CBR Reviews: Secret Avengers #20, Angel & Faith #5, and Justice League Dark #4…

My first CBR Reviews of the new year…read ’em and…well…just read ’em!


“Warren Ellis has been absolutely killing his run on “Secret Avengers,” writing some of the smartest and best superhero comics of the last year with brilliant standalone stories that tell surprisingly complex tales with satisfying results. It doesn’t hurt that Ellis has had a rotating cast of unbelievably talented artists to help him deliver these stories, and Alex Maleev on this issue is no exception…”


“Despite how much I’ve been enjoying “Angel & Faith” thus far, I was hesitant about this issue — even with the always exceptional Phil Noto as guest artist — since it guest-starred arguably my least favorite Buffy Universe character, Harmony. Those fears were averted however, as Christos Gage and Noto do great work delivering a fun issue that manages to keep things moving forward while still taking a little breather…”


““Justice League Dark” continues to be the title of the new DCU that I desperately want to like more than I do. It’s a good book, but with so many fantastic characters crowded together, largely unused, too much of the book is falling flat…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews thus far here.


  1. mikemcquillianblog’s avatar

    After all the crazy praise I’ve been hearing, probably gonna have to get the Ellis Secret Avengers when the trade is released.

    Is Secret Avengers just covert operations with assorted characters?

  2. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    I think it drops in March (the hardcover) and I’d say it’s totally worth it.

    I wasn’t reading Secret Avengers prior to Ellis run (because Deodato was doing the art and it was a deal breaker for me) but for Ellis’ run, yes, it has been more “covert operations” stuff with a small rotating cast.

    #16 was: Steve Rogers, Black Widow, Beast, and Moon Knight.
    #17 was: Steve Rogers, Valkyrie, and…someone else, I forgot. (this was also the weakest of the series so far)
    #18 was: Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, Shang-Chi, (and a very little bit of Beast).
    #19 was: Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, Black Widow, and Moon Knight.
    #20 was: Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, War Machine, and Black Widow (but it’s almost entirely Black Widow’s story).

  3. maverickman874’s avatar

    I haven’t read Secret Avengers after issue 9. Sounds like have to catch up with Warren’s run because everyone seems to be praising it.

    Listening to Remender’s plans for the title on ifanboy and the changes to the roster, I have to pick it up on a monthly basis now.

  4. UncannyDerek’s avatar

    #17 also had War Machine in it.

    I love Rick Remender, but I think even with Remember’s brilliance, Ellis’ run is going to be next-to-impossible to beat in terms of quality.

    #18 is my favourite issue from Ellis so far, but man, did he ever nail Black Widow character with a wild story in #20.

  5. Joan’s avatar

    My problem with JLD is the same as my problem with all of the New 52 books, even the ones I really like (Batwoman, Demon Knights)- twenty pages simply isn’t long enough to tell a satisfying story. At least not in the hands of these creators (who I know are talented and creative people). Maybe they’ll work better in trade form, but as issues they’re universally too snippety. Here’s a nibble of plot, here’s a flash of that character you like, here’s some foreshadowing and oops! Out of time! See you next month!

    They’re fun appetizers, but I want a meal. It just isn’t enough. I think I’m going to have to start trade-waiting everything except Batwoman (for the art), like I have been with Wonder Woman.

  6. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    @Uncanny Derek: Yes, 16, 18, and 20 were my favorite issues (even though 17 had Valkyrie, I thought it was the weakest thus far). It’s really been a wonderful series of books. It will be VERY HARD to top.

    @Joan: I don’t disagree. I think the short format is a stumbling block for a lot of people…especially people that have come to comics as adults rather than kids (don’t know if that’s true for you or not of course). I think that’s a big part of why so many people trade wait these days.

    I will also say it’s one of the reasons why I so love and appreciate a done in one comic like Ellis’ Secret Avengers issues. Though it’s still a bit quick and some things have to be abbreviated a bit, you still get a full and complete story…so it feels more satisfying even if it’s the same number of pages.

  7. Joan’s avatar

    “I think the short format is a stumbling block for a lot of people…especially people that have come to comics as adults rather than kids (don’t know if that’s true for you or not of course).”

    Yes, I’ve seen that a lot as well. And nah, it’s the opposite problem in my case- I’m still nostalgic for when comics used to be fat and mega-wordy. I cut my teeth on early ’80’s Dr Strange and Claremont’s X-Men, and those issues were pretty plump.

    It does sound like I’ll have to check out Secret Avengers, though. I haven’t been following it because of cast issues (lack of enthusiasm for everyone except Natasha, alas. Oh, and Valkyrie’s sometimes there too? Yay!), but with Marvel killing pretty much everything I had been reading, the prospect of at least one book with actual stories (and legs) sounds appealing.

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