Comic Review: Secret Wars #5 – I For-see Something Worse | FanboysInc

Comic Review: Secret Wars #5 – I For-see Something Worse

By Jeff Ayers

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artists: Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina

$3.99

Marvel Comics

With issue #5, Secret Wars is officially past the midway point, even though this story seems to be stuck in that halfway limbo. But, the story needs to be told, and played out in front of us, and this issue does just that.

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After the shocking events of last issue, we saw what happens when you go up against Doom. Even his most trusted advisor, Stephen Strange, who had been a part of Doom’s rise to godhood and building of this new Battleworld, found himself not above Doom’s wrath, and paid the ultimate price for it. This issue opens up with Doom having a funeral of sorts for his fallen ‘friend’, and he tasks his ‘daughter’ Valeria to assemble a team to find his killer – more on that later.

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Once the funeral clears out, Doom descends into a mysterious hidden alcove behind the statue of the Molecule Man, who had perished when they went up against the Beyonders at the end of Hickman’s Avengers run. Well, it seems that Molecule Man is still alive, of sorts, and confined to this odd realm underneath his statue. Doom confers with him and tells him of Doctor Strange’s death, and the two recall just how the universe ended, and was reborn by Doom. The art in these sequences really shines, and it is a treat to have Ribic and Svorcina bring their talents consistently throughout this series.

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Doom has Sue Storm believing she is his wife, and that Franklin and Valeria Richards are his children. He now has Valeria trying to look for Stephen’s killer (which is Doom) and to also track down the heroes from the original 616 universe that Doctor Strange risked his life to scatter across Battleworld. Valeria brings together some top minds, including Tesla, Nostradamus and Alex Summers. They are already on their way to getting to the bottom of the so called mystery by the time this issue concludes.

The “Best There Is”: This issue is quite the double edged sword, so to speak. On one hand, the backstory that is laid out with Molecule Man and Doom is interesting, and sheds some light on just how Battleworld came to be. Hickman is a master at exposition, and he does that whole sequence with an ease in style. The “B” story of Doom tasking Valeria seems a little out of place, but definitely sows the seeds for what will be Doom’s inevitable downfall. Also, the regular cover of the book, done by the amazing Alex Ross, is an incredible representation of Doom versus the Beyonders.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: The downside of the flashback exposition between Molecule Man and Doom is that it completely derails this story. I have been waiting for issue 5 ever since seeing that final panel in issue four, and after reading this I don’t feel I got anywhere new. Sure, for readers that are not up to date on the last Avengers stories, this issue will fill in a lot of gaps between what has happened since the beginning of the Secret Wars event. But after killing a main character, and ramping up the action by showing the survivors of both the 616 and Ultimate universes now in Battleworld, I worry that three more issues isn’t enough time to truly finish all the the loose ends of this story.

FBI Score: 7 out of 10. The art and the writing are still excellent, but the idea to stall the story for essentially a “flashback” exposition issue falls a little flat. Hopefully, with only three issues left, there will be enough time to tie up all the loose threads in this earth shattering event.

 

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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