Secret Wars Review & Spoilers: Secret Wars #3 By Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina

Secret Wars #3 Spoilers & Preview 1 Secret Wars #3 Spoilers & Preview 2 Secret Wars #3 Spoilers & Preview 3

Secret Wars #3 Spoilers & Preview 4 Secret Wars #3 Spoilers & Preview 5 Secret Wars #3 Spoilers & Preview 6

SECRET WARS {3rd series} #3 (of 8)
Writer & Designer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Color Artist: Ive Svorcina
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Covers by: Alex Ross; Marguerite Sauvage; Tomm Coker; Bob McLeod; Nick Bradshaw; Simone Bianchi & Simone Peruzzi; John Tyler Christopher

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Mr. Hickman has become quite the wordsmith! On top of that, he seems to have an impressive grasp on politics, philosophy, religion, science, and ethics.

The four short chapters pack a lot of punch. Every single line (pretty much) reveals an enormous amount of detail. The action is slowly building as well. Patience, readers.

Before actually spoiling, I will mention this: the page featuring the main cast was definitely a red herring!! I may not be a philosopher-scientist but it is a universal constant that opposites exist. That’s it for now!

“Affairs of State” (3 pages) pp. 1-3
Drumroll!!!! Doom and Strange co-created Battleworld. They remember every intricate event ‘from before’ including their petty squabbles. They are the Master Builders, the Engineers of this Earth, God and his Right Hand. How right is debatable. Strange has a growing concern. There’s a bee buzzing in his bonnet and he just can’t ignore it. Doom dismisses his inquietude. Even in paradise, there is a strong element of danger. Doom assures his sheriff that they will face every obstacle together. A true partnership. Strange has such fealty to his friend that he holds firm that knowledge is power.

•“You are omnipotent. Not omniscient.” – Strange

Strange speaks his mind. The twosome may be partners but they are not obviously equal. More surprising is the fact that Strange passed up on godhood and allowed Doom to acquire it instead. Strange’s magic is infinitely potent, and he opted not to ascend. Foolish or loyal? You decide.

•“The troubles of gods are infinite and beyond man’s understanding…” – Doom
“I remember what was…I remember you and I making all of this, saving what we could. Creating what we could not.” – Sheriff Strange
•“…I remember that I could have been God and not you.” – Stephen Strange

Doom trusts Strange implicitly. He knows his friend will not waiver and he is eternally grateful for that. Strange is about to inform his deity about a serious issue when he gets news from Doomsgard, home of the Thor Corps. Molecule Man is seen in the courtyard. Catatonic or statue? The immobile image of him is eerie and disturbing.

“The Eye of Doom” (4 pages) pp. 4-7
The Sheriff has ventured to Utopolis. The enforcers of justice give him a report. They know little of the assailants or the craft that brought them. They are dispatched to search for the intruders and to investigate. Strange honours the fallen Thor by making him a sentinel (statue). He senses a stowaway. It’s none other than Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man!! Miles pledges his alignment and mocks the choice in costume for the baddies which should be a major indicator. Strange can’t disguise his surprise when Miles states that he saw another world emerge at the point of incursion. In other words, Stephen surmises that Miles remembers everything before ‘the end’.

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 7

“The Disquiet Heart of God” (4 pages) pp. 8-11
If you’re like me, then you should be real inquisitive as to how Susan hooked up with her most hated enemy. Sue tells Victor that while she was walking through the streets unescorted, swarms of people from either the elite (Upper Kingdom) or bourgeois (Lower Kingdom) were singing of ‘The Man in the Sun’. To hear this from each distinct class intrigued her.

•“…As I am not seen if I don’t want to be seen, and on the chance that I am, I’m more than capable of handling myself.” – You go, girlfriend!!

She chastises Victor for allowing this to occur. She wants to know why he hasn’t curbed it. He informs her that he wanted her to specifically give it a listen in the hopes that it would please her. Get a load of this: Sue laments her brother’s death. It was her doing!! He was a dissident to Doom and she was the one who enacted the punishment. Heartless!!! Johnny Storm flames on forever since he is now The Sun! In the end, not a raw deal since he/it is worshipped. That may spell trouble for God.

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 9

•“It is no small thing to be worshipped, Susan.” – If only that applied to each of us!

Doom’s self-pride is so massive that he did not want anyone or anything to shine brighter than him. The peons speculate that he found whomever or whatever below his station to be offensive. He claims that he is offended by that supposition but he confirms his feelings.

•“And truth is always the sharpest blade. It always cuts the deepest.” – God Doom

Victor is the leopard that has gained new spots!! He has come completely clean with Sue and has entrusted everything to her. He admits that he is perturbed. This is why he was so quick to brush off his confidant. He sees himself as a lesser god (lower case ‘g’) since he is no great inspiration to his followers. Ultimate power means squat. He should have remained invisible [natch!] so that the idea of his existence and benevolence would be more awe-inspiring. He admits that he’s flawed. You don’t say?!?

•“But the strong man can show very few his wounds. Doom can only show one…”
•“I believed in the…rightness of me.” – Ego is a four-letter word.
•“I am a poor god. It is better to be unseen – demanding faith, and beyond being defined by the mundane.”
•“I’m beginning to think in my perfect world…I am the one flawed thing.”

Call it what you will – karma, just desserts, divine decree – Doom’s face remains ravaged!! Remember what I wrote a bit earlier about having unlimited power?? Brace yourselves, True Believers!! The Swan has chosen to be with the Ugly Duck. Sue looked past Victor’s abhorrent visage and embraced him for his intellect and passion. She supports his making another world from scratch. She convinces him to walk among his flock. The sheeple should see their god for what he really is: omniamorous (all-loving). While encouraging him, she removes the protective plate and his true appearance is bestowed!! How many years have we all waited for this moment?

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 11

“Doom God Loves All Men but One” (9 pages) pp. 12-21

Strange has brought Miles and the young Thor to his Sanctum Sanctorum on the Isle of Agamotto. He truly is the Sorcerer Supreme (or Beyond?) since he has peered into the multiverse!! He makes mention of Wakanda as an example of it existing in different timelines. The Cabal being on Battleworld is an enormous blemish to the so-called utopia. Strange needs to know how these escapees made the jump ‘from before’. Miles notices another vessel similar to the Cabal’s. It’s the life raft last seen in the first issue. When the youthful lawmaker pries it open out come Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Star-Lord, and Thor :0

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 13

The Sheriff tries to play head games with Carol making her doubt her being as well as his presence. Wonders will not cease this day for the Eye of Agamotto. He is beside himself when he spots Cyclops imbued with the Phoenix Force.

•“The dream is immortal, Doctor…Some of us were made for resurrection…”

Two more passengers come forth: Reed Richards and T’Challa. The Black Panther is taken aback at the sight of his fellow Illuminator. In fact, to confirm he asks “Memento mori?” to which Strange responds “Illuminatus.” The two are overjoyed to reacquaint. Now comes a taste of reality bites: Strange tells Star-Lord that he shouldn’t wonder where they are but when — eight entire years have passed since they avoided the Incursion and were placed in stasis. In all that time, God (Doom) was able to take remnants of the collapsing worlds and patch them together into a cohesive unit. All memories are simply of the current setting. The All-Mighty also synchronized the divergent timelines. Reed bluntly demands the identity of this so-called higher being. Leave it up to Reed to question everything. That’s the spirit!! Stephen nonchalantly mentions that it’s Victor Von Doom.

Another nasty piece of business is brought forward: Strange came across the Life Raft three years ago but decided to put in the corner and in the back of his mind. It wasn’t a threat, more an artifact to eventually be examined. Reed is incensed! He rhetorically asks how his antithesis is absolute ruler of a planet. Like a blunt instrument, Stephen delivers this:

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 17

The Cabal make camp in a remote cave somewhere in Utopolis. Maximus is fascinated by the sun revolving around the planet. It is an oddity that doesn’t seem to impress the others. The others all give their two cents about untaken actions, strategic moves, etc. Thanos does not regret having killed one of the Thors even if they are in the dark. He tells his cronies to be patient and remain focused. He is confident that answers will come their way. The second he utters this, the Thor Corps descend!

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 20 SECRET WARS #3 pg. 21

Clear as day: This time around the cover is not a red herring!! Once again, I’m slow on the uptake. All the characters are found in the story with one little exception: Black Widow. Tsk tsk! Did she perish after all or is she the ace in the hole? This also negates my statement about the page listing the characters for this story.

Garden piece: The inert Molecule Man is the embodiment of unsettling. It’s an eyesore for such a lush milieu.

SECRET WARS #3  pg. 3

Freedom of religion: God Doom might have a rival in the Sun.

Pick up the bread crumbs: Stephen had every reason to be worried. The arrival of the Cabal is one thing but he is left with little choice but to free the heroes from the ‘other world’.

‘Sup, homie? Miles is relieved to see Peter. Peter almost goofs by revealing the fate of the UU.

SECRET WARS #3 pg. 14

God complex: The Phoenix Force has only augmented Scott’s supposed superiority.

Memento mori: From the Latin “Remember to die.” It is a reflection of morality, especially the vanity of earthly life. It doesn’t seem like Black Panther grasped this.

Illuminatus! The name of a science-fiction trilogy of novels from Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. It’s pretty wacky stuff given that it’s satirical, postmodernist, and counterculture. I actually read this!!

Watch where you walk:
Domain #12 – Utopolis
Domain #19 – Doomstadt
Domain #18 – The Eye of Agamotto

For those of you itching for many a fight, rest assured they are coming. Once again, Mr. Hickman lays the groundwork for the sprawling tapestry he has woven for almost three whole years. This is the end of Act One. The pieces are all in play. Now is the moment to shuffle them about. I envision Mr. Hickman as a prose writer here. The plot advances through the interactions of Doom and his inner circle. Perhaps the revelation of the despot and the magician being the founders of a new reality may not be jaw-dropping but the mystery is gradually shed and suspense still lingers. Some questions arise despite the information presented. Is Sue really that enthralled or is it a ruse? Does Johnny live on? Was he transformed at the moment of his death? Is Strange really pulling the strings? AAARRRGGGHHH!! The drums of war are beating. The confirmation of the 616’ers springing up in Battleworld guarantees justified combats. I appreciate how effortlessly Mr. Hickman encompasses heavy brainy topics. Words carry all kind of weight.

Esad Ribic’s art is a vast improvement. The characters are richer and are more rounded. From this point forward, I think I’ll be incapable to get Doom’s ugly mug out of my head for a good long time. I’m comparing his portrayals of Strange and Sue to Game of Thrones — Strange somewhat resembles Littlefinger in mien and mind; Sue is more frigid and heartless than Cersei but just as stunning. *shiver* Reed is a broken and defeated Tyrion until his spirit is riled by an abomination he cannot stomach.

Ive Svorcina’s colours reinforce the comparisons I made in the aforementioned paragraph. Sue is practically porcelain white with her fine features as well as uniform. Stephen has a healthy shade of pink, indicating one that has lived more than comfortably and safely. Reed is frazzled but regains his composure. Victor’s flesh-eaten countenance is more like a bottomless pit – the surface reflecting the real darkness within.

Chris Eliopoulos is a walking word processor! Despite the verbosity of this issue, the man churns out the sentences without breaking a sweat (or maybe he did ;-P) Reed’s fit of rage reverberates.

The fuse is ready to be extinguished. After that, BOOM! All bets are off!

Going with the hush-hush nature of the two Doctor’s manipulations: I give this book G I G L out of A L U [use the decoder below to decipher]

Decoder

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