Welcome to Secret Wars Declassified!
Part 1 of week 5 is here. Part 2 is below. Enjoy!
“” (20 pages) by Dennis Hopeless, Javier Garrón, Chris Sotomayor, VC’s Joe Sabino
This time around, Colossus got a hell (pun intended) of a lot more than he bargained for. Things are running anything but smoothly in terms of retrieving his sister who has deepened her Darkchild persona due to her prolonged stay in Limbo. Piotr’s team are dealing with the nastiest of nasties. Boom Boom is still alive and about to become a guinea pig or chopped parts. Colossus has to pull a Gladiator to gain the respect of the Goblin Queen’s horde. He pulls it off when Madelyne rigs the match by throwing him the Soulsword. Domino befriends Maddie’s son Nathan Cable. She is reunited with her beau when she attempts to blow up GQ. An alliance is struck. Nightcrawler experiences a wicked transformation [literally]. He is now Illyana’s pet and trump card.
Domain #37: Limbo
Nothing to hide: “Does this benefit me as well? Yes. Of course it does. Altruism isn’t my game.” – Maddie Pryor, the Goblin Queen
Dennis Hopeless lives up to his last name. He really enjoys putting his main characters through as much adversity as humanly possible. As I mentioned earlier, it’s no surprise when you opt to venture into demons’ realm. Colossus gets an arm up with the Soulsword responding to his infected appendage. Javier Garrón has a great take on the demons, imps, and other horrible monstrosities. Darkchild is pretty much Mystique but of a different colour. Freaky!! The infant Cable reminds me of Eddie Munster but with metal. [6.66/10, natch!]
INHUMANS: ATTILAN RISING #2
“The Quiet Room” (20 pages) by Charles Soule, John Timms, Roberto Poggi, Frank D’Armata, VC’s Clayton Cowles
Auran carries out her fact-finding mission as she chats it up with the debonair Blackagar. Her ruse is shot down quickly simply because Black Bolt knows that only those in positions of power frequent his establishment. This doesn’t prevent him from being gracious and extending the courtesy as he gives her a tour. Kamala Khan poses as one of the Tony Starks to make contact with Auran. She heads to the basement after shape-shifting as a random alien. The Voice Unheard are devising a plan to deliver medical supplies to New Mars. The jig is up!! Matt Murdoch senses Kamala and throws a dagger at her. She tries to escape but is stunned by Mega-Rad. BB leads his group into New Mars. Little does the resistance know that Medusa is patiently waiting on the other side. Ambush!! Instead of allowing them to transport, Auran comes through the Eldrac with her shock troops.
Domain #20: Manhattan
Domain #13: New Mars
Let’s be Frank: Nur laments that his Irish good looks can’t pick up a drop dead gorgeous woman.
My, what big ears you have! Those sure came in handy for Auran. They were extremely inconspicuous when she was cloaked.
Shifty: People with powers like Kamala’s are frowned upon in the Quiet Room.
Back in the hood: Black Bolt goes back to his original look with the mask and tuning fork accompanied by a hood to match.
Antithesis: Voice vs. Quiet – both are aspects of the 616 Black Bolt and the SW counterpart.
Charles Soule shows the flipside of the building conflict. In this issue, Blackagar is given more exposure. His bartending definitely hides special talents. It is confirmed that he’s the leader of the pack and the thorn in Medusa’s side. Cheers to you! The inclusion of Kamala Khan is a pleasant surprise. Even those she’s a Nu-Human she hasn’t been featured in the INHUMAN title yet although some of them guest-starred in her own book. Speaking of whom, John Timms has come up with a snazzy costume for Ms. Marvel. It reflects her stealth skills as she seems to be expert enough at espionage. The other cast members have their own face time (literally) [7/10]
SECRET WARS 2099 #2 (of 5)
“” (20 pages) by Peter David, Will Sliney, Antonio Fabela, VC’s Joe Caramagna
An assassination attempt on Captain America in her civilian guise of Roberta Mendez is an epic fail. A modern samurai calling himself The Specialist doesn’t offer much info when he’s defeated and interrogated. Here’s where I’m genuinely curious about this woman. The change in her is physical and psychological. To infuriate her, he pulls a hara-kiri. She is more muscular and aggressive as Cap vs. her petite frame and timid nature. What gets my goat is whether these transformations are controlled when she’s off duty. Here’s where the mystery deepens a bit: her husband Harry is also an agent of Alcehmax:0 Miguel Stone tsks-tsks Cap for killing her attacker. He was hired by Stark-Fujikawa who has a bounty on the Sentinel of Liberty. Stone gets a kick out of Cap entering a trance every time he says the trigger word “dismissed”. Stone then has a harsh convo with Black Widow. She lives up to her name and then some!! Tania stalks men, kills them, and proceeds to feed on them. Hercules is letting off steam but in the wrong way. Alchemax can only hire so many guards. The team is called to bring in Martin Hargood with a possible connection to Cap’s hit. The same man in question is approached by John Eisenhart. Mr. Eisenhart has a big beef with Martin so much so that he Hulks out!!! The Avengers are no match for the emerald behemoth. They have less than a second when The Defenders enter the fray! The Vision’s vision came true!!
Domain #27: 2099
Gimme your number! Harry Mendez goes by Agent 1-9-4-0 (one year after the birth of the Marvel Universe). Captain America is Operative 1-9-4-1 (appropriate since it’s the introductory year of said character).
What’s the word? Word up! “Dismissed” gets Cap back as Roberta. “Avengers Assemble” has the opposite effect.
The best defense is… Hulk! Silver Surfer! Strange!! Nothing beats the originals! Where’s Namor?
I’m immensely enjoying Peter David’s focus on Cap/Roberta. What is her deal anyway? That goes for the other members too. There’s so much pain, bitterness, distrust, and deception among them. Will Sliney puts his best fingers forward in Cap/Roberta in my very biased opinion. To give him more credit, Hulk isn’t as bulky but a lot more freakshow in appearance. [7.5/10]
SECRET WARS JOURNAL #2 (of 5)
“The Hunt” (10 pages) by Kevin Maurer, Cory Smith, Jesus Aburtov, VC’s Cory Petit
Misty Knight and Paladin (Heroes for Hire in the mainstream reality) are police officers on the take. After busting Bombshell, they pick up Kraven’s Coin. Dollar signs (or is that cents?) light up their eyes. There’s one snag: whoever has the moolah is hunted. Villains come out of the woodwork just to gain an audience with The Hunter and entry into his Jungle World Casino. Let me backtrack: Rhino busts into the place with Misty and Paladin in tow. Misty uses her Pal [natch!] as a human shield against Tarantula. Misty busts Kraven in every sense of the word. The guy is a major fraud!! He is nothing like his namesake. He just wants assassins competing against each other to keep his own hide safe. Misty isn’t a dirty cop per se but she takes the money and runs walks out! Too easy!
Domain #34: Killville
The writer and artist are completely unknown to me but Kevin Maurer has Misty Knight’s jive talkin’ and groovy vibe down pat. She can crack wise just as easily as she can jaws. Paladin is her tag-along and nowhere near as competent as her. An Odd Couple if ever there was one. Revealing Kraven as a poser made my head spin! Cory Smith brings out the vile in the villains. They are vicious, greedy, and grotesque. [8/10]
“Hell’s Kitchen” (10 pages) by Simon Spurrier, Jonathan Marks, Miroslav Mrva, VC’s Cory Petit
Matt Murdock has embarked on a new career path: top chef for Baron Sinister!! For an entire year, Matt has slowly introduced poison into Sinister’s food so that he may die a slow and agonizing death. He’s injected minute amounts into the object of his affections as well: the food scout/dancer/puppet-on-a-string Collektra. Talk about star-crossed lovers!! He’s blind with heightened senses. She’s mute with killer skills [pun intended!] Matt fails miserably in his mission forgetting that Nathaniel Essex is a cloner. The woman he thought he gave his heart to (and poisons) died every single time but was replaced. Fat good his hyper-abilities did him!
Domain #36: Bar Sinister
Domain #10: Weirdworld
Acquired tastes, or the Mighty Marvel Cookbook:
- Beignets du K’un Lun Yeti • Night-Fanger Biryani • Fricadelles du Stegosaure au Vincent
- Magret de Canard Caricature à l’Excelsiorange • Fumet of Lumerian-Ink
- Macédonie de Flora Colossi • Vex Imperius
Si Spurrier has the most twisted mind. He’s already scribing MARVEL ZOMBIES. This man is a mad genius!! He has obviously been influenced by Gordon Ramsey who hosts a show by the same name as Daredevil’s ‘hood. My heartstrings were being ripped apart due to Matt’s affections for his fellow thrall. The fact that she’s mute makes it all the more tragic. Action may speak louder than words but one or two wouldn’t hurt. I was secretly hoping the Baron would have met his maker but that was not meant to be. Jonathan Marks’ sketches remind me of Mike Del Mundo. His collaborator Miroslav Mrva creates a visceral love story. [9/10]
“” (20 pages) by Mike Costa, André Araújo, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Joe Caramagna
A talking pig in a Spider-Man costume (uh-hum, Spider-Ham) is rescued by the wholesome Gwen Stacy in her Spider-Woman gear (unofficially known as Spider-Gwen). Norman Osborn allows them to escape since she’s especially important to his future machinations. What was one became two and now grew to five. They convene at Pavitr’s safehouse in Chinatown. They swap origin stories. Pavitr explains how they are all literally connected by the Great Web. Pavitr’s scanner has found another Spider-avatar. It turns out to be Carnage with his newest partner-in-crime Tombstone. The quintet crash their transaction but are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Spider-Man Noir. He provides the save by using a sonic disrupter against Cletus. He then pulls a Batman by telling each of them that he’s been surveilling them and has taken precautions. That upsetting revelation is put on hold when the Sinister Six make their debut!!
Domain #16: Arachnia
We are all made of stars spiders: “We’re God’s own double exposure.” – Pavitr Prabhakar
Mike Costa has greatly improved since his initial issue of volume one. He could create a new title co-starring Gwen and Ham. Oh, the fun that would be. In all seriousness, he knows Gwen inside and out. He’s also taken a real shine to Peter Porker. This porcine deserves his own monthly! André Araújo (Portugal, represent!) has a vast array of characters to play with. Fifteen, to be exact. All the Spider-people look amazing, sensational, spectacular in their masks. Like Mr. Costa, his eyes are literally on Gwen and Ham. [7.5/10]
ULTIMATE END #2 (of 5)
“” (20 pages) by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, Drew Hennessy, Justin Ponsor, VC’s Cory Petit, Manny Mederos
The Thors bring the noise!! Hawkeye-616 is killed for being defiant. Seriously, Bendis?!? Again!!? What do you have against the Avenging Archer?? The two Tonys hash out their differences. Two genius minds are better than one. Peter-616 has an awkward meet with Aunt May and Gwen Stacy from the 1610 but it’s comforting all the same. Punisher hasn’t been put to rest either!! I see Bendis flushing out his role as the remaining issues follow suit. Most likely, he’s the grenade that obliterates the Ultimate Uni. Frank Castle has a fortunate break(out) from prison due to Doc Green and Gray Hulk determining which one is the strongest. Frank is on a raft when he spots the heroes from the MU fly into his world. It really is an awesome sight.
Domain #20c: Manhattan (Ultimate Universe)
Sales boost? Hawkeye biting the bullet once more. This is the guy from the ‘real’ Marvel Universe, not the UU. Why waste a guy who’s been featured in two live action films and is the critical darling of his own monthly? GGGRRR!!
Brian Michael Bendis and George R.R. Martin are one and the same. They always off the most favoured ones. Admittedly, that’s the spice needed in any good story. I seriously hope it’s Punisher that goes berserk in his one-man against EVERYONE. Mark Bagley is tailor-made for this scope. He is super-pro not only at the slam-dunking but also the intimate interactions. [9/10]
Tags: Brian Michael Bendis, Hawkeye Is Dead Again, Secret Wars Declassified