Secret War: Book Four Review

Reviewer: James Hatton

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Painted by: Gabriele Dell’Otto
Lettered by: Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: Nicole Wiley
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Bendis – God to some
Hated bastard eater of souls to others.

It doesn’t matter how you spin it, Bendis makes people talk. Whether it’s because he has been a forerunner in the Trade Paperback revolution, or he has killed that character you loved oh so much; Bendis makes you talk. He is the equivalent of a watercooler topic for comic-dom. Love him or hate him, he sells comics.

Now what about Secret War? Did he sell this one to you? I bought it, but I wasn’t sold.

STORY!

Umm.. ok – see here is where the initial problem begins. Right from the get go, we are in a fight. A huge fight. What I can only assume is ‘THE’ fight of this five issue book. There are heroes bouncing off of walls and second-tier villains getting exploded every other panel. It’s hot. Why it’s happening I have no idea.

You see the last time this book came out was October/Novemberish. It was pushed back for a little bit of time to catch up (I assume), and that’s from a book that is supposed to only appear every 3 months.. so you try and remember what happened in any title after FIIIIVE MONTHS! I know it involved a bunch of tech-villains getting their equipment from the new female leader of Latveria. Fury dislikes this and does whatever he can to stop her.

And then at the end.. she appears. She looks good, but EVERYONE looks good. It’s the only merit to this book at this point is that the art is so fantastically different then the exacting comic hand of Jim Califiore on Exiles, the amazing women in Greg Land’s ‘Endsong’, or the perfect John Cassaday Astonishing X-Men. It’s a new flavor. …but that’s more on the point of…

ART!

Come on, from the first splash page you don’t CARE that you have no idea what the hell is going on. You have no urge to go read the last 3 books because you are just involved in Daredevil tossing Scorcher into the water. You are looking for Logan (who, by the way, is the only character I don’t like the Dell’Otto version of) in the cluster-f that is the fight. You are there. You are in it.

It is ideal. It is moving. It is touc.. hey it’s over?!?

WHAT’S GOING ON…

OVERALL

…NO!!! NO GO BACK TO ART! I WASN’T DONE.. Fine.

You see, that’s the problem, the book ends way earlier than you expect. Then they give you 5 or 6 pages of character profiles of these B-Villains that you only accept in context of this book because they all are tech villains. You don’t care where the last time we saw ‘Grim Reaper’ .. maybe some of you did. I didn’t. I wanted more boom! More pow! More biff-kapowy! Sadly, this book strokes you and strokes you and leaves you with a case of the storyline blueballs.

It’ll read awesome in trade, because the big reveal is next issue… see you in six months.