Secret Wars Lead-In Review & Spoilers: New Avengers #33 By Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin For Marvel Comics

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“In Latveria, the Flowers Die in Summer” (31 pages)
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Mike Deodato
Colors by: Frank Martin
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramanga
Covers by: Gabriele Dell’Otto; Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor; Tony Harris; Ryan Meinerding

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99

Say sayanora to this current volume of NEW AVENGERS. Mr. Hickman is at the helm of this sister title as well as the main one. An appropriate send-off before the world-spanning SECRET WARS.

Two is the working number here. The focus is on Dr. Doom and Molecule Man. On that note, this is a double-bill — Molecule Man’s origin has more twists than a DNA matrix and Doom crafts the alter ego of Rabum Alal. There’s so much meaty stuff in their conversations that I could write an entire dissertation about their philosophies. That’s not an exaggeration. Instead, I’m going to encapsulate the pertinent points.

    The One True Shocking Origin of Molecule Man!

{pp. 1-12}

• Owen Reece transports Victor Von Doom to the Broken Mirror, which according to MM, is where the end of everything began.
• Owen’s malady of madness has yet to materialize or never came to be. Confused, yet? That’s watcha call a temporal paradox, folks!
• There are multiple Molecule Men :0 Each is calculatedly eliminated to bring about perfection to a single incarnation.
• Owen is a built-in bomb at the beck and call of the Beyonders!
• There are no variations to Molecule Man in any reality. He is identical all across the multiverse.
• Owen has been ignited. When he blows up, his universe goes with him. He has a quarter of a century before his time runs out.
• He assigns Doom the task of crossing off every single representation. Doom is daunted by this. Owen instructs Victor to begin a religion to accomplish this feat.
• Owen kills one of his ‘duplicates’. After Doom transforms, he carries out an execution to another.

    Doom rises as Rabum Alal

{pp. 13-21}

• The first Incursion occurred after seven Molecule Men were murdered. This was on Earth-120961 in an indeterminate past.
• Doom in his new guise appears before a female child that he makes his first ‘swan’.
• The Swans multiplied showing extreme devotion to their cause and professing their faith.
• The Beyonders appear ten years after several MM perish. They are omnipotent and threaten to destroy the entire multiverse.
• Doom began to participate in the Game of Worlds, the constant decay of the multiverse. Doom has been the pursuer and the pursued. He has dodged and eluded the Beyonders but this is match-point.
• Some Black Swans ‘defected’ due to their thirst for knowledge. A separate sect was created.
• Doom has realized that his foes are not as high-and-mighty as they purport to be. If that were the case, his travels through time would have been curbed by them.
• Doom has built a device to take down the Beyonders permanently.

    Beyond all else

{pp. 22-30}

• Doom dares plenty!! That’s a vast understatement. With Molecule Man and Dr. Strange in tow, Doom heads off to confront the Ivory Kings.
• The Beyonders have one major chink in their armour: they are linear!!
• Victor tells Stephen that he is embarking on this endeavour because even the minutest possibility of self-perseverance is worth all the effort.
• Doom addresses the so-called superior beings.
• Doom broke worlds to taunt them. He shattered universes to mock them. He stole their property. He will eradicate them. He is confident they will perish.
• As Doom advances with his cohorts, it seems that the Beyonders self-destruct. That doesn’t bode well in the least.

    Time has run out!

{pg. 31}

• Reed and T’Challa spot the infinite number of worlds drop to twenty-two. Reed cannot fathom the physics behind it. T’Challa does not see a way out of this one.

I find this issue to be far superior as the companion book. Here, the metaphysical components and über-intellectual concepts are perfectly tailor-made for the dual antagonists. This twosome is definitely suited for the heavy material dished out by Mr. Hickman. It was truly eye-opening to see the depths of Molecule Man’s origin and character. He is his own force of nature. Doom is ever the pompous ass. Hubris was, is, and will always be his major flaw. He may have wrested power from a ‘baby’ Beyonder (in the original SECRET WARS) but this is a highly upgraded version.

Mike Deodato, Jr. can never do any wrong, IMO. He is by far my abso fave Marvel artist. I appreciate the vivid faces, especially the crazed look in Owen’s eyes. It’s fascinating how Mr. Reece went from cool, calm, and collected to gradual loony-ness by story’s end. Mr. Deodato is outstanding in that he produces ample amounts of art in a very short amount of time. The double-page spread of the voyage into the Beyond is awe-inspiring.

Coincidentally, Frank Martin puts a shiny coat on this book as well. That’s double the work for one month. I get a kick out of Molecule Man’s dual tones on his costume. The original look never needed to be tampered, I suppose. Doom is intimidating with that face plate. How can any sane individual stand close to him let alone interact?!?

Joe Caramanga needs to be applauded for the ‘Old English’ font for the Beyonders’ speech. There’s something regal in the depiction which seems accurate for other-worldly, extra-dimensional beings.

The lack (or little exposure) of heroes or actual team members doesn’t bother me in the least. This issue deals with the out-there concepts and I applaud the use of the two intellectuals. These men are not even villains here. Well, except for at the end. They are individuals that gather knowledge for their enlightenment and enrichment. It makes perfect sense to feature double D and double M.

To honour Owen Reece and to elevate his status, I give this book 8.5 molecules out of 10.


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