Welcome to the first installment in what is most likely at least twenty to twenty-four weeks’ worth of analysis for ALL the SECRET WARS tie-in series all Secret Wars Declassified.
If you’re interested by related reviews of the core event series, Secret Wars #1 is here and Secret Wars #2 is here.
Marvel is going bonkers releasing a multitude of books to coincide with the patchwork planet ruled by Doom. The major event is sub-divided into three others: “Last Days”, “Battleworld”, and “Warzones”.
The inaugural offerings are light with two titles, excluding the main mini that also had its second issue released this week. You can read about that here.
To refresh your memory, click here for a thorough examination of #0 and here for a play-by-play of #1.
Bid farewell to your loved ones. Arm yourselves with resolve. The Last Days have come!!
CAPTAIN AMERICA and the MIGHTY AVENGERS #8
Al Ewing, Luke Ross, Rachelle Rosenberg, Travis Lanham
Nothing is more dire than acknowledging the final moments of your existence and preparing for them. Reactions will vary for each individual. Super-heroes may be more steeled than most but when The Mighty Avengers uncover the truth, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
178 Days to Live: “Bad News and Worse News” [7 pages]
•Steve Rogers informs Luke’s team that The Illuminati is behind it all. He has egg on his face especially when Luke is miffed that Steve withheld informing them of his membership in that exclusive club. Steve is going to take down all the ‘kings and princes’ with or without their help. Sam Wilson gets a scolding from Spectrum since he was privy to it. Monica is none too pleased and vows to unveil all secrets.
84 Days to Live: “The Truth Outs” [1 page]
•Ruby Neal, a volunteer for the group, chimes in. She takes the news somewhat casually. To her, it’s an addition to a list of daily worries.
An ambassador from the UN seems disappointed that the heroes knew of the Incursion but kept it from the public for so long.
39 Days to Live: “Messed-Up Stuff” [3 pages]
•Ava wants to make peace with her sister Awilda. Panic, fear, and hostility are what Ava sees and receives. Rey del Toro is enraged that she’s sporting the White Tiger amulet considering that it cost his sister’s Angela’s life. Ava loses a bit of control as the mystical being empowers her. Awilda comes back outside with a gun pointed at Ava, asking her to permanently remove herself.
26 Days to Live: “Vox Populi” [1 page]
•Five different perspectives from the people are given including Dr. Peter Corbeau (of X-MEN fame) and Soraya Khorasani, another volunteer for the Mighty A’s.
19 Days to Live: “We, the People” [2 pages]
•Monica wants to ensure that her team is on board with her plan. Captain America and Spider-Man are absent due to their loyalty to Steve. Kaluu points out that Monica threatening to blow up planets wasn’t well received by Mr. Rogers. Either way, they join up with Steve to take down the Illuminati.
14 Days to Live: “Kings and Princes” [6 pages]
•This is billed as the ‘last battle’ between Steve Rogers and the power-mad Illuminators. Spectrum and Blue Marvel confer with Mr. Fantastic and Black Panther. Adam Brashear flat out blames Reed for the Incursion. If only he allowed his ego to listen to reason and talk to the other Avengers. T’Challa also gets a stern talking-to from Adam. Monica powers up, astonishing Reed in the process. She promises to settle matters if they survive the catastrophe.
Tell it like it is: “The rich white guy-country club Tony Stark formed to concern-troll the world?” – Luke Cage’s response to Steve Roger’s question about the Illuminati
Footnotes: NEW AVENGERS #3 and #28
Luke Ross’ art is clean and sharp. The faces tell all in every single panel of every single page. Rachelle Rosenberg provides a fine lustre to all the costumes. Travis Lanham excelled at the news captions/countdown.
I rate this book 7 out of 10 shots for the introductory intrigue that will only escalate.
Cullen Bunn, Paul Davidson, Paul Mounts, VC’s Cory Petit
Erik Lehnsherr is having the utmost quality time with his daughter Lorna Dane. I’ll unofficially call this “A Tale of Two Magnetos”. The present has the Master of Magnetism along with Polaris assessing the situation. He has come to terms with his ‘hatred’ of homo sapiens. All beings must co-exist. His dreams of mutant supremacy have dissipated. Surprisingly, the mutant hunters known as the Marauders are aiding in the evacuation. Erik knows that to have the Earth, the other must be eradicated. His siphoning of the planet’s magnetism may not be enough to repel the Incursion. Resistance from the other world should have been expected. Enter: Nimrod Sentinels!!
Namor guest-stars in the past. Magneto has three separate interactions with the Sub-Mariner. The initial one is to recruit him into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Magneto tries to sway the First Mutant with his distrust of the surface-dwellers. Namor’s arrogance and ego have him flat out refuse the offer. The second time around, Namor is a full-fledged member of the X-Men, with Utopia as the haven. After AvX, Magneto is recuperating from his power loss. Namor eggs him on by saying that he was the man most worthy of his respect and that only he has the solution to prevent more mutants from dying. The last conversation takes place in Genosha scant weeks ago. Namor, one of the inner circle of the Illuminati, gives a USB with all the data on the Incursion to Erik. Curiously, Magneto comments on its weight. Double meaning here?? Once more, Namor is confident that his fellow and former X-Man will spare their beloved planet.
Heart-to-heart: “Dads and daughters. You think any of them ever really get it right?” “I cannot imagine that any of them ever do.” “Yeah. You weren’t really cut out for parenting. You kind of suck at it.”
Cullen Bunn is ace at crafting anti-heroes and plain-old villains. Magneto, like any other Marvel character, is mutli-faceted. You should never take his words and actions at face value. Magneto is thrilled to have his daughter beside him and determined to prevent the Incursion.
Paul Davidson makes Magneto most foreboding. His renditions of Lorna, Namor, and Riptide are too cartoonish. Paul Mounts brings out the black in Erik’s costume. The purple and green auras flowing from the father and daughter are quite distinct. Cory Petit captures the weight (no pun intended) of Magneto’s plight with those black boxes.
This book gets 7.5 out of 10 shots for its bonding and complexity.
Tags: Marvel, Secret Wars, Secret Wars Declassified