Saturday, 28 November 2015

Secret Wars #7 Review (Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic)


Jonathan Hickman can sometimes - rarely - be a good storyteller; Secret Wars is not one of those times. 

So much has happened in between the last issue and this and it’s not clear when or how or why any of it happened - very sloppy writing. Maybe a lot of it happened in the spinoffs (Marvel are calling them “Warzones”) but I had hoped Secret Wars would be its own contained story and this issue proves that to understand how things went from issue #6 to #7 there’s going to be more than a few tie-ins you’re gonna have to read to fill in the blanks, which sucks. 

The penny’s dropped: nobody thinks of Doom as a benevolent ruler now. The Prophet has taken his army to the gates of Castle Doom to tear it down, which is ok because that was hurriedly set up in the last ish, but the rest of this comic is a giant question mark. 

Captain Marvel and Baron Sinister have raised an army, someone called the Goblin Queen has raised an army, there’s an army of Hulks on an archaic SHIELD helicarrier, and they’re all aiming for Castle Doom - when did any of that happen and why? The Thors, Battle World’s police force, have suddenly turned against Doom and are headed to Castle Doom as well - when did they decide to do that? 

The Prophet’s identity is one of the worst reveals ever - he tears off his skull helmet and says snarkily, “It’s me, you idiots”. Great, fuck off. Also, I won’t reveal who it is but who was that and why is it important? Then Captain Marvel and Baron Sinister turn on the Goblin Queen (also, who?) for no reason. And I guess nobody cares who killed you know who anymore. Not that Doom doesn’t have bigger problems to deal with but that’s been a big part of these last few issues and it’s now no longer addressed - unless it was resolved elsewhere in one of the tie-ins. Eesh, you need a goddamn roadmap for this drivel! 

We catch up with Black Panther and Namor who, in the last issue, made arguably the single most important discovery in overthrowing Doom - and yet there’s no sign of that thing in this issue. What did T’Challa do with it - did he lose it? Again, more blanks. Their new plan is to “steal the most valuable thing that’s left of the multiverse” with the Reeds - to do what exactly? No clue. And they throw ANOTHER pointless army into the mix because there weren’t enough already? 

With issue #7, heading into the long overdue final act, Hickman’s Secret Wars is becoming the incoherent mess it always threatened to be.

Secret Wars #7

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