COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #9 – This Is The End and Beyond | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #9 – This Is The End and Beyond

By Jeff Ayers

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #9 - This Is The End and Beyond

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Esad Ribic

Colors: Ive Svorcina


Marvel Comics

After years of set up, and a main series that kept getting pushed back, Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Wars has finally come to the last issue with Secret Wars #9. The story comes to a conclusion, with some insight as to what has already been happening in the newly minted Marvel Universe, and what that means to move forward from here.

Two things come to the forefront after reading Secret Wars #9. The first being that, this series was supposed to be an eight issue series, and was changed halfway through to include this ninth issue, and this issue is an over-sized book that clocks in at the larger $4.99 price tag. It truly makes me wonder what the original ending was, or perhaps, what added material worked its way into the middle of the story to warrant a ninth issue? The second revelation, is that yet again, the fate of the entire Marvel Universe rests on the age-old conflict between Reed Richards and Victor Von Doom.

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #9 - This Is The End and Beyond

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Doom, along with the help of the Molecule Man and Doctor Strange, wrestled the infinite power away from the Beyonders, and “saved” reality by creating his version of Battleworld from the remnants of the Marvel Multiverse. The problem with that, is Doom made himself a de facto god, and also stole Reed’s wife, Susan Storm, as well as their children, calling them his own. Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with the Reed from the normal 616 universe, and he has set plans in motion to defeat Doom and save his family. To do this however, he has enlisted the help of The Maker, the version of Reed Richards from the Ultimate universe who has been around for thousands of years and can be argued to be even smarter than the normal version of Reed. Confused yet?

COMIC REVIEW: Secret Wars #9 - This Is The End and Beyond

The ultimate and final battle that takes place in Secret Wars #9 beings with Doom facing off against Namor and Black Panther, and they have the Infinity Gauntlet. This proves little solace against the god-like powers of Doom, and he quickly engages them both, seemingly killing Namor in the process. This, of course, is only a distraction to what is really going on, as the two Reeds have found Molecule Man, who is the battery sustaining Doom’s power over Battleworld. Doom finally figures this out, and rushes to stop them, and devolves the normal 616 Reed in the process. Yet, Molecule Man is ambivalent to the plight of all that is going on around him, only wanting something to eat, so he restores Reed with Doom’s power, and also takes the Ultimate Reed apart like slices of pizza.

The end of this issue explains the recent absence of Reed and Sue from the Marvel Universe, as well as bringing up some new questions about some key characters. With the help of Molecule Man and Franklin Richards, it looks like the Future Foundation will be setting up a brand new multiverse, which we will most likely see hints at in the next twelve months of books coming out from the All-New Marvel Universe.

The “Best There Is”: For all the hype leading up to Secret Wars, along with the rocky schedule getting the eight, then nine, books out, this issue does a pretty good job wrapping up everything. Hickman has been planning this for years, and much to his credit, it has completely reshaped the Marvel Universe. The artistic team brought everything they had to Secret Wars #9, and Ribic and Svorcina deliver a truly stunning book. The fight sequence between Namor, Black Panther and Doom is epic, and the ending with Reed and Sue is fitting and beautiful. Also, the events that happen with Molecule Man are done in a stark white space, adding depth to the character designs, and really allowing the art to shine. The idea that Doom has now found peace, and Reed and Sue are repopulating the multiverse are very romantic story points, and they work well to tie up all the conflict and turmoil.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: While the art was close to perfection, the overall story had its share of problems. The idea to fast forward the universe eight months going into the All-New lines, renumbered yet again at #1’s, is slightly confusing at best. I am sure those eight months will be fleshed out as this year in comics progresses, but it makes the die-hard fan a little jaded in the process. Also, it was very unclear as to who, if anyone, remembers the events of Battleworld and Secret Wars. Does Reed and Sue, even though it seems Sue doesn’t remember her time as Doom’s wife? Does Doctor Doom himself remember the events of his playing god? Finally, it is shown that the Black Panther takes one of the Infinity Stones, and transports himself back to Wakanda, a version of Wakanda that is not only filled with life and not the city of the dead anymore, but one that is thriving with advancements in technology, as they are poised to lead the current world space program. Again, this felt like a rushed idea, that was only worked out in a few panels, and possibly could have been explained a little more, especially with the nine issues in the series.

One final thought: I truly am happy that we will not be seeing Reed Richards or Sue Storm for the immediate future in the comics, and the Fantastic Four series and team are pretty much gone. Secret Wars started out with delusions of grandeur, and yet it devolved into the tired story of Reed vs. Doom, with the fate of the universe at stake. Also, Franklin Richards using his world-creating powers in conjunction with Reed’s new Beyond powers seems very much like the resolution at the end of the Onslaught/Heroes Reborn saga from the late 90’s, and we all know how that turned out.

FBI Score: 8 out of 10. A surprisingly interesting end to the Secret Wars series, yet it poses just as many questions as it provides answers. The art of Secret Wars #9 is superb though, making for a visually stunning book that concerns most of the heavy-hitters in the Marvel Universe.

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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