COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #6 – Raise Them Up, Pull Them Down | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #6 – Raise Them Up, Pull Them Down

By Jeff Ayers

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #6 - Raise Them Up, Pull Them Down

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artists: Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina


Marvel Comics

Well, what do we have here? It seems the little story that could, Marvel’s ever-expanding Secret Wars event series, has finally come into its own with this sixth issue. After a stall in the pace with a flashback issue, “Secret Wars #6” picks up three weeks later, and delivers some serious plot.

First of all, let’s start with the story laid out by writer Jonathan Hickman. As I have said before, he has been sewing the seeds for this tale for almost four years now in the pages of Avengers and New Avengers, and they have all come to a head with Secret Wars. Yet, even this series was holding on to some of the cards, and not revealing their hand until now can be a very risky move. A lesser talent might bluff too hard, or even hint too much at the reveal, allowing of the entire story to collapse in on itself. That is not the case with Secret Wars, and with this issue we finally get some of those answers we have been teased with. First, Valeria has been tasked by her “father”, Doom, to get to the bottom of the killing of Doctor Strange. Now, readers of this line all know that it was Doom himself that did the deed, but Doom also knows just how smart Valeria is, so he is trying to throw her off the trail. In doing so however, he has inadvertently made Valeria ask some tough questions about Doom and BattleWorld in general, and she doesn’t really like the answers she is getting.

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COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #6 - Raise Them Up, Pull Them Down

Meanwhile, both Reed Richards from the 616 universe and the Ultimate Universe are trying to figure out where the source of Doom’s power is, in the hopes of stopping him once and for all. 616 Reed wonders what might happen when Doom is vanquished, leaving BattleWorld untethered from his vast power. Yet, Ultimate Reed doesn’t have the hangups that 616 Reed does, because he never found the love and compassion that our Reed did. Also, he is expertly dealing with the loss of Valeria, Sue, and the rest of the Fantastic Four, as he tries to set things right again. If anyone can do it, it is Reed from any dimension, and the chances just get better with two of them. Speaking of two of the same, both Spider-Men are zeroing in on the source of Doom’s power, and are met by Valeria, who offers no resistance to their snooping. She knows they didn’t kill Strange, and is starting to suspect that Doom isn’t all he says he is.

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #6 - Raise Them Up, Pull Them Down

In fact, the true strength of this entire story is how, even though Doom basically saved existence from being wiped out, he is still a flawed villain, looking out for his own gains. That is why he has altered the memories of Sue Storm and Valeria and Franklin, and has basically banished Johnny Storm to being the “sun” and gotten rid of Thing as well. We haven’t seen poor Ben Grimm until this issue, and you need to pick it up to see the awesome reveal as to where he has been this whole time.

The “Best There Is”: Ribic and Svorcina do an amazing job as always keeping all these characters fresh and different upon the page, and each panel is done with a lot of detail. It is really cool to see all these different characters from different timelines and realities interact, and it never gets too confusing. The scene where Doom is conferring with the Barons of different realms including Apocalypse, Sinister and Madame Pryor is just breathtaking, and a true treat for a longtime Marvel fan, seeing all those characters interact. Also, the small sequences involving the two Spider-Men, as well as Namor and Black Panther, are done in a slick way that seems almost effortless when you are reading them.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: As good as this story is getting, I worry that too much “stuff” will all come crashing down at once. Maybe Marvel is worrying the same thing, as they have announced this series is now going to nine issues, instead of the proposed eight. Especially after reading some of the tie-ins that are starting to focus towards the impending battle between the forces of “good” versus Doom, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. In this issue alone, many different people close to Doom, including Valeria and Sinister, are beginning to turn against him, and this new “prophet” might muck things up as well.

FBI Score: 8.5 out of 10. This story finally gets the action back to where it needs to be, and there are definitely a lot of cool reveals littered throughout this issue. Yet, I hop there isn’t TOO much story, as the plot jumps from point to point rather freely, and might trip up over itself by the end.

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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