Captain America and The Secret Avengers #1: Review

May 2011
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Greg Tocchini

Story Name:

All the Pretty Monsters

Review & Comments

3 stars

Captain America and The Secret Avengers #1 Review by (May 28, 2012)
Review: Let’s start with the obvious question: Why was this published as a tie-in to Cap’s anniversary? Cap isn’t in it and Steve Rogers appears only briefly. It’s a solo adventure for Black Widow and Sharon Carter. The rest of the Secret Avengers aren’t even mentioned. Then there’s the unattractive cover with the two normally lovely ladies making goblin faces—and the inner art does not improve much. Kelly Sue DeConnick provides a fairly entertaining story but the cute banter between the two leads seems woefully out of character. The whole effort looks like it was turned down for a regular issue of SECRET AVENGERS that they chose to dump here.

Comments: One of a series of one-shots issued in connection with the 70th anniversary of Captain America. Collected in a trade edition under the title CAPTAIN AMERICA: ALLIES & ENEMIES. Second story reprinted from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #53.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America and The Secret Avengers #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In a lonely hotel room, a young woman named Tatiana pens a letter to the Black Widow, thanking her for trying to save her but regrets that the Widow was wrong about her….

The Black Widow and Sharon Carter, dressed in the height of fashion, arrive at the Doughty Arts center in New York City, in response to Tatiana’s letter. They bicker over whether Natasha is reading the note correctly as a plea for help, or whether she had misjudged the young woman. Sharon reports in to Steve Rogers to bring him (and the reader) into the picture: they are attending an event for a charity group called Lifeline, which rescues poor girls from poverty and provides an elite education—but their true goal is rather mysterious. Inside, the head of Lifeline, Lady Alicia Wells, opens the graduation ceremony by ordering the room locked down, and the "girls" take the audience of powerful but shady characters hostage at gunpoint. Lady Alicia explains that Lifeline is actually a front and a recruiting organization for her real business: L.A.S.S.E.S. (Lady Alicia’s Sweet Sixteen Executioner’s School) a band of sexy assassins. She then reveals her enemy, the Black Widow, in the audience and takes her and Sharon hostage. She has the audience drink a toast to the death of the Black Widow, then informs them that they have been poisoned and that the antidote will cost them each one million dollars. Former renegade Tatiana is brought forward and her background revealed: she was an agent who fled the group and tried to make a new life with a foster family but poisoning her dog soon brought her back to the team. Tatiana is now ordered to kill the Widow to demonstrate her loyalty but instead she turns the gun on Lady Alicia—but before she is forced to make a decision, Sharon seizes a weapon from a guard and shoots down the evil mastermind. Chaos breaks out as the panicked poison victims revolt against the beauteous guards; Sharon tosses the antidote to the crowd while the Widow calms the nervous female killers. Tatiana is returned to her foster home and given a new dog by the two Avengers, who head off bickering.

Story #2

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Writer: Fabian Nicieza. Penciler: Rob Liefeld. Inker: Bob Wiacek. Colorist: Kelly Corvese.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

On a late night in Paris, a man is heading toward the Eiffel Tower, frantically trying to elude pursuit. He is finally cornered atop the famed monument by his enemy, the mercenary Silver Sable, who has a contract to bring in Yves Chevrier for aiding the escape of a Nazi war criminal, which cost the lives of three of Sable’s agents. The Black Widow appears, also seeking Chevrier who is sought in several countries for a variety of other crimes. The two women spar to determine who will bring in the criminal. They are evenly matched so they decide to flip a coin; while they are occupied, Chevrier, attempting to escape his bonds, plummets to his death from the Tower. The disappointed duo then use the coin to decide whether they will celebrate, or drown their sorrows….

Greg Tocchini
Greg Tocchini
Paul Mounts
Greg Tocchini (Cover Penciler)
Greg Tocchini (Cover Inker)
Greg Tocchini (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

Plus: Silver Sable.

> Captain America and The Secret Avengers : Book info and issue index

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