Avengers: Unleashed 2: Secret Empire

avengers unleashed volume 2 secret empire cover review alex ross art
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 6/10

Story shows potential

Story jumps around and the resolutions are rarely part of the collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:   Avengers (Volume 5)

Publisher:   Marvel Comics

Writer:   Mark Waid/Jeremy Whitley

Artist:   Phil Noto/Mike Del Mundo

# of Issues:   5

Release Date:   2017

avengers #7 cover infamous iron man alex ross

Avengers (5) #7

Reprints Avengers (5) #7-11 (July 2017-November 2017).  Doctor Doom has joined the Avengers and the Avengers aren’t sure they like it.  While a side team lead by Doctor Octopus patrols the planet and Thor battles in another dimension, the Avengers find the greatest threat to the team might not be villains…but bankruptcy.

Written by Mark Waid (with additional writing by Jeremy Whitley, Avengers:  Unleashed Volume 2:  Secret Empire is the third collection of the fifth volume of Avengers.  The series follows Avengers Unleashed Volume 1:  Kang War One and the conjunction series Avengers:  Four.  The collection features art by Phil Noto and Mike Del Mundo and ties in with Marvel’s Secret Wars event series.

I loved the Avengers growing up.  It was always a weird collection of Marvel heroes trying to work together and essentially becoming friends as they become teammates.  Even the most jaded characters like Sersi and Moondragon were made part of the team and it somehow always works out.  Unfortunately, a lot of this fun is missing from the Avengers, and the series also has no flow in its storytelling.

The series is a jumbled mess.  The first two issues have Doom joining the team, but then nothing ever comes of it (and he disappears after the second issue).  The series then dips into the Secret Empire storyline with no explanation of what is occurring.  There is a standalone Thor issue that isn’t really set-up (nor is the resolution explained…Thor just shows up again in Avengers #11).  Avengers #10 features a Doctor Octopus “evil” Avengers on a mission that once again isn’t relevant to the events of the previous issues of the collection…it is all just random.

avengers #10 cover alex ross

Avengers (5) #10

I am also not sold on the art.  Both Phil Noto and Mike del Mundo have done good work on titles and even within this title there are some great visual moments, but in general, the art is rather inconsistent like the writing.  It also can be difficult to follow the action and the story as a result…something that dooms a comic since it is based around the coming together of visuals and storytelling.

This is another sign of the problem with a lot of comic books today.  The series seems aimless and subjected to too many outside forces (while not telling competent, self-contained stories within the “Big Events” that shape series).  If I were a new reader and picked up any of these issues, the title would scare me off…losing a potential new customer forever.  Fans of the movies won’t recognize the characters, but fans of the comics also find that the characters are for the most part unrecognizable…the attempts by Marvel to appeal to both sides fail both sides.  Avengers returned to its original numbering after this volume (starting with Avengers #672) and began the “No Surrender” storyline.

Related Links:

Avengers:  Unleashed 1:  Kang War One

Avengers:  Four

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

2 Comments on "Avengers: Unleashed 2: Secret Empire"

  1. Jeff Roberts July 5, 2018 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Im trying comics for the first time. Started with kang wars, then this. Pretty discouraged on continuing as I think thought I bought a series, and it seems I bought random tidbots….so confused

    • JPRoscoe July 6, 2018 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Starting in comics today is difficult (in my opinion). I would recommend going to a comic book store if you are near one and asking for entry level type of series. If you are a fan of the movies, there are plenty of series that you can read and enjoy, but many series are weirdly branching and expect too much from new readers while being somewhat off-putting to older readers. You probably need a more solid backbone series to get you going.

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