So it’s official, I have added another full time floppy to my pull list.

For those of you who might be new to the column or may have forgotten, I don’t buy a lot of comics in floppy format. Traditionally I have one on going series and maybe a small mini series or two with the majority of my comic buying done in trade form (for the record I currently get Buffy the Vampire Slayer ongoing, GI Joe Hearts and Minds min, First Wave mini). But every once and a while a book comes along good enough that I must read it every month. A book I can not wait for.

So welcome to box 225 Secret Avengers!

It’s pretty well known at this point that I am a Brubaker fan so that was a point in Secret Avengers favor but what has really grabbed my attention is Ed has created an Avengers roster that not only has characters that I like and that are interesting but characters that could allow Brubaker to do any story he wants.

And he is doing any kind of story he wants!

I love the gritty pulpy books Brubaker writes like Criminal or Incognito or his run on Daredevil but the more a writer works in a certain genre the more I become curious if he could do anything else. The first story arc introduce us to the threat of the Shadow Council and was a cosmic action adventure. Nothing gets you away from the grim streets like a trip to Mars. It’s proof that this man is one of the most talented writers in comics. Hell, the latest issue was a great read despite the fact that when you boil it down, the entire issue was a Nick Fury/Steve Rogers conversation.

And now it’s tying in with The Marvels Project AND we get Shang Chi in the next story arc. The character line up alone with Beast, Ant Man, Moon Knight, Black Widow, War Machine, Nova and Valkyrie just leave the ideas endless. We’ve already had a Serpent Crown plot point which was awesome for an old school fan like me.

Essentially, if I was ever given an Avengers style book at Marvel, this would be the book I’d write.

And the art has also been fantastic. Mike Deodato drew the first arc and stretched his legs a bit. I really like how he drew Moon Knight and am looking forward to seeing more. I used to think he was just a really good “monster” artist due to his perfect renditions on his Hulk run but as it turns out, Mike can do a really good job on regular human sized characters as well.

In short, if you aren’t…WHY AREN’T YOU READING THIS BOOK?

Now before we go, I have a few things I wanted to mention. First off, it looks like I’m going to get to speak to writer Andrew Vachss in the very near future. We are going to be discussing his upcoming graphic novel Heart transplant as well as his new upcoming novel The Weight and numerous other things. Feel free to send me any questions you might have for Mr. Vachss.

Speaking of which, a frequent comic collaborator of Vachss, Geof Darrow has done a variant for First Wave #4 which is awesome in it’s apparent simplicity but then if you look at it, Darrow’s complexity starts shining through.