More Secret Avengers
Nick Spencer, of course, wrote the book for the Fear Itself tie-in issues, and has done some other work at Marvel, which, imho, hasn’t lived up to the promise of his indie stuff. Luke Ross has drawn Natasha before, he was one of the artists of Brubaker’s Captain America run, but I think his stuff looks better when he’s not trying to line-up with Epting. So, let’s start off with the thing that rings alarm bells:
S.H.I.E.L.D. brings the biggest twist in their approach to the team — using similar technology to what the original Nick Fury employed in 2004-2005’s Secret War, the team’s memories of their adventures will be erased following each mission. Thus the existence of this Secret Avengers a secret to even the Avengers that are a part of it.
“Avengers make for terrible S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. They’re used to calling their own shots, you can’t really trust them with high intel because one of them goes bad every week, or turns out to be a Skrull,” Spencer said. “At the same time, they have mindwipe and memory implant technology. The trick is, the last time they did it, it blew up in their faces and basically set off a chain of events that brought down S.H.I.E.L.D. Of course, they’re going to try it again — the temptation to get their hands on weapons like the Hulk is just too great.”
This is the exact kind of abuse Natasha left espionage to escape, why she actually defected to the Avengers and not SHIELD, and why she would up quitting both for a time. That is her superhero origin story, through every needless retcon— she reclaimed her humanity from people who thought of her as a tool. So, any way you slice it, this is a giant leap back for her.