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Secret Avengers #3: Review

Apr 2013
Nick Spencer, Luke Ross

Story Name:

Mission 003: Arlington

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Avengers #3 Review by (December 27, 2023)

Review: Big Revelation #1: Nick Fury Jr. feels guilty over shooting Hawkeye! Big Revelation #2: Mockingbird is a scientist! I know, she always was but she’s been superhero/spy for so long that it was easily forgotten that she was introduced working on recreating the Super-Soldier Serum. Actually, the biggest surprise is that A.I.M. isn’t a bunch of doofuses (doofi?) in yellow overalls and bucket-shaped helmets. Instead, they’ve become a recognized nation, granting them a measure of diplomatic immunity. And it took them only fifty years to recognize what Doctor Doom has going for him. But SHIELD is at a disadvantage, the baddies pushing Daisy Johnson and Nick Fury into a violent confrontation; maybe Ralston was right and Daisy is too young for the job. But our familiar agents Natasha, Clint, Bobbi, and Phil are still competent at what they do so the issue isn’t a total loss: the good guys end up with a broken Jocasta. Oh well….

Comments: First appearance of the Iron Patriot drones which will show up through issue #11. Daisy Johnson was made director of the reconstituted SHIELD in BATTLE SCARS #4, recruiting Nick Fury Jr. and Phil Coulson in issue #6. Yelena Belova became the Super-Adaptoid in NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1. Senator Robert “Reb” Ralston was one of the original Howling Commandos introduced with Nick Fury in SGT. FURY #1 in 1963; this is his final appearance. This Jocasta is the version for Earth-10943; her only subsequent appearances are in AVENGERS WORLD #9 and 14. Here, A.I.M. Island is Barbuda, a real island in the Caribbean; A.I.M.’s more famous base is in the fictious Boca Caliente.        


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Avengers #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

SHIELD Director Daisy Johnson and Nick Fury Jr. are at AS3, the USA’s largest defense expo, hoping to make some deals for the Agency. Johnson reminds him that she approved Maria Hill’s request for the Secret Avengers and the need to manipulate memories afterward. Fury is still feeling guilty about what they did to Hawkeye (issue #1). Johnson introduces Fury to Senator Robert Ralston, “Reb” of the Howling Commandos, and head of the Executive Oversight Committee. Ralston is a little drunk and keeps making jokes about Johnson’s youth which annoys her (though she is 19, mind you). And then she spots the Iron Patriot armor on display and wants to know what it is doing there….

On the Helicarrier, Hawkeye is trying to explain to a skeptical Black Widow how, even though a divorced couple, he and Mockingbird can still work together. Then the real Black Widow arrives and Clint discovers the previous Widow was Bobbi having fun with him by using the new CamoTech. Maria Hill rebukes them and then calls them inside for a briefing. A.I.M.’s Arctic Circle facility, the Gate, has self-destructed and the new Scientist Supreme, Andrew Forson, was seen leaving shortly before. A.I.M. has set up on the island of Barbuda and gained recognition by the United Nations, giving them diplomatic status. A.I.M. is also recruiting new leadership: Yelena Belova, Graviton, Superia, and Mentallo. Hill wants the Secret Avengers to investigate the Gate, warning them that A.I.M. has their own clean-up team at the site. Agent Phil Coulson will be their field support….

At the expo, Dr. Mendel explains the Iron Patriot armor. It was recovered after the fall of H.A.M.M.E.R. and Norman Osborn by the Department of Defense and donated to SHIELD (which Daisy Johnson hadn’t heard); they have been modified to run as drones by AI. Johnson is outraged that the government would steal Tony Stark technology for its own purposes. Then the Scientist Supreme and his minions, including Yelena Belova the new Super-Adaptoid, teleport into the room. Though packing weaponry, Forson assures them they are only there to do business….

At the Gate, the Secret Avengers defeat the A.I.M. personnel and Mockingbird (Ph.D in biology) recognizes the place as a conduit station, built to contain and channel some kind of energy source. Black Widow and Coulson recognize the dead staff as suicide scientists, programmed to kill themselves once their work was done; they also discover a seriously damaged Jocasta….

At the expo, Johnson interprets Forson’s advance as a threat so she activates her gauntlets and sends a shock wave through the ground, toppling A.I.M. minions. Forson fires an energy blast at Nick Fury while Belova assumes a tiger woman form and attacks Johnson. Ralston shoots Belova who turns on him and fatally claws him across the chest. Taking the Iron Patriot drone, Forson, with a parting quip, teleports his team away and Senator Ralston dies in Daisy Johnson’s arms, saying, “Tell the Old Man I tried….”

Back at Barbuda, Forson grants an interview online, justifying the murder of Senator Ralston as self-defense and denying the theft of technology. He signs off and brings in Mentallo. While subtly denigrating his limited powers, Forson explains that they are giving him a job he would be perfectly suited for: animating the Iron Patriot drones….

Luke Ross
Luke Ross
Matthew Wilson
Tomm Coker (Cover Penciler)
Tomm Coker (Cover Inker)
Daniel Freedman (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)
Nick Fury Jr.
Nick Fury Jr.

(Marcus Johnson)
Phil Coulson
Phil Coulson


Plus: Mentallo (Marvin Flumm), Quake (Daisy Johnson), Reb Ralston (Robert Ralston), Scientist Supreme (Andrew Forson), Super-Adaptoid (Yelena Belova).

> Secret Avengers: Book info and issue index

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