Home > Marvel Comics > Avengers: The Initiative #5

Avengers: The Initiative #5

August 26, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Secret Weapons (A World War Hulk tie-in)
Rating: T+

With the Initiative kids MIA, the Shadow Initiative has to break them out!

Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Stefano Caselli
Colors: Daniele Rudoni
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Initiative members sent into Manhattan for crowd control instead decided to throw down with the Hulk themselves, and got captured. Now, to keep them from becoming another “New Warriors” incident, Gyrich sends in his secret strike force of Initiative members to break them out.

This issue succeeds on several levels. First of all, we’ve established the second major faction of our cast – finding a home for Trauma and Bengal works nicely, and I simply love the fact that Slott is carrying over the Constrictor’s storyline from his own deeply-missed Thing series. We get a few more clues about the mysterious Mutant Zero, and the Scarlet Spiders show what their purpose is. All in all, everything fits together extremely well.

The final confrontation with the Hulk is equally strong. While this storyline really serves only as a sidebar to the main World War Hulk plot, it advances the storylines of this title significantly, using the crossover mainly as a background. The changes to Trauma, the continued problems Cloud 9 is having, and the introduction to the second team all works well. Plus, Slapstick gets the best line of the series thus far.

Caselli’s artwork seems to be drawing some real division amongst fans, which surprises me, as I think it’s a perfect fit. He’s got a really good handle on all the kids, placing a ninja-like character such as Bengal next to a goofy hero like Slapstick, with neither of them looking out of place. His fights are dynamic, and Mutant Zero’s big scene comes off perfectly.

This continues to be a surprisingly strong comic, and it works wonderfully with the entire World War Hulk crossover.

Rating: 8/10

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