Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Secret Wars #2 Review (Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic)


Whatever my expectations of Secret Wars were, I honestly wasn’t expecting a Marvel version of Game of Thrones, but that’s what we’ve got! 

So whoever Doom was talking with in the first issue (a genie?), they somehow created a new patchwork planet of feudal states called Battleworld populated with Marvel Universe characters and installed Doom as ruler. The universes are blowed up but Battleworld survived – I guess we'll find out in a later issue wha' happen?

Like the cover shows, we’re introduced to the Thors – there are now scores of them – who are the police force of Battleworld. Then after a couple of Frank Herbert puns (Doom Messiah and God Emperor Doom) we’re into the story of this issue: Baron Sinister is in a border dispute with Baron Braddock (Betsy/Psylocke’s brother?). Elsewhere, the life-raft the FF put together has survived and crash-landed on Battleworld along with the ship carrying Ultimate Reed Richards and Thanos… 

Why the Game of Thrones comparison? Like the Night’s Watch guarding The Wall in the North against the White Walkers, the Thors have a massive wall called The Shield protecting Doomgard against hordes of Marvel Zombies. Like Westeros, Battleworld is concerned with court intrigues and warring fiefdoms while the Sheriff of Agamotto (Doctor Strange) looks identical to Petyr Baelish! It’s gotta be deliberate but I’m not sure why Jonathan Hickman’s chosen this tack besides the obvious popularity of Game of Thrones - or maybe popularity is all the reason Marvel need? 

Hickman does a decent job introducing the audience to this strange new world – it needs to have all of the exposition it does for readers to get a handle on what’s happening even if it’s a slog to get through. The centrepiece of this issue though, the fight between Sinister and Braddock, is hella boring. Border disputes, internal politics, speech after tedious speech on rules and conduct? What is this, a Star Wars prequel?! 

Secret Wars #2 is an ok issue. Besides being weirdly derivative and pretty dull in places, there’s a lot of potential with what’s been set up. Battleworld looks to be an interesting place with tons of fun realms to explore (a world map is included at the end) and I’m looking forward to seeing how the FF and Thanos will react to Doom’s empire – Thanos and the Cull Obsidian have to square off against Doom and the Thors at some point, right? Their egos wouldn’t allow them to share Battleworld! 

I wonder if the next issue will introduce us to a story and the main characters we’re supposed to be rooting for… Also, I thought Mile Morales was supposed to survive as well as a few characters from the 616 universe - mayhap we'll see them in the next ish? At any rate, the event is still sort of on the tracks for the moment – onto the next episode of A Game of Secret Wars!

Secret Wars #2

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