Secret Avengers Vol 2 TP Eyes of the Dragon NM 1st print Brubaker Deodato


SKU: 15053 Category:


SECRET AVENGERS VOL 2 EYES OF DRAGON SC (MARVEL COMICS, NEAR MINT 1st print) Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato Jr.! The Celestial Order of the Hai-Dai has launched a brazen attack on Shang-Chi. Its mission? To kidnap the Master of Kung Fu and return him to his father, a man of consummate evil who has perpetuated his brand of wickedness and corruption for more than three thousand years, rumored to be alive again and bent on restoring his demonic legacy. Former Captain America Steve Rogers and his covert squad of Secret Avengers move in to save Shang-Chi and secure the mystical Eyes of the Dragon – along the way reuniting with an old friend from Steve’s World War II days, but also finding themselves fighting on the opposite side of one another. Collecting SECRET AVENGERS #6-12. 168 pages.

SECRET AVENGERS: Vol. 2 EYES OF THE DRAGON collects issues #6-12, with Brubaker near the top of his game, and Mike Deodato and Will Conrad providing dynamic artwork (oh, the fighty fights look so good!). This particular chapter has got me licking my chops because Brubaker dusts off one of my favorite forgotten Marvel characters: Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu. And all the cool stuff that goes with him. If you’re a fan of Sax Rohmer and Fu Manchu, that Yellow Peril, that menace from the Far East, then you already know… Things are about to assume that pulpy feel. Gird your loins or whatever for some straight up martial arts madness.

The Eyes of the Dragon are ancient artifacts rumored to confer immortality, but requiring the sacrifice of a blood relative. One night, Shang-Chi is beset by the Celestial Order of the Hai-Dai, a.k.a. Fu Manchu’s ninja minions. And so Shang-Chi becomes aware that his evil pops is once again in the land of the living. Shang-Chi and his pops, they’re not on cordial terms.

Commander Steve Rogers, Marvel Universe’s top cop, gets wind of the Eyes of the Dragon and deploys an old friend to Shang-Chi’s side, and it’s always neat catching up with John Aman, the legendary Prince of Orphans. Except that this makes me pine all over again for the much lamented IMMORTAL IRON FIST series. Anyway, Shang-Chi soon joins forces with the Secret Avengers for this one mission which I am calling “Operation Boy, Have I Got A Horrible Father.”

I’m still loving the complement of heroes Steve Rogers has recruited for this covert Avengers team, and no one’s better suited for instilling a sense of teamwork than he. Frankly, there’s no other hero out there as inspirational. Even the Irredeemable Ant-Man, Eric O’Grady, is shedding his sleaze bit by bit. How can anyone not dig a roster peculiarly comprised of characters like Moon Knight, Valkyrie, Beast, and Agent 13, among others? In Brubaker’s hands, even the Valkyrie is intriguing.

The Shadow Council is making waves, which is nice if you’re a fan of Max Fury and John Steele, but their presence encroaches into that whole Shang-Chi / Fu Manchu pulp adventure flavor, which sucks. At this point, I’d like to mention that Marvel Comics, because of expiring licensing issues, dares not call Shang-Chi’s father by his name, Fu Manchu. So Brubaker comes up with another moniker for him: “Zheng Zu,” which doesn’t quite carry the decades-worth of cachet built into the “Fu Manchu” name.

Anyway, the Shadow Council reveals itself to be the primary mover behind Zheng Zu’s halfway resurrection (he’s only half alive), and so the central conflict quickly shifts to Steve Rogers versus Director Thorndrake’s Shadow Council, or, more specifically, versus John Steele, one of Thorndrake’s lieutenants. In case you’re not up to speed on John Steele, he’s a Golden Age hero whom Brubaker reintroduced in his MARVELS PROJECT mini-series. Steele is touted as the first real super-soldier and is faster and stronger than Rogers, and he’s turned to the dark side. You can sense the impending smackdown. Having said that, it’s also a nod to Steve Rogers’ leadership that, when appropriate, he doesn’t hesitate to delegate an asskicking task, even though he’s got a vested interest in the chump what deserves them bruises. This gives Valkyrie a chance to shine.

Collects Secret Avengers 6-12. Near mint, 1st print.