New comic books are going for $4- $5 nowadays. I am also a very fast reader so getting new comic books weekly was getting quite expensive. So instead lately I have been buying discount comic book bundles. My local comic book shop sells 12 random issues for only $4 and I also find some old comics at discount shops from time to time. Basically I go for quantity over quality and I have read a lot of bad comics (and a ton of comics from the 90’s). But every once in a while you get a hidden gem. Secret Avengers #20 is definitely one of them.
Secret Avenger #20 is in fact one of the best one shot comics I have come across. It is a complex time travel starring Black Widow written by Warren Ellis. The comic starts with the Avengers dying and the Black Widow is the only one left standing. Fortunately she finds an “escape hatch” on War Machine. She finds out this is a time travel device. The catch is she has to save her team by changing time in such a way that she appears not to have changed time (because time is like a big ball of wibbly wobbly). So she has to jump throughout time and has to manipulate people and things in the background. I just love how much Black Widow has to go through to save her team and the fact no one can know she ever did anything.
It is so easy to have plot holes in time travel stories but everything ties back to each other so seamlessly. There are so many “oh” moments. I don’t want to spoil too much but it is very clever how the story ties up loose threads like how War Machine ending with an “escape hatch” in the first place. In fact, I had to read this issue twice so I can get all the little details. There is even one awesome moment where she goes back in time and the comic style and layout changes to a series of old timey 3 panel comic strips. So clever.
Secret Avengers #20 probably one of my favorite comic books and it would never have been on my radar if I didn’t get it in a random comic book bundle.