5/11/2017 – 1/10/2018
Matthew Rosenberg, off the strength of Kingpin, Rocket Raccoon, and 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank came in during a rough time for both Marvel Comics and Inhumans characters. Marvel’s 2017 public relations can only be described as a dumpster fire. Not only did Secret Warriors make its debut as a tie-in to the highly controversial Secret Empire, but it also featured a cast composed almost entirely of Inhumans. Rosenberg was joined by artist Javi Garrón and colorist Israel Silva for ten of the twelve issues.
Marvel had spent the last couple of years trying to shove Inhumans down the throats of fans in an effort to replace the X-Men; the fans weren’t having any of it. Secret Warriors was a comic that was doomed from the start, having these two major hurdles to jump over right out of the gate.
Instead of crashing and burning, like many five-issue Marvel runs from the last five years, it pushed through into Marvel Legacy before getting cancelled at issue twelve. Despite acclaim from critics and fans alike, the book simply didn’t have the sales numbers and fell in with a number of other Marvel titles recently getting cut.
Secret Warriors was a comic about a team of heroes who initially came together to resist Hydra and ended up becoming a quirky and dysfunctional family. It’s partially a coming-of-age tale, with a heavy dose of spy action, and a ton of heart. It was a colorful, action-packed, and often hilarious book that helped mend the relationship between Inhuman characters (especially after IvX) and Marvel fans.
This series deserves a lot of credit for consistently being an enjoyable read through twelve issues. A lot of what comic book readers wanted from Marvel comics, that they weren’t getting elsewhere, could be found here. Secret Warriors was one of the bright spots during a dark period for many Marvel readers. Timing, marketing, Marvel’s garbage PR, and fan distrust ultimately cut this book’s potential down significantly.
Fans of Matthew Rosenberg can continue reading him in 2018 on The Punisher, Phoenix Resurrection, Tales Of Suspense, and The Archies.
To continue following these characters there’s always Ms. Marvel, Champions, and Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur to keep up with Kamala and Lunella. Karnak, Quake, and Inferno don’t have a locked roster spot on any title at the moment. The same goes for Magik but she regularly appears in the various current X-Men titles, most recently in X-Men: Gold and the upcoming New Mutants.
There’s also that animated movie, Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, that’s coming out this year. It’s not exactly like the comic book, but it does feature Quake, Ms. Marvel, and Inferno.
Some of our favorite moments from this series include:
- Superhero forums
- Lunella and Karnak BFFs
- Pissing off the X-Men in New Tian during Secret Empire
- The Secret War board game used to settle team member differences
- Quake versus her asshole Hydra dad
- Karnak working for Ahura
Another solid series, gone too soon. Another victim of poor sales numbers. I predict this book will continue to build upon its cult status in trade form. There’s always a chance that we could see this cast together again for an ongoing series, but we’re not going to hold our breath.
Goodbye Secret Warriors, you will be missed.