When it comes to superheroes and teams, trust is everything. Heroes need to be able to work together with minimal thought, knowing their teammates will be there to watch their back. They spend so much time together when fighting villains, in training sessions or just when sitting around blowing off steam. The great and successful teams become more than just a bunch of heroes fighting to save the day. They become family.
The last thing a team needs is secrets. Secrets lead to suspicion and mistrust. When the lives of the heroes and innocents are on the line, there isn't room for doubt. Yet secrets are a big part of the lives of many superheroes. Many have secret identities and live secret lives that their friends and family might not know about. Teams are also moving in the direction of keeping secrets from other members.
With the existence of squads like X-Force and the Secret Avengers, heroes are able to go on covert missions and do what needs to be done. The process and actions they take might not be approved by other members or by the public but they do what they need to for the greater good. When more and more members are brought into the secret, how long until someone slips up and reveals the information to others?== TEASER ==
When Captain America basically took on the duties of Nick Fury and took command of SHIELD, it wasn't a surprise when he formed a secret team of Avengers. As Earth's Mightiest Heroes, they have the power to do things for the sake of the planet.
Their first mission took them to Mars up against the Shadow Council. Taking a trip to Mars might not have to be kept a secret but if the general public knew the government or others possessed the technology to travel there and that a threat was forming there, it could burst the bubble of their little worlds. People are used to threats being contained to their immediate area. They know conflicts are brewing between different countries. The idea of a threat originating on a neighboring planet might be too much.
There was also the abandoned Secret Empire city one mile beneath the surface. The existence of this place along with those still operating it could lead to more panic. No one expects there to be dangers beneath their feet (unless they are aware of the Mole Man but he's never really been a major threat). The Secret Avengers also had to make a decision that resulted in the deaths of everyone stationed in the hidden city. Even though it was an act to preserve the safety of the country (heck, even the planet), the general public might not approve of the methods used.
Cyclops originally formed X-Force as a team of killer X-Men. With the number of mutants dangerously low, he felt they couldn't simply sit around and wait for threats to arrive on their doorstep. X-Force was to seek out those threats and deal with them before more mutant lives were lost.
When the existence of the team was discovered, members such as Storm and Beast were outraged (which is a little ironic since Beast ended up killing when in Secret Avengers). They could not condone the idea of X-Men killing and the fact that the team was kept a secret from them was unacceptable. Secrets lead to mistrust.
X-Force was disbanded at the end of Second Coming but Wolverine went and reformed the team behind Cyclops' and the rest of the X-Men's backs. Wolverine feels there is still a need for the team. The first mission of the new team had them deal with the coming threat of Apocalypse before he fully rose to power. With members such as Fantomex and Deadpool, Wolverine has to trust that no one will let it slip that the team is still operating.
With Wolverine now running the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, he felt he had to confide in some of the others. Beast and Kitty Pryde were let in on the secret of the continued existence of X-Force. This was a gamble as Beast had already made it clear to Cyclops that he couldn't accept the idea when he quit the X-Men. It could be the fact that he himself is part of a secret team of Avengers that allows him to be a little more understanding.
The Secret Avengers has had some loose canons on board. Moon Knight appears to be getting crazier and crazier in his soon to be ending title. Eric O'Grady might actually long for the idea of being accepted but he's already let it slip to Iron Fist that he was on a secret squad. And of course he would use the fact that he's on the team to try to score with the ladies.
Captain America's duties are stretching him thin. He's already reached out to Hawkeye to lead the Secret Avengers. It appears that there will be other new members such as Hank Pym, Captain Britain and Venom joining. More new members means more people in on the secret. Will they still be able to carry out missions and use methods the general public might not approve of if more people know about the secret?
There's also the bad guys each team goes up against. While they might not refer to themselves as X-Force or the Secret Avengers out on the field, when the villains or threat is dealt with, unless it's with extreme prejudice, they're bound to talk to others. People might wonder about the gathering of these certain heroes. The fact that X-Force uses different costumes might raise even more suspicion.
Having secret teams could have its shares of advantages. With the supervillains and threats to the world increasing to new levels, the idea of simply punching out the bad guys and sending them to a super-prison might not be the solution anymore. Villains can't seem to learn their lesson after being defeated time and time again. Sometimes there are simply jobs that need to be done without the public knowing about it. If a secret team is being formed, extreme caution needs to be used in maintaining that secret. Members chosen for the team need to be trusted enough not to let the secret slip. They need to be trusted enough not to lose their marbles and try to reveal the information to the world (just as Wonder Man recently did). More and more secrets are developing with other heroes. Pretty soon, every team will have their own secret squad. As long as no one lets the secret slip.