Ed Brubaker started Secret Avengers, about a team of covert-ops superheroes, and Warren Ellis is in the midst of a fun run on the title, but starting in January, the darkness-master Rick Remender is taking over the title with #21.1, and he's folding in his boy Venom almost immediately. If it's anything like Remender's OTHER covert-ops-for-a-big-name-hero-team title called Uncanny X-Force, we're going to be in for a bleak and twisted ride.
Now that Steve Rogers is pulling back from being spymaster to focus on being Captain America again, he's going to name Hawkeye as his replacement. So it's somewhat fitting that Clint Barton will be taking a cue from his Ultimate Universe counterpart and adopting a very similar look for his special-ops work – leaving the purple mask behind. Beast, Black Widow and Valkyrie will still be on board, but Hawkeye will also be bringing with him his new Avengers Academy colleague Hank Pym. Captain Britain will also be in the mix… and is that the Human Torch? Likely the original android version aka Jim Hammond, but still. It's a Torch! Wait a sec, isn't Valkyrie a wanted fugitive over in Fear Itself: The Fearless? Who knows?
“Our opening arc will have a big secret war, a big secret new world, a big secret new race, a big team death, a big secret team betrayal, and begin a secret affair. High stakes, intrigue, and tons of character drama as we unearth the mystery surrounding familiar automaton villains reimagined as members of a new species – The Descendants!” Remender says. “I’m a tremendous fan of Gabe’s work; he's one of the best storytellers in the business, always puts clarity first, while still managing engaging and dynamic action. I’m beyond excited to have him joining me on Secret Avengers. And having Art Adams on covers is truly a dream come true.”
The Gabe in question is Gabriel Hardman, who will be the regular artist after Patrick Zircher handles the duties for #21.1. Hardman has plenty to say, too.
“Secret Avengers gives me the opportunity to draw an exciting group of heroes who I've never drawn before as well as design new villains and new worlds," he explains. "Hawkeye, Beast and Valkyrie have been favorites of mine since I was a kid. That combined that with the crazy big, black ops tinged action/adventure makes this a book I had to draw. Rick is known for his wildly inventive scripts and he really delivers with Secret Avengers. This is an epic story that will have big repercussions. That's the kind of storytelling I like to be involved with.”
Check out Zircher's cover for Secret Avengers #21.1, Adams' cover for #22 along with his unfinished version of #23 and Hardman's variant cover for #22 below.