Secret Avengers #21 - Final Level
Warren Ellis saves his best issue for last. Granted there were only six and they were all pretty good but still the best.
As Steve and the team come to the Houston Station of O.N.E. (Office of National Emergency), we find that they are looking for a member of the Shadow Council. To clear out everybody but the suspects, they fake a fire atop the building and wait. Forcing out the member, Steve is surprised to hear what her plans were. Many years ago, there was a mission that brought in experiments by the Nazis. Turns out, that's not the real story. Said experiments are actually the Council's "beloved otherworldly masters" and they're being stored here. And she's going to release them. Using their own fake fire against them, she is able to unlock the system and release them. Using the bodies as portals, they have opened up a gate to that "otherworldly" place. As they grow larger and larger with the alien invasion, Steve is ready to make the hard choice, showing how much of a soldier he actually is. He tells Beast to blow the place. He doesn't want to loose his friends but he will sacrifice them to save the planet. Refusing to kill his own team, Beast waits for the very last minute. Using the fire as their cover once again, War Machine blasts his team to air safety as Rogers and Carter jump off the roof for their lives. Beast blasts the building while scooping in to catch Steve and company and everyone lives. Mostly. As the Shadow Council member is before Steve, he recommends giving them her information on the Council so that her consequences will be smaller. As she looks at the ground, she repeats the word "consequences", pulls out a gun, puts it to her head and we're left with the last image of a gun and blood splatter.
Warren Ellis is great at doing the smaller issue stuff. Each of his issues was a self-contained story while all leading into a larger one. Each one ending with a poignant revelation, almost saying that things will never change in the super-hero game. Every end is another beginning and they will be back on the job at any moment. Ellis is great and smaller arcs like this work perfectly for him.
Sadly, the issue may have been overshadowed by the fact that Uncanny X-Force scribe Rick Remender is taking over with the next issue. Should be an amazing ride for out team.
Bonus NB Moment
Green Lantern #5 - Sinestro is a bad mother
After being captured by the Sinestro Corps that he himself is there to stop, Sinestro is imprisoned with the rest of Korugar. After giving everyone a green ring and still not being able to break out, he always has his Plan B: his Lantern Battery. After blasting a Sinestro member in half, the Lantern flies through to Sinestro, freeing them all. In it's title page, we get why Sinestro may still be one of the baddest Green Lanterns around.