Comic Vine News


Review: Secret Warriors #17

The Howling Commandos' glory - - past and and present.

No Caption Provided
While Dum Dum Dugan sits on a senatorial hearing about the Howling Commandos' mercenary status, he also reflects on the glory days Nick Fury's elite outfit had in World War II with Captain America.

The Good

Vitti's art is really site to behold and I especially enjoyed the look Imaginary Friends used for the colors, giving it a very washed-out, serious espionage look. Back to Vitti - - there's sense of both realism and stylization to his work here and he handles banquets, senatorial hearings, WWII battles and high-tech spec ops with equal finesse. The final scene with the SHIELD task force waiting in the wings right around the Hydra base was just cool to look at (his redesigns for the Hydra drones were just slick!)  I also liked the way Hickman's been taking these concepts into contemporary times, like having the Howling Commandos evolve into a PMC. He adds a real weight of realism and authenticity throughout this that I quite enjoyed, and, believe it or not, I especially liked Dum Dum Dugan's anecdote about his first kiss!

The Bad

This issue runs a little talky. The dialogue's good and it's great change of pace from previous issues, but you definitely need to be in the right state of mind for the kind of plotting they've used here. Also, this is the third issue in a row I've read from this title and I'm starting to get a sense that there's not as much direction as there could be. Maybe it all makes sense in the context of the larger series, but it feels like the identity of this book's changed each issue and the only major through line's been the presence of Nick Fury.

The Verdict - 4/5

I'm still not entirely sure what the direction of this title is, but I've been enjoying it solidly for three issues straight now. If you want a weightier read that's going to be a welcome departure from your typical superhero title, this will be right up your ally. It successfully bridges the more fantastical side of Marvel WWII-era heroics with a nice Tom Clancy-style realism.