Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Esad Ribic
What They Say:
The Greatest Sacrifice!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Secret Wars has had me in a very conflicted position for a while now and this issue is no different. I keep coming away from each issue with a great feeling overall as I’ve long enjoyed Hickman’s writing and Ribic’s artwork is fantastic here in bringing so many characters to life while still making them recognizable through the various changes that they’ve undergone. Yet each issue continually makes me feel like the main series is just a side series to the real events going on elsewhere. I’ve fallen off of the few side series that are running as they mostly ran out of energy along the way, most of them an issue or two too long, but what we get here is like something that’s just disconnected politics and intrigue from the real story unfolding elsewhere.
The problem is that a lot of what we do get here is utterly fascinating and each story plot point could be an issue unto itself. Everything is moving towards the conclusion yet I’m not certain where that conclusion will unfold since so little has actually unfolded in the core series itself. I’m enjoying watching what we do see here as Doom realizes that betrayal is in the cards for him, yet again, though you know he has contingencies of different sorts in play to deal with it. The holding action of a god is an intriguing element to follow and even though he’s not truly a god, he’s got to much power under his control and in command of that you know things can’t go smoothly or easily. Even when you do have some of his barons turning traitor and switching sides, such as we get with Captain Marvel and Sinister as they go to eliminate the Goblin Queen only to get thundered upon by Apocalypse.
While we get his side of the story there’s also some intriguing elements going on elsewhere. The book actually opens with a mysterious prophet that’s arrive from nowhere to lead the ordinary citizens against Doom, which is revealed very quickly to be Maximus. Perhaps this has more impact for others, but I do like that another very old Fantastic Four character has found a spot here. His role is minimal overall, but we do see his actions later in the book as a rallying point alongside what we see with Black Panther and Namor orchestrating in bringing the dead out from beyond the Shield Wall to go against Doom. It’s a smart army to raise and try to funnel in a direction you want, though it’s Namor that has the right tone for it all. And amid all of this we see Reed looking to get his coup de grace plan put into motion that will either save everything or end it all. Again, I have no freaking idea what the plan is because it feels like all the important elements are unfolding somewhere else in this event and there’s no real references for it.
Secret Wars continues to feel like a strange event in its main book that leaves me baffled as I’ve talked about before. This installment is no different in that I adore everything going on even as I feel like I’m reading a quarter of the actual event ideas. It’s even more amusing on a different level with how important the Fantastic Four elements are to it yet their book and characters have been dragged through the mud in so many arenas the last couple of years that it’s like a strange disconnect. There’s a really powerful sense of what’s unfolding here and I’m loving every moment of it while wishing for an all-encompassing novelization to really grasp at all the subplots that we get teased pieces of here.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: November 11th, 2015