Secret Avengers #23 Review

Posted by Spiderfan001 13 March 2012

Venom joins the Secret Avengers!?  Not really...

The Story

Back in issue #22, a group of Adaptoids were able to defeat the Secret Avengers and kidnap a Pakistani woman named Yalda as well as her son.  Yalda has the ability to absorb energy and re-release it, but she doesn't know how to control her powers.  The Adaptoids bring Yalda  and her son to a man called the Father, who is in league with Lady Deathstrike.  Unbeknownst to the Adaptoids, Ant-Man hitched a ride with them before they escaped.

The rest of the Secret Avengers regroup at Lighthouse Station.  Hank Pym and Beast discuss both Pym's ability to shut down the Venom symbiote's consciousness and Beast's creation of an A.I. to ensure that the Lighthouse does not hit any space debris.  Meanwhile, Hawkeye beats himself up over the failure of the last mission and the loss of Ant-Man. At a hospital, Captain America introduces Jim Hammond (the original Human Torch) to Flash Thompson, who are both slated to become new members of the Secret Avengers.  Flash will still only be allowed to wear the symbiote for short periods of time.

The Father explains to Yalda that she is a Descendant, the next stage of human evolution.  The Father believes that humanity will eventually merge with technology to create a communal universal consciousness, something he wishes to accelerate to achieve immortality.  The Father offers to train Yalda on how to use her powers so she can help him with his plans, and says that he will make her son "god-like."  Yalda refuses to cooperate, so the Father orders the Adaptoids to kill her.  Ant-Man jumps out and intervenes, but is unable to prevent the Father from shooting and killing Yalda.  In a desperate move, Ant-Man grabs Yalda's son and jumps out the window.

At the Lighthouse, Cap introduces Flash to Hawkeye, who absolutely refuses to let Venom onto the team.  Hawkeye takes the Human Torch and launches the next mission.  The Avengers follow the trail of Pym particles Ant-Man left behind, leading them to a teleporter which takes them to the city that Father resides in, separating them in the process.  Hawkeye and Beast end up together, and are confronted by evil cyborg versions of Miss America and the Wasp.

Ant-Man is still on the run from the Adaptoids who manage to catch up with him.  Telling Yalda's son to run for it, Ant-Man makes his final stand against the Adaptoids, dying with the knowledge that his final acts were those of a hero.


While I wasn't impressed with his initial point one issue, Rick Remender's first arc of Secret Avengers has been highly enjoyable thus far.  It's fun to see Hawkeye struggling to be an effective leader, and Remender has a great handle on Beast, who gets all the best lines this issue.  Ant-Man's death took me by surprise; Remender gives him an appropriate, if tragic, send off that fans of the character should be content with.

It looks like Flash will have to do more to prove himself if he wants to be a permanent member of the team.  My one gripe with this issue is that it spoiled the ending to Circle of Four, which had yet to be completed when this issue came out.  It's interesting that many Avengers now know that Flash is Venom while Peter Parker remains in the dark.  This should make for a fun reveal when the time comes.

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