Review: Secret Avengers issue 12.1

New creative team take a hard right turn

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Scott Eaton
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $2.99 (£1.80)

When ludicrous prophet of doom Glenn Beck ended his long running relationship with Fox News, it obviously wasn’t going to be the end of him – luckily, he’s able to propagate his borderline fascistic brand of boneheaded hyper-patriotism through Marvel Comics, reaching a whole new audience who’d otherwise be turned into pinko fifth columnists without his intervention.

Under Beck’s direction, the Wikileaks scandal is told as it is – Corporal Bradley Manning as good as killed people when he leaked diplomatic cables to the liberal media, so in this version he actually kills people. And because US troops are fighting for the undisputed force of right in Afghanistan, the event which turned him traitor from the warm, apple pie-scented embrace of his government wasn’t being plunged into a morally ambiguous war he didn’t understand – it was finding out half his squad were shapeshifting alien Skrull. And instead of having to listen to people speechify and go turning Wikileaks into a big talking point, Steve ‘Not Captain America At The Moment’ Rogers just punches him out and tells it like he is – eat square jawed American fist justice you goddamn terrorist pervert.

Beast, the blue cowardly lion from the X-Men expresses some reservations, which you’d expect from an X-Man, they’re always being used as thinly veiled stand-ins for gay people/black people/terrorists – we’ve got to keep these people in line, because if we don’t we’re as good as handing them over to Tehran for training!

Expect it’s not written by Glenn Beck, it’s written by the creative team taking over the series from Ed Brubaker – who infused Secret Avengers, like his run on Captain America, with a pulse racing Bourne-like thrills, and imbued the politics with a sense of complexity – and they’ve chosen to not only treat their readers with staggering disrespect – spoonfeeding them moral absolutes like Calpol – but undermine their own hard right patriot agenda with the staggering insinuation that the worst thing that can happen to a US soldier in Afghanistan are aliens.

With Captain America about to pistol whip his way into the popular consciousness with The First Avenger, fans are going to be working pretty hard to refute all those lazy assumptions that the character is some sort of hawkish neo-con posterboy. Well don’t bother, because it looks like as far as Secret Avengers is concerned… he is.