Secret Wars Declassified Week 7, Part 2: Creature Feature!

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Part 1 of Week 7 is here. Part 2 is below.

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Part two focuses appropriately enough on the number twos!! I have been pleasantly surprised with all four books 🙂  Monsters are not my go-to genre but I find Garth Ennis’ galavanting tale and Sam Humphries’ offbeat buddy adventure to be the brightest gems in the bunch.

 

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WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #2 (of 5)

“Meet the King” (20 pages) by Garth Ennis, Russ Braun, Dono Sanchez Almara, Rob Steen

 

Run for your life!! That’s exactly what Karl Kaufmann is doing. Clemmie on the other hand goes back to the plane for some firepower. In the midst of the jungle, he comes across pygmies who serve as tasty morsels for the T-Rex. He comes out unharmed but extremely miffed at his passenger. She plays the dimwit even though she lets slip some specs about the machine gun. The tension builds. Karl wants her to fess up and reveal her true intentions. She sticks to her guns (so to speak) and stays mum. Karl’s manly charm is shot down by her feminine wiles. No extramarital affair for this fine woman. She threatens to deprive him of his family jewels if he tries any funny stuff. At daybreak, they paddle across the water. Clemmie hears a slight noise. A giant gator or croc bites the raft in two and raises the pair. By the most random stroke of luck, a mammoth shark bites into the reptile saving the duo. Karl’s cowardice is irritating Clemmie. Role reversal at its finest!! Karl’s wildest dreams come true – an island besieged by a bevy of beautiful blonde ‘barbarians’. His delight turns to confusion when Clemmie also relishes in the turn of events.

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Domain #25: The Valley of Flame

Dial 1 before the area code: .303 – the caliber used for the rifle that Clemmie was handling.

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Battle of the sexes:What are you, some kind of suffragette?” “Well, I certainly seem to be suffering you.

Grow a pair!Blood! I’m swimming in blood! I’M IN HELL!” – Karl “Oh stop it, you milksop!” – Clemmie

Sheepish:God, can’t you stop bleating for five minutes…?” – Clemmie to Karl

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death: Mr. Ennis, were you inspired by this flick?

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I’m savouring the Moonlighting dynamic between Karl and Clemmie, albeit a skewed one. She loathes every fibre of his being as she rightly should. The man is a cad, a lout, a loudmouth, and a major wuss. I can’t stand the suspense!! I demand to know her deal. I suspect she is a decoy to cage the Phantom Eagle. So far, he’s whiter than any ghost but nowhere near as daring as the bird of prey. The art team superbly vivify the real stars of this book – the monsters. This genre is not my cup of tea but my appreciation reminds me of my Grade 4 days when I was heavily into dinosaurs. These gentlemen should be paid by Wikipedia to supplant their art or be hired by museums and paleontologists!! This is turning out to be the sleeper hit, IMO. It’s a hidden gem among the flashier but not as substantial ‘blockbusters’. [9.5/10]

 

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INFINITY GAUNTLET #2

“” (20 pages) by Dustin Weaver & Gerry Duggan, Dustin Weaver, Gerry Duggan, ComiCraft’s Albert Deschesne

The family reunion brings cheers, jeers, and tears. Eve entrusts each of her loved ones with a Nova star. They all become members of the Corps, even Zigzag the family dog. They each have to quickly master the power of flight since staying behind is not an option. Anwen shows and tells her mother of her find. Eve recognizes the Mind Stone. A swarm of bugs are on a beeline [natch!] for them. Eve instructs them on accessing the inner power. Their efforts are not enough. Eve uses the Stone to shoo them away. Eve is distraught at the destruction of the Nova HQ. Thirty Novas are presumed perished. More importantly, another Infinity Stone has been stolen. Eve realizes that the bugs were a distraction. The thief is Star-Lord! Gamora is his ride. She sees through his lie about pilfering the gem. It’s time to make a sale. In the near future, a silhouetted Nova is beating the snot out of Thanos. The Titan doesn’t have a leg to stand on. I’m guessing this is a souped-up Anwen powered by her rage. Thanos ports to safety. He summons his other self. He is at a loss in preventing his defeat. He vaporizes his other self and decides on a different course of action.

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Domain #40: New Xandar

Wonder Dog: Zigzag has the ability to become a Nova and to fly despite being an animal. Eve is beside herself!

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Bug off!But here’s the first rule of being a Nova: Never. Spare. A. Bug.” – Eve

Pointers in punctuality:I thought wizards are never late, they just show up whenever.” – Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord

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I’ve become less of a sci-fi fan over the years. I have my fair share of fave B/C/D-listers from Marvel Comics as well as the Distinguished Competition. The original Nova was one of them. I realize the first issue had to flesh out the Bakian Clan in order to invest reader interest. Things pick up the pace naturally and logically. Eve has been reunited with her brood. Their chances of survival are much higher now that they are all Novas. Thanos fighting and killing himself gives me false hope of his complete and utter defeat. I anticipate the inevitable throwdown with whom I suspect is Anwen. Dustin Weaver is composing a magnum opus!! His far-out ideas coupled by his farther-out pencils are increasing my fandom-ness. The amount of panels that he churns exceeds any regular monthly artist. His focus on the finer things like the specks in the swarm as well as the rubble deserves the highest of praise. [9/10]

 

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M.O.D.O.K.: ASSASSIN #2 (of 5)

“” (20 pages) by Christopher Yost, Amilcar Pinna, Terry Pallot & Ed Tadeo, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Travis Lanham

Angela is seen fighting at Ororo, the Goddess of Thunder’s side against automatons. One hour later, Angela assures King Magnus that his domain is under the protection of the Thor Corps from the humans as well as the Sentinels. He puts a little bee in her bonnet when he mentions his concern over Killville. Angela is ambushed by an unknown assailant. When she awakens, she is horrified at M.O.D.O.K.’s freakish features and proceeds to slay him. Half the issue is spent with the giant floating head holding his own against the warrior woman. He is extremely enamored of her and fighting his programming by processing his infatuation. He has a change of heart when he unleashes his null bomb. He ends up taking the brunt of the blast. She is ready to deliver the coup de grâce but acknowledges his selfless act.

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The triad that is the Assassins Guild make their presence known at the morgue. Kingpin, Shroud, and Viper make up the triumvirate. They will exact their revenge against M.O.D.O.K. but they must bide their time since he is under Mordo’s thumb who is under Doom’s protection. Segue!! Clea informs her baby-boo of a battle between Angela and the master assassin. The Triad get the go-ahead with exterminating the major pest. They will pool all their talent: no less than fifteen killers!!

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Domain #29: the Monarchy of M

Domain #34: Killville

Words will hurt me: Angela is revolted by Modie’s appearance – “grotesquery”, “Nay, there is a deep-rooted desire for splitting your giant, freakish head like a melon.” “Listen […] to a corruption of science? No, you foul, repugnant, disgusting…

1-888-KILLERS: Black Widow, Boomerang, Bushwacker, Elektra, Ghost, Grim Reaper, Hit-Monkey, Jack O’Lantern, Punisher, Sabretooth, Scarlet Spider, Screaming Mimi, Taskmaster, Typhoid Mary, Wolverine – all in the employ of the Triad.

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This is a happy instance where the second issue supersedes the first. I wasn’t warming up to the art nor the concept. I found it to be farcical in the truest sense, thus not taking it seriously. I’m glad I’ve changed my tune. Modie may be a ‘monster’ in appearance but this version has a major heart-on for a fallen Angel(a). It’s a spin on Beauty and the Beast. Her literal crashing into Modie’s world has his head turning in all directions, humanizing him more than even he realized. M.O.D.O.K. has to live up to his name in snuffing out the hit-takers. Who cowardly attacked Angela?? The addition of Ed Tadeo and having Amilcar Pinna focus solely on pencils is a vast improvement on the art. Angela is fiercely fine, not without reason. The piling of characters is easily handled by the three gentlemen, especially that 5×3 TV screen of all the liquidators. [8.5/10]

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PLANET HULK #2

“The Path” (20 pages) by Sam Humphries, Marc Laming, Jordan Boyd, VC’s Travis Lanham

Steve Rogers rouses with his pet Devil Dinosaur. His guide Doc Green has been patiently awaiting his awakening. The two do not see eye to eye on anything. Doc does not want the Captain to presume much especially since they are in his domain of Greenland. Bucky’s retrieval is what’s relevant. Steve has a flashback to when his dearest friend was injured by an aerial attack. Luckily, Buck was spared. He suggests that he and Steve be all that they can be. Doc Green spews literature and philosophy at Mr. Rogers. The Captain is not much of a literato. Doc then asks Steve of his life’s calling. When the gladiator mentions that it is to overthrow Doom, he is ridiculed. War changes people, not the other way around. Bull Hulks storm out of nowhere. Devil holds them back while the others run and immerse in the water. Steve is separated from his beloved pet. As they descend a waterfall, Steve is ensnared by an aquatic creature. It rises to the surface. Doc Green seems to been expecting its arrival and recognizes it.

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Domain #1: Greenland

This review is brought to you by the letter G: grub, gruel, gamma, gladiator, godEnough alliteration for ya?

More than friends? The concern Steve has for Bucky goes beyond brotherly, doncha think?!?

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Uncle Sam wants you! Sam Wilson, better known as Captain America!!

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You made that up! Doomicus Hulkicus Carnivoriæ, commonly known as the Hulk-Eater plant.

Sam Humphries has made me love Hulk again!! Despite the name of the book, the real star [pun intended!] is Steve Rogers. This unexpected pairing actually works! Steve is such a simpleton. He’s a true fighter in that all that is required of him are his skills. Doc Green is the ultimate brain. Years of being a rampaging beast accomplished little. He is Steve’s best bet at rescuing Bucky. The odd coupling is in its infancy. I’m sure the two will develop a begrudging respect for the other. Marc Laming and Jordan Boyd highlight the denizens of the domain. Aside from an imposing green giant, the Bull Hulks and the Hulk-Eater showcase the adverse effects of gamma radiation. The green and brown are earthen tones that contrast with the brighter tones of the optimistic forgotten world from Steve and Bucky’s distant past. The very last page is an artistic accomplishment. I reckon the creature to be a cross between Abomination and Man-Thing. [9.5/10]

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