1. Hickman runs three plot threads as the intrigue builds towards why this was the Howling Commandos “last ride.”
2. The framing sequence, which is Dum Dum Duggan and Clay Quartermain being questioned by the UN about what the hell Nick Fury is up to, really builds tension well as to what the hell is going on.
3. The sequence frames first action scenes of the Howling Commandos and one of Fury’s caterpillar teams taking out a Hydra base, then being attacked in a Hellicarrier mysteriously and having to save their allies who are also attacked, is just great war action stuff, remiscent of Hama’s GI Joe, but, unfortunately, with characters that need more development besides Dum Dum and Clay.
4. A series of single issue stories here to give characters depth and let them do cool stuff to take out Hydra, again, in the vein of Hama’s GI Joe, would go a long way to improving this book from month to month, even if the trades read particularly well as is.
5. The other sequence shown is the Howling Commandos reunion with Fury, the Commandos and Steve Rogers. Everyone’s respect of Rogers is handled in an excellent manner, as they clearly love him and respect him as a brother in arms, not just an icon.
6. Fury commands a bit more of a tenativeness from everyone but Rogers and Dum Dum, but both of them explicitly trust his decision making.
7. We have gritty war-movie style art here with excellent detail to drive home that these are hard men making hard decisions. The muted colors help get that accross, too.
8. I’ve always enjoyed the dichotomy in Fury’s core character as a soldier who could be one of the guys, even when he was in charge, to the superspy who had to be mysterious. It makes him different and distant to almost everyone but Dum Dum. And the older heroes who fully trust him clearly view him differently than the newer generation who question him more but think he has the best interests at heart to the young generation who are in awe and fear and dont’ know what to make of him.
9. I want a Nick Fury book badly.
10. Rating: 7/10 – This is a really good middle chapter with a lot thematically shown and not told and more of the plot revealed. If it wasn’t Hydra who destroyed the hellicarrier, was it Leviathan? What exactly is going on here?
Tags: Jonathan Hickman, Marvel Comics, Nick Fury, secret warriors