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Secret Avengers #5: Review

Jun 2013
Nick Spencer, Luke Ross

Story Name:

Mission 005: Barbuda

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Avengers #5 Review by (January 17, 2024)

Review: And the Secret Avengers’ dirty tricks backfire on SHIELD so the new boss is Maria Hill, who is not exactly a paragon herself. Exciting issue has the pall of doom hanging over our heroes’ heads with the debriefing taking center stage and the mission being narrated in the past tense. Moral ambiguity and political machinations are still the order of the day, giving the series a darker edge than its volume one. 

Comments: First appearance of Charles Dalton who appears in the next issue and dies in CAPTAIN AMERICA (2016) #9. Agent Ellis Love was an occasional character in SECRET WARRIORS; this three-issue arc is her only appearance outside that title. The events of SECRET WAR are mentioned (and not to be confused with SECRET WARS, look it up on this site). 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Avengers #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

After the mission to Barbuda, Hawkeye and Black Widow talk it over: Clint is consumed by guilt, questioning why he ever agreed to this job; Natasha considers the dirty work and memory implants an essential part of the deal so she doesn’t object. He wants to quit, she points out that the mindwipe effectively “gets him out of it” every day. He agreed to it and that’s that….

At the SHIELD Helicarrier, Phil Coulson debriefs Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury Jr.….

The first problem that came up was Hawkeye objecting to killing the Scientist Supreme as murder. Fury insisted it was war and thus allowed but Natasha pointed out it wasn’t war but a political assassination. Clint and Fury bicker some more so Natasha tells them to shut up since she’s the one who will be taking the shot….

Black Widow infiltrated a tall building, taking out a couple of guards, and set up her sniper rifle with a view to the courtyard where the target was addressing several of his troops. Fury and Hawkeye were providing ground and air support. But Natasha was caught by the Super-Adaptoid (Yelena Belova) who took on the form of a tiger woman and attacked, hurling Nat through the window. With her compromised, Fury ordered Hawkeye to shoot the bad guy. Instead, he shot an arrow that enveloped Black Widow in a net that parachuted safely to the ground. So Fury shot his way through several A.I.M. guys and confronted the big man, shooting him in the face…

Now Fury wants to know what the secrecy surrounding this debriefing is all about. Coulson tells him that Daisy Johnson is out as Director. Senator Ralston’s replacement as the interim Security Council Liaison, Charles Dalton, has suspended Johnson for approving the assassination of the Scientist Supreme in reaction to the gun battle at the tech expo and named Maria Hill Acting SHIELD Director. To smooth over the international controversy, Barbuda has been given a seat on the UN Security Council, to Hill’s surprise, and he puts her through to their representative: A.I.M.’s Scientist Supreme, Andrew Forson….   

Luke Ross
Luke Ross
Matthew Wilson
Nic Klein (Cover Penciler)
Nic Klein (Cover Inker)
Nic Klein (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: Scientist Supreme (Andrew Forson), Super-Adaptoid (Yelena Belova).

> Secret Avengers: Book info and issue index

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