most part.

The Black Widow solo story is excellent even if it's not clear why the end is the way it is.
Eric Mikols
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: avengers
I was excited to see Ellis on this, but, again, he's so hit and miss. His Black Widow time travel was fun, but the rest was fine at best. ...more
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warren Ellis; Spi Fi; the Shadow Council; Steve Rogers & co. That about says it all. Moon Knight, the Beast, the Black Widow - what a strange trip it is.
I always have time for Warren Ellis comics; they can be a little cold and not very character driven, but they're always interesting and fun. ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
ABSOLUTE RATING: {3+/5 stars}

Judith Groen
Mar 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book at all. Half the time I had no idea what was going on. A lot of information in just one issue per story. I hope the Rick Remender stuff is better.
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jeff Lanter
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is by far the best volume of Secret Avengers yet (which probably isn't saying all that much), but it is a nice reward if you've stuck with it. Warren Ellis not only brings some all-star artists (Aja, Maleev, Immonent, and Lark), but also throws out the usual formula for superhero comics. Instead, we get a bunch of one shots that have no deeper connection to each other or the stories that have come before other than the Shadow Council returning as a villain. That really gives this volume a f ...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
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
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
James Schneider
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comic-books
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
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, comics-marvel
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
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Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE and the “underground classic” novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN, as well as the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR. His newest book is the novella NORMAL, from FSG Originals, listed as one of Amazon’s Best 100 Books Of 2016.


Other books in the series

Secret Avengers (2010) (7 books)
  • Secret Avengers, Volume 1: Mission to Mars
  • Secret Avengers, Volume 2: Eyes of the Dragon
  • Secret Avengers: Fear Itself
  • Secret Avengers, by Rick Remender, Volume 1
  • Secret Avengers, by Rick Remender, Volume 2
  • Secret Avengers, by Rick Remender, Volume 3

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