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Heroic Age

Secret Avengers Assemble

Marvel Vice President-Executive Editor Tom Brevoort runs down the declassified Secret Avengers

By Marc Strom

With the Siege of Asgard at its end and Norman Osborn's Dark Reign coming to a close, the Heroic Age shines bright throughout the Marvel Universe. But the world still has its darker underside, one that Steve Rogers will explore as he assembles his own group of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in SECRET AVENGERS #1, hitting stores on May 26 from writer Ed Brubaker and artist Mike Deodato.

"In the new post-Siege, post-Osborn world order, Steve has taken Norman's job as America's top cop," relates series editor Tom Brevoort. "H.A.M.M.E.R. is being mothballed, but there's still a need for an organization to keep the peace and deal with threats across the globe-and under Steve, that organization will be the Avengers. The Secret Avengers are Steve's personal squad of operatives, tasked with rooting out and eliminating the kinds of situations that H.A.M.M.E.R. or before them

SECRET AVENGERS #1 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
S.H.I.E.L.D. might have dealt with in times past. So the individual members of the team all have some kind of experience as soldiers, or covert operatives of one sort or another, or a unique specialization that this team will need."

The team's lineup features a number of loners and surprises, making for a dynamic group that, in actuality, Steve never meant to work together all at once.

"In the abstract, the team was meant to be individual operatives who'd be called into play when a specific situation called for them, and who would operate in smaller one and two-man teams," explains Brevoort. "But that operational status goes belly-up by the end of the first issue."

Though SECRET AVENGERS will have a great deal of espionage to it, fans can also expect some major enemies to present themselves.

"Make no mistake, [there] will be Avengers-level threats," promises Brevoort. "In the first issue alone, what seems to be a simple intervention and snatch-and-grab on an object of power that's fallen into the hands of Roxxon leads the team to Mars, and to a secret and a mystery that goes back to the days of antiquity in the Marvel Universe. So the scale will still be an Avengers scale, even though the tone is somewhat more espionage-oriented."

Fans know at least one team member, Moon Knight, more for his solo adventures than his time working with others, though he did serve as a West Coast Avenger for some time.

SECRET AVENGERS #1 preview art by Mike Deodato
"This isn't an ordinary team, and given that Moon Knight is looking to rehabilitate his image and put some of his personal demons to rest, he's got a reason to come on board," says Brevoort. "And [again], the idea at the outset was that he'd mostly be working alone anyway."

Another member, Beast, recently left the X-Men after the revelation that Cyclops used X-Force as his own secret hit squad, but Brevoort delineates the difference between the two groups very clearly.

"Well, first off, Steve asked [him]," notes the editor of Beast's reasons for joining. "And secondly, while the Secret Avengers are a covert organization, they're a sanctioned covert organization, with the backing and support of the conventional authorities. This isn't a private kill-squad along the lines of X-Force, this is S.H.I.E.L.D. for a new millennium."

And the team certainly won't lack for firepower with the addition of War Machine to its ranks.

"He does bring the big guns and a soldier's experience on the battlefield, so that will be an invaluable skill set," assures Brevoort.

The most cosmic character in the lineup, Nova, has seen his share of warfare in the past couple years, giving him the perfect resume for a stint in the Secret Avengers.

SECRET AVENGERS #1 preview art by Mike Deodato
"He's a powerhouse, and we needed a powerhouse, [but] his experiences through the Annihilation War and its aftermath have recast him as a soldier as much as a space cop," reminds Brevoort. "He's got the right sort of long-term pedigree to feel like a legitimate Avenger, and he's a fun character to work with. So we thought he'd fit right in."

A member of the Defenders for many years, Valkyrie graduates to the ranks of Earth's Mightiest as she makes the jump into Steve's personal band of Avengers.

"[She brings] muscle, certainly," says Brevoort of her qualifications. "She's also a character that, despite the fact that she's got a long history, still feels largely like a blank slate, so there's an opportunity to do something cool with her. It's fun to put her into these more grounded situations, where she's both a fish out of water and a bull in a china shop, and watch what happens."


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Moon Knight = Awesomeness


So, Nova isn't going to be a part of the Thanos Imperative?


This is going to rock sooooooo hard!!! Can't wait to pick this up! Love Steve's new look as the 'new-age Nick Fury'! lol


i can tell this is gonna get good, with a all-star team like this who can beat 'em