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Secret Avengers, Vol. 3: Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World Hardcover – April 11, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren Ellis is an English author of comics, novels, and television, who is well-known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and through his writing, which covers transhumanist themes (most notably nanotechnology, cryonics, mind transfer, and human enhancement). Ellis's first prose novel, Crooked Little Vein, was published in the summer of 2007 by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins), with a second novel, Listener, to follow. He was also asked to develop a television series for AMC called Dead Channel, but the project is currently on hiatus. He is a resident of Southend-on-Sea, England.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (April 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785152555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785152552
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE (being adapted for TV by Microsoft Xbox) and the "underground classic" novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His GRAVEL books are in development for film at Legendary Pictures. IRON MAN 3 is based on his Marvel Comics graphic novel IRON MAN: EXTREMIS. He's also written extensively for VICE, WIRED UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters. Warren Ellis is currently working on a non-fiction book about the future of the city for Farrar Giroux Straus.

His newest publication is the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR, from FSG Originals. His next book will be the novella NORMAL, also from FSG.

A documentary about his work, CAPTURED GHOSTS, was released in 2012.

Recognitions include the NUIG Literary and Debating Society's President's Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative.

Warren Ellis lives outside London, on the south-east coast of England, in case he needs to make a quick getaway.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This trade collects Secret Avengers issues #16-21. These are six individually contained stories and are meant to be accessible. Familiarity with the core characters helps, but isn't needed.

In this collection, subtitled "Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World", Warren Ellis has taken the concept of Earth shattering peril that must be dealt with out of the public's eye and condensed it down into a single issue story. Six times. Each issue here contains an action epic boiled down to the high points in fast paced, to-the-point adventures.

Steve Rogers leads a rotating line up of combinations of Sharon Carter, Black Widow, Valkyrie, War Machine, Beast and Moon Knight. The characters are used well, but of course with separate larger-than-life dangers dealt with every issue character development isn't always forefront. The plots vary in levels of cleverness and intrigue, but are all at least somewhat interesting. I personally liked "Aniana" and "Encircle" best in both story and art. With six different teams the art is hit or miss, but decent overall and never boring.

Ellis's mini-blockbusters aren't particularly amazing, but are fun high stakes doses of "action fluff." If that sounds interesting and you're ok with condensed storytelling, "Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World" is definitely worth a look.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll tell you this up-front: I am not a fan of Warren Ellis. I didn't care for PLANETARY, other than the great John Cassaday art. I didn't care for TRANSMETROPOLITAN. I didn't care for STRANGE KISS. I REALLY didn't care for his run on ASTONISHING X-MEN, especially since it came directly after Whedon and Cassaday's brilliant run. So, I am not a fan of Warren Ellis' work, so I was more than trepidatious when I heard he would be writing SECRET AVENGERS directly following work by Ed Brubaker and Nick Spencer, two of the best writers working in comics.

After reading his work on this book, I have decided to give Ellis another try. Why? Simple. It only took a few issues of this book to change my mind about him.

Ellis firmly embraces the absurdity of comic book heroes and villains and the universe they live in, and celebrates it rather than deconstructing it. There's crazy technology, crazy villains, crazy locations, crazy fight scenes, and it's all pulled off with a bit of a twinkle in its eye, a bit of a retro vibe and a genuine love for the medium that I've never seen from Ellis before. His stuff, to me, seemed to be far too mired in technobabble or psuedo-science for me to connect with it at all. However, for some reason, when Ellis writes the adventures of the Secret Avengers, those flaws become strengths.

Another really terrific thing about Ellis' run on SA is that each issue, while having a common through-line, is self-contained, and the artists rotate on each issue as well. This gives Ellis the freedom to concentrate on one team member per issue and explore their character as part of the Secret Avengers.

Ellis' run on SECRET AVENGERS makes for a very entertaining and compelling read, and now, I will have a lot more faith in Warren Ellis.
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Format: Hardcover
This book collects the six issues of Ellis' short run on Secret Avengers. Every issue is a done-in-one story, which is refreshing for today's comics. For the most part, they're great.

This book is filled with cool sci-fi elements, which Ellis works to perfection. There is even one of the best issues involving time-travelling that I think I've ever read. You finally get a real idea of why these are the Secret Avengers as opposed to any other Avengers and why they should remain that way. The moral ambiguity of getting the job done, everything that is at stake. At the start of every issue, Ellis wastes no time and drops the reader right in the middle of the action, so even though every story is done in 22 pages it is still fully fleshed out and you get a huge sense of importance when reading them. Some of the decisions made by the heroes make me cringe, but at the same time, I can't see another way that they could've gotten out of the situation without those extreme measures.

The art is done by several artists, with one doing every issue. Most of it is absolutely fantastic. You get John Cassaday, David Aja, Maleev and Immonen and I don't think you can ask for a better team. I particularly love the Aja and Maleev issues as their art fits this style of book like a glove. Even then, Ellis adapts to the artist, giving Immonen a more standard superhero fare and playing to his strengths. Even when it ventures down this path though, Secret Avengers doesn't lose the concepts that make it unique.

There is just one reason why this book doesn't score the full five stars. Issue 17 is weak. There is nothing good at all there, even the art is by far the weakest in the collection. It just spoils a great book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of six (independent) stories. Out of the six, I found one (named “Encircle”) to be a major disappointment and another one (named “Beast Box”) to be a bit of a let-down. But the other four are quite nice. Most of the stories are quite unique compared to the ones you generally read in Avengers/Marvel books. The best part of this book is obviously the story/stories; everything else takes a back seat, including the characters. Also, this feels more like a Black ops/ Secret agents kind of a book rather than an Avengers book but I guess what is important is that the book provides entertainment.
I hated the story “Encircle” because it was too confusing. Without giving too much away, it’s based on Time-Travel. I hate time-travel. And not only that, I tried hard to make out what’s happening but after three pages of that story, I just stopped reading. My brain was already fried by that. I hate stories where the reader is made to look like a moron  The “Beast Box” story was nice but I disliked it’s ending.Also, the artist for this story Kev Walker, draws very ugly faces. I hate his artwork.
Overall, this book is a good read but I felt there are two (minor) problems:
1) The stories should have been longer. One issue for each story feels very short. In fact, sometimes you feel that the climax has suddenly been forced in order to end the story.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT - BEGIN
2) In ALL the stories, the enemy is the Shadow Council. In fact, since Volume 1, it’s ONLY the Shadow Council that the Secret Avengers have been fighting and it’s disappointing. Couldn’t the writers come up with ANY other (new or old) villains?
MINOR SPOILER ALERT – END
This book is definitely better than MOST of the recent Avengers/Marvel books that I have read.
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Secret Avengers, Vol. 3: Run the Mission, Don't Get Seen, Save the World
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