Review by Frank Plowright
It now seems the background elements complicating this run of Secret Avengers have been dropped by Aleš Kot, and that’s probably for the best, although he does one hell of job explaining them here in a sequence approaching genius. That’s not to say he’s over-simplified the series. There’s still a lot going on in each dense chapter, some seeming trivialities have relevance, and a fair few mysteries have been carried over from Let’s Have a Problem.
So, thankfully, has artist Michael Walsh, whose spectacular page designs are a treat, maximising the thrills, while the colours applied by Matthew Wilson complete a notable combination. Walsh keeps the action moving, and Wilson ensures we see what’s necessary. He doesn’t shy away from the boldly vivid either, especially in the opening chapter’s thrilling bullet train ride.
Let’s Have a Problem lived up to the title, although part of that is due to S.H.I.E.L.D. never concluding some things are better destroyed rather than contained or investigated. They were two primary agents down by the end of the volume, and Kot quickly sends another headlong into the unknown here. It feeds into this series constantly improving from a good start. It’s thrilling, it’s intelligent, it’s unpredictable and very funny in places, and the less you know overall, the more enjoyment will be derived. Seeing as he’s on the cover, the presence of Deadpool is a given, and Kot works well with that, author and character bantering as the fourth wall is broken, echoing novelist Jorge Luis Borges, whose work is also relevant. Seriously. Oh yes, one of the most interesting characters is a talking bomb.
Midway through The Labyrinth we learn who’s responsible for S.H.I.E.L.D’s problems, and while the culprit may not be a great surprise, their motivations remain uncertain. How will things wrap up in God Level? Who knows, but based on what Kot and Walsh have delivered so far, probably not the way you think.