Marvel Comics Universe Re-written – Review & Spoilers: Secret Wars #2 By Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina — Battleworld unveiled!

Secret Wars 2 review spoilers SW #2 title page

SECRET WARS {3rd series} #2 (of 8)
“Doom Messiah” (41 pages)
Writer & Designer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Colorist: Ive Svorcina
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Production by: Idette Winecoor
Covers by: Alex Ross; Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi; John Tyler Christopher; Kevin Nowlan; Yasmine Putri

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99

Tom Breevort and Axel Alonso weren’t exaggerating when they said the second issue is far more important than the first!! Want to know why? Well, the set-up is here for……Ah ah, not yet.

To sum it up in one succinct sentence: Odin takes a brand new Thor under his wing and gives him a guided tour of various fiefdoms that belong to….*beep* Hold your horses!!

Tons of coverage here. I will encapsulate it all followed by my commentary. I will also insert a ton of interesting quotes. The choice words paint a larger picture.

pp. 1-3
•One more Thor is added to the Corps. Odin himself will be his mentor.

•“He created the hammer as a crucible for the unworthy. But for those who are more…it is an awakening.”

SW #2 God Emperor Doom

pp. 4-6
•Doom is God. Blasphemy :0 The Thor Corps are his personal enforcers lawmen.
•Doomgard — one of the kingdoms.
•The Change!! “Physical challenges to tax the back and shoulders. Mental ones to challenge the mind…It is no small thing to becoming a hammer of God.”
•God Doom — he is the one who created the light. Meaning he was responsible for bringing about Higher Avalon.

SW #2 pg. 4

p. 7
•The tale of Creation with a Hickmanian spin. The new recruit never ventured away from his own kingdom. He is now on Doomgard for the testing.
•Odin informs him that crossing borders is most difficult but each kingdom is under Doom’s rule. “Doom demands order. And order pleases him.” “This is the world and there are sinners in it. Let us do justice.”

pp. 8-12
•Minister Alex Powers, Dragon Man, Bentley-13 and two Moloids from the FF are sent to Utopolis to investigate an oddity. It is the Life Raft from issue #0. Dum dum dum!!!

p. 13
•Doomgard, Doomstadt, Castle Doom — The metal-faced monocrat sure has a claim on prime real estate!
•Higher Avalon is one of 100 major/minor houses. Baron James Braddock is the ruler of that land along with the CBC (Captain Britain Corps).
•New Thor spotted Baron Braddock as a child and was in awe. “To a peasant, a baron would surely seem a king. Just as to a baron, a king might seem a god.”

pp. 14-15
•Bar Sinister — ruled by whom, I wonder?
•“The envious forget to what station they are born. Their natural position chafes. And they crave to be something more.” Mr. Sinister sure seems to fit the bill.
•Odin has summoned Baron Sinister to be tried for crimes at Castle Doom. Sinister doesn’t take the matter too seriously. Flamboyantly and mockingly, he awaits justice.
•“Fehu-Nautiz-Uruz” – the words uttered to return to Doomstadt.

pp. 16-18
Several introductions are made!!

•What the beep?!? A world-eating Sentinel is Castle Doom’s guard!
•The High Court is comprised of Dr. Doom, Sue Storm, Valeria Richards, Dr. Strange, James Braddock, and Odin. Plus, Doom sits upon Yggdrasil the World Tree!!

•Hyperion, Baron of Utopolis, is said to be in cahoots with Sinister.
•The Iron Pirates were hired by Sinister to transport arms to stage a coup d’état against Higher Avalon.

•Moon Knight and Black Panther represent Upper and Lower Egyptia.
•Baroness Pryor a.k.a. Madelyne, the bringer of INFERNO.
•Baron Apocalypse, for whom the Age is named.
•Lady Meggan suffered an indignity when Sinister called her a cow given her pregnancy.

pp. 19-23
•House Braddock and Bar Sinister duel. Doom dictates that Brian battle to regain the honour, not his brother.
•Brian bests his opponent by decapitating him @_@

SW #2 pg. 21

•Maestro remarks that defeating Sinister is not that simple. Sure enough, the headless body knocks the wind out of Brian’s sails, picks up its loose part, reattaches, and is about to deliver the same gesture.
•Doom prevents the bloodshed and orders everyone to kneel before him.

pp. 24-26
•Brian’s life is spared by God/Doom. In return, the bogus idol wants information on the Silent Chambers since Higher Avalon serves as a conduit between it and Manhattan.
•The Silent Chambers — where heretics and thieves plot to depose Doom.
•Brian claims ignorance. Doom will have his life.
•Jamie chimes in that he is the conspirator.

•Doom orders execution but his rage is quelled by Sue who asks him to show mercy.
•Surprisingly, he acquiesces!

•Brian becomes Baron and Jamie is banished to The Shield.

pp. 27-28
The scene on page 27 is very Game of Thrones-esque!! Mr. Hickman, you must be a fan.

•Val and Stephen are dual ideologies of Reed Richards. She represents The Foundation and espouses Science a.k.a. Discovery; he is of The Law and advocates Religion a.k.a. Doom.

•Their conversation brings to light the FF’s discovery. Valeria labels it exotic, “possible matter”, impossible, heretical, and before creation.
•Stephen is outraged. He sees this as a schism and wants to impose quarantine. Nothing like concealing the truth from the masses.

pp. 29-30
•The Shield: 250 ft. high by 16,000 miles long.
•Jamie jumps to his ‘doom’ (sorry, couldn’t help it) to fight!
•The former Baron Braddock emphasizes to the new Thor that “There are no great men above reproach. Just God and his whims to which we are mercy.”

pp. 31-33
•The Deadlands: populated by Marvel Zombies, Annilhus’ army, and Ultrons!!!

SW #2 pg. 32 SW #2 pg. 33

pp. 34-35
•Strange entrusts Odin with investigating the unsettling find by the FF. The Sheriff of Agamotto wants the threat contained.
•“Providence…the crucible of the faithful.”
•A.I.M. – Advanced Idea Mythologies, a dangerous faction indeed.

pp. 36-38
•The Godhead of Doom.
•“Children fear stories of monsters. Men fear the spectre of death…And God, he fears the loss of believers.”

•Whether doubt is real or imagined, “There is an order to this world, and that order has a name…It is Doom, and there is nothing lurking in the shadows that can threaten his reign.”
•Stupidly, a Moloid touches the Life Raft despite being told contrarily.

•“My Goddoomed grave.” — Excellent original expletive!
•Odin wants Thor to inform the Sheriff that Death has been found. He is impaled.

SW #2 pg. 38

pp. 39-41
•Odin is impaled once more, through the head, by Proxima Midnight and Terrax of the Cabal.

SW #2 pg. 39

•Thanos emerges along with the rest of the despicable members.

SW #2 pg. 40

•The Maker gives a long-winded explanation about how they were successful in absconding the Life Raft. Where and when they are remain a mystery.
•Thanos grabs the Moloid and demands to know their whereabouts.
•The Moloid responds thusly: “The High Born call it Latverion. Believers call it God’s Kingdom. But everyone else…we common folk…call it something else. We call it…”

p. 42
•Technically, the last page but it’s all in white to reveal the last breathing word: BATTLEWORLD!!!

SW #2 Battleworld reveal

One pun: Jamie exclaims “King Doom

World-building
A two-page map of Battleworld clearly lays out the 41 ‘countries’:

Reign Supreme:
#6 – Valley of Doom
#14 – Doomgard
#19 – Doomstadt

Featured:
#12 – Utopolis
#15 – Higher Avalon
#36 – Bar Sinister
#38 – Deadlands
#41 – The Shield

Represent!
#1 – Greenland
#3 – Domain of Apocalypse
#4 – Egyptia
#18 – The Eye of Agamotto
#30 – Sentinel Territories
#37 – Limbo

Referenced:
#20 – Manhattan

To complete this 48-page beefer, there are two pages of house ads for the “Last Days”, “Battleworld” and “Warzones” series; four white pages including title and credits; three pages of actual ads. Not bad!! Only seven pages of filler. This is an entirely justifiable five dollar$.

I never pegged Jonathan Hickman as a religious man. Let me rephrase that. I dare not be so presumptuous. What I meant to say was that I really like Mr. Hickman’s take on equating Doom as God (lower-case?) After all, why the hell not? Many devout will deem a creator of worlds as a supreme being who looks over them in a supposedly benign fashion. I myself don’t practice Catholicism, hence I like how this hot topic is addressed head-on. Respect and fear are two sides of the same coin and Doom epitomizes both. I also appreciate the philosophical insights transmitted through Odin’s teachings to Thor. I’m an amateur lover of wisdom. It is a complete reversal to see Mr. Hickman address the antithesis of science since his entire body of work at Marvel has been that particular branch of knowledge. I find this quite refreshing!! There were only a few tidbits on the subject with the examination of the Life Raft and The Maker’s sit rep. Also, it is rather clear that Mr. Hickman took a page from Game of Thrones. He totally gets the concept of feudalism!! Suspense, shock, and surprise hit me when The Cabal was shown as the passengers of the Raft and not Valeria with the rest of FF from 616. Maybe I’m oblivious, but I would never have predicted that.

Esad Ribic must be a machine!! Having produced seventy-eight pages in two issues is a Herculean feat. Each character’s intentions are made loud and clear through their facial expressions and piercing gazes, be it subtle (as seen in Sue) or adamant (Stephen lays down the law!) The Life Raft is a menacing monolith, a terrifying trespasser in an otherwise orderly universe.

Ive Svorcina fills out Mr. Ribic’s pencils, naturally. Sinister is coloured best in the tricolor scheme, making him look downright vampiric. The ruby red of his realm bring his rottenness to the surface.

Chris Eliopoulos has to be elevated due to the amount of dialogue in this issue. Leaping lexicon!! Once again, he makes the white pages simply elegant. I especially like his cry for justice on page 3 (get it? *wink*)

P.S. The cover is a decoy but it doesn’t matter because Alex Ross makes it majestically magnificent!!

Now that the cards are on the table, this issue is far superior to the first. It’s like a cinematic sequel that supersedes its originator. It is quite lengthier than number one but the groundwork is laid like fresh sod on the lawn. As such, I rate this work ‘Perfection’ (kingdom #39) out of 41 on the BW map. That makes it 95.1%

Battleworld map 1 Battleworld map 2

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