Secret Avengers #22 - New Life
The story title says it all. After last issue's introduction to both Hawkeye as our new leader and Remender as the new writer, this issue begins the seeds for what should be a promising run.
The issue begins with a suicide bomber taking his life in the middle of a market in Pakistan. To every one's surprise, a lady holding her son opens her mouth extra wide and sucks in the explosion and it's flame. As people surround her demanding to know how (she is actually just as surprised as they all are), she redirects it back out at them, killing everyone. We then see four more from around the world suddenly go white eyed, making claims about how another energy signature has appeared.
We then cut to Captain Britain as he fights a Brit villain before he gets transported to Captain America. He has already agreed to lead the team for Steve. Yeah, I said lead. At least in his mind. He and Hawkeye have some great quips about each other and the team, with Beast throwing in a lot of awesome sarcasm. Before things can really get heated, they get a call about said Pakistan woman who is need of help. As they arrive and take out the local militia, they are attacked by the four white-eyes we saw earlier. They are her for the girl. She is apparently an Adaptoid like them. I can only assume it is a new make of the old Avengers' villain. After getting their trash handed to them (as Britain says, they have had no time to train or practice together and they have little to no rhythm with each other yet), the Adaptoids take the girl and fly off but not before Ant-Man can snag a ride. As the last page opens, a group of villains find that the Avengers are now also "trying to acquire them". a group of odd mix as it has Lady Deathstrike, Doctor Doom, weird looking versions of Wasp, Jocasta, Vision and Red Skull, Max Fury and a human sized Sentinel. Not sure what they mean but it's definitely an interesting ragtag of villainy.
This issue won out for one simple reason: the characterizing. The story was new and entire set-up to catch us but the group dynamic is already better than most books. If Force has shown us one thing, it's that Remender has a knack for making odd and dysfunctional teams work and that's what he does here. The banter feels as though we have been reading this group for ages, making them seem like a family filled with squabbles and not a new team of covert Avengers. If every issue has this great of team writing, I don't even care what the stories deal with. Hell, let's throw in Mephisto and get rid of a few points we don't like while we're here. I'm for practically anything.