Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Secret Wars #1 Review (Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic)


I’ll preface this review by saying I’ve not been reading Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, New Avengers, Time Runs Out, FF, and whatever else he’s been doing. Why’s that important? Secret Wars is apparently the final chapter in a years-long story he’s been building at Marvel - this is the payoff! I’ve only read the first two books of Avengers and New Avengers and that’s it. 

But I have been reading Marvel Event books for a while now and if there’s one pro-tip I can impart, it’s to jump straight in and damn the consequences! Also, hold your nose when you take the plunge because Event comics (Marvel/DC/Valiant/whoever) are pretty stinky! 

So let’s do this - it’s Secret Wars time, woooo! 

The premise is that universes have been colliding and destroying themselves for some reason. Now only two remain: Earth-616 (the reg Marvel Universe) and Earth-1610 (the Ultimates Universe), which are on a collision course that no-one can stop. What happens when worlds collide? Let’s find out! 

The biggest complaint I have of this issue is that it feels like you’re thrown into the final scene of an epic story - this first issue should really be the final chapter of whatever the last book was that Hickman did for this arc, Time Runs Out, Volume Something I think. Because it opens and IMMEDIATELY ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE AAARRGHGHGH WHATHEFUCK!!?!1 

The Ultimates Universe are preparing a doomsday weapon to destroy Earth-616 (Sam Jackson Nick Fury reasons it’s us or them!) and I think the heroes of 616 are fighting back. Doom is up to something… he’s talking to the incursion (the Beyonder, maybe)? Thanos is Ultimate Reed Richards’ ally? Cyclops is the Phoenix Force again? I mean… wha… ? 

Confusing the hell out of the reader isn't the best way to start a story, especially with those final pages. And yes it might’ve helped if I’d read the 20 or so books that have led up to Secret Wars (which was never gonna happen anyway - wasn’t a fan of Hickman’s Avengers!). HOWEVER this is being sold as a standalone event book and to be fair you can grasp the gist of the issue: the end of the world(s) is happening and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes x 2 are doing stuff! 

What’s disappointing is that the whole end of the Multiverse/rebooting everything is what DC do - and look at the state of things over there! Crisis after crisis, Flashpoint, The New 52, Convergence, DC You - those clowns are all over the map! Marvel don't need to pull that shit so it’s a shame they saw the madness over at DC, decided to follow them down the rabbit hole and rebooted their 54 year old 616 universe. I just hope, unlike DC, they have a plan! 

This is a bonkers first issue with plenty of big-screen drama playing out, some of which is exciting, particularly once heroes start falling, and I love that Doom looks to be a big part of the story - Marvel don’t have a lot of quality villains, but Doom is one of the best. Hopefully now that the chaos is out of the way, a more coherent story will emerge in the aftermath. 

Then again it’s a Marvel Event comic so the crapfest could only just be getting started! Put your clothes pegs on your noses (and anywhere else you want) - it's time to visit Battleworld! Let’s get ready to ruuuuumble!

Secret Wars #1

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