Welcome to Secret Wars Declassified!
It’s a long stretch with the confirmation that SECRET WARS proper and fifteen other books will officially end in October. This will overlap with All-New All-Different Marvel. I can’t wait to see what the shipping schedule will entail. As we enter month three and a half, a quartet of books make their premiere. This is in addition to a pair of number twos, a sextet of number threes, and a different book under the “Last Days” banner. That makes it a baker’s dozen for this week! It hasn’t taken long for some individuals to realize that there was a time prior to Doom’s reign. The reset button is inevitable. The journey is what excites us!!
SILVER SURFER #13
“The Death of Everything that Ever Was or Will Be” (20 pages) by Dan Slott, Mike Allred, Laura Allred, VC’s Joe Sabino
Norrin Radd is no longer a solo act!! He and Dawn Greenwood have cemented their relationship! Time to soar the galaxies as a duo. Dawn misses Earth and wants to head home. Despite the homesickness, she suggests the long way so that they can visit recent friends and spend more quality time together. Toomie, the Surfer’s board, is a bit jealous but Dawn consoles it/him. Off they go!! The Queen of Nevers interrupts their jolly good time by stating that there is no future. If she is uttering this, then the situation really is grave. Norrin realizes that they must travel to the past. The Silver Surfer reaches unattained speeds. Dawn is rightly afraid. As they zip through the cosmos, existence is eroding. He tells her not to look back. Cliché! She does and sees Earth disintegrating! There is hope!! Luckily, Future-Dawn tells Present-Dawn to convince her beau to make a hard right. They enter a tear in the fabric of reality. It’s all white but there are two mysterious individuals who are aware of the Incursion and have sought shelter. Surfer spots Eternity who is almost completely devoid. Shock follows shock when the black figure turns sporting Doom’s faceplate!! One of the unknowns explains that Doom brokered the power of the Beyonders and that reality is his domain. He removes his hood revealing himself to be Glorian, the Maker of Miracles!! He is serving a higher power – the Shaper of Worlds!! With Norrin’s Power Cosmic and his own abilities, the universe shall be remade!
This seems to be Dan Slott’s true love. It’s such a funky groovy hip psychedelic ride through endless space. It was truly enjoyable reading this adventure and I see that he immerses himself in it. The heady stuff is not as difficult to process. Dawn is new to the Marvel Universe but it’s fab that Norrin has found a new companion and doesn’t resort to mopiness which was his main fixture for a few decades. Mike Allred draws the coolest contours. He is more than a match for the Surfer’s high-speed actions. The imposing concepts of the personifications of universal forces is a piece of cake for this veteran. Laura Allred’s colours are bright and cheerful. The Surfer must be white for a specific reason. Glorian’s gold and bronze sheen is somewhat deceptive. The Shaper of Worlds’ pallor is more intense than usual given his predicament.
Rosetta Stone, you suck! “…if they’re aliens, why are they speaking French?” “It only sounds French to your translator, Dawn. It’s actually Space-French.” – I’m a French high school teacher. Sign me up!!
This is the first of three parts (perhaps four?) If anyone can deal with this overly absurd situation, it’s the Skyrider of the Spaceways!! [8/10]
CAPTAIN BRITAIN and the MIGHTY DEFENDERS #1 (of 2)
“There is a Land with a Wall around it…” (20 pages) by Al Ewing, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Wil Quintana, Travis Lanham
Ho Yinsen is the Iron Man, not Tony Stark! Actually, he goes by Rescue and is the Baron of the city named after himself. He is a most peaceful man and has Jennifer Walters the She-Hulk who enforces the law as a Thor. He is perturbed by a recurring dream in which Tony Stark sacrificed his life for the elderly man’s. Yinsen can’t recall getting the Rescue armour nor can he explain why he’s harping on this. Jen warns him to keep quiet since it’s blasphemy against Doom. Hobie Brown the Spider-Hero Man is bored with sentinel duty. Yinsen City is a legitimate utopia. He is also having memories of Peter Parker dying and taking on his mantle. Ennui will soon be eclipsed by an intruder. Antonia Yinsen a.k.a. Kid Rescue and White Tiger spot Dr. Faiza Hussain who easily breaches the impenetrable barrier with her mystic sword. The Defenders realize she poses no threat. She too has memories of Brian Braddock the former Captain Britain bequeathing his name, duty, and power to her. The ruler himself steps out in the open. He believes Faiza’s claims. Jen again warns about heresy but in her heart she believes what the others have expressed. Omniscient Doom immediately appears as a hologram. HAH, he’s not that all-knowing!! He was listening in via Yinsen’s armour. Their punishment is to fend off invaders from Mondo City. Yinsen gets a bullet in the head thanks to Boss Magniconte and Boss Emma Frost weakening the protective shield. All hell breaks loose. Faiza is captured and ready to be interrogated by Boss Luke Cage. He isn’t too concerned about her demands for civil rights. They are within a skyscraper that has a Punisher skull plastered on its wall for public view!!
Domain #?: Yinsen City
Domain #?: Mondo City
Rough justice: “One thing, it’s been bothering me for years. Why a gavel?” – Yinsen “Because I’ve got my hammers right here.” – She-Hulk putting up her dukes.
Al Ewing continues his shtick in a redefined fashion. I was a follower and fan of MIGHTY AVENGERS and CAPTAIN AMERICA and the MIGHTY AVENGERS. Nothing stays defunct forever in comicbookland, thus I’m not too upset. At the risk of generalizing, it’s fantastic to see Mr. Ewing show his English pride by incorporating elements from Paul Cornell’s CAPTAIN BRITAIN and M.I. 13 having Faiza Hussain as the protagonist. This is a very short tale thus a quick resolution must take place by next issue. The cracks are starting to form as citizens from the various domains begin having flashbacks or jarring memories of ‘before’. Just like in the Avengers motion picture, sometimes a team needs a sudden death to shake them to their senses and have the members shine through. Alan Davis, another English gentleman, illustrates exquisite facial features. Each character has the heart of the sleeve. There’s a great nod to Brian Braddock since this was how Mr. Davis got his big break. The Y on Baron Yinsen’s armour is an obvious indicator of his name and stature. [7.5/10]
GUARDIANS of KNOWHERE #1
“” (20 pages) by Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin, VC’s Cory Petit
Angela is hunting Gamora. She heads to Knowhere and asks Drax for her whereabouts. The last thing Drax wants is a fight since he’s drowning in drink. Nevertheless, he can’t ignore his true nature and upon provocation, throws the first punch. Angela does not relent. She throws three daggers at his throat and slices him up pretty badly. Gamora comes out of hiding. Angela demands that she accompany her back to her domain. Gamora refuses and asks her if she can fathom her true nature. Rocket busts in and blasts Angela through a window. The trio depart leaving Angela angry and without answers. Rocket takes his buddies to Mantis for healing. Rocket chews out Gamora for leaving Knowhere since it is absolutely forbidden and will lead to her eventual death. Gamora, through her cosmic senses, refuses to believe in Doom but she drops another name: Thanos. The others are unfamiliar with it. The session is interrupted by Yotat, a bounty hunter out for Drax. He claims to have taken over Knowhere and he christens himself the destroyer of the Destroyer.
Domain #?: Knowhere
Where everybody knows your name: Cebulski’s Bar – named after Marvel writer C.B. Cebulski
Illegitimate child? Angela Doomsdottir [look at the phonetic spelling]
Green, with envy? “But you do things mentally with plants.” “Yeah.” “So?” “So?” “She’s green. Can’t you just poke her brain a little?” – Rocket asking Mantis to probe Gamora
Bendis isn’t ready to let go of the Guardians just yet. He extends his tour of duty in October as we anticipate ANADM. The tale is a quick read and simple in set-up. Gamora is on the run from the big bad Thanos but only she is aware of that. Rocket’s loyalty and fierce concern for his teammates is touching despite his gruff exterior. Drax, like many other lethal weapons, prefers to remain pacific. Angela is the opposite of Gamora’s comrade-in-arms in this reality. She’s downright bloodthirsty!! Mike Deodato is one of my top ten fave artists. Critics have derided his recent technique of overshadowing. I think that it creates dramatic impact. His take on Angela reminds me of his early work on DC’s Artemis when she was Wonder Woman but a far superior and improved version. Rocket can’t escape his cuddly cuteness even if he comes off as a tough cookie. The double-page spread of Knowhere’s innards are Death Star-esque! [8/10]
HAIL HYDRA #1
“” (20 pages) by Rick Remender, Roland Boschi, Chris Chuckry, VC’s Clayton Cowles
Ian Rogers, the new Nomad, awakens in a world he definitely didn’t make. He remembers everything and knows he’s not on his Earth nor in Dimension Z. His disorientation is disrupted by a street tagger. When he asks for information, Hydra soldiers zero in. An intense fight ensues but Ian fails to prevent the teen’s capture. Chris Miller, the ‘vandal’, is about to be put through the incinerator since there is no hope in rehabilitation when Nomad makes up for his previous failure. Chris and Ian are communicating on two different wavelengths. He schools the castaway in the bleak and dire United Confederacy of Hydra. He offers to send Ian to his underground contacts. A shield lobs his head clean :0 The slinger is Ian’s dark twin: Leopold Zola!!
Domain #26: The Hydra Empire
Dirty rat! Agent Grant Ward (from TV’s S.H.I.E.L.D.) makes his first comic book appearance!
Beastly sight! “Heard they rounded up the last mutant this week.” “About time.” “Blue fur. Can you believe that?” – Hydra soldiers discussing Hank McCoy. No L
Not right in the head: “You brain-new?” – Chris to Ian. Excellent pun, if I do say so myself!!
It’s safe to say that this is Rick Remender’s swan song from his lengthy stint at Marvel. He’s certainly made his mark over the years! He culminates all the elements of his CAPTAIN AMERICA opus into this four-part series. Ian Rogers takes centre stage trying to uphold the teachings that his foster father Steve Rogers imparted on him while discarding his true genetic heritage. The fact that he has a ‘brother’ made of his own cells is deeply disturbing. There is heavy narration but this serves to orient readers through Ian’s unfamiliar surroundings. He lives up to his name of Nomad since he has moved on to another locale. Hydra is the eternal root of evil that is practically impossible to eradicate. The political leanings are apparent. Roland Boschi is an animated artist. The chase scenes are frenetic and engaging. I was panting as I was following Nomad dodge and tackle the Hydra army. He has had the pleasure of working with Mr. Remender in the past. The Hydra butcher is truly vile!! Chris Miller is so gaunt that he evokes images of concentration camp inmates. Chris Chuckry has a wide range to work with – from the infernal interior of the Hydra incendiary to the emerald-tinged subliminal visuals of the infesting organization. The blood spatter from Chris is realistic but head-turning. [8/10]
“They Can’t Ever Win. They Can’t Afford to Lose.” (20 pages) by Kieron Gillen, Filipe Andrade, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Clayton Cowles
For my extensive review of this issue, click on this.
CAPTAIN MARVEL and the CAROL CORPS #2
“” (20 pages) by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Kelly Thompson, David Lopez, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Carol and her crew are harboring a fugitive (sort of): Captain James Rhodes of the Albatross. Dr. Nayar is sent to tend to him. Carol confronts her about her origins. She knows that she wasn’t one of Doom’s golden children. The doc confirms that the Baroness has been deceiving them all and that Carol most likely comes from the void. In a friendly game of chess with Carol, the Baroness implies that she knows more than she’s letting on. Rhodey explains how his crew were fending off hordes from Limbo and that the task was growing more difficult. The plan to investigate the exact locale of the sky is to build a specialized aircraft. Helen has hijacked the plane before final tests. The second it takes off, it explodes!! [7.5/10]
Strategic & shrewd: The Baroness offers an excellent explanation to the game of chess. She emphasizes that war is ever-present even during peaceful times.
KORVAC SAGA #2
“” (20 pages) by Dan Abnett, Otto Schmidt, Cris Peter, VC’s Clayton Cowles
The Guardians are security detail for the procession in honour of Simon Williams and Michael Korvac. They cannot contain an otherworldly creature from tearing up the streets. Carina sees stars. Literally!! Something happens within Michael’s limo and another creature emerges. The Avengers also have a tough time until Captain Mar-Vell blasts clear through. It was Carina! Moondragon enters Starhawk’s sanctum and offers her assistance to come up with answers. Within the astral plane, Starhawk makes contact with an unknown entity. He asks if it is The Enemy. The being utters one word: “DOOM.” before Starhawk goes super-nova!! [7/10]
Loud and clear: The Enemy was Michael Korvac’s description by Starhawk from the original storyline when the Guardians traveled back in time to pursue him and involved the Avengers.
ARMOR WARS #3
“Fight Night” (20 pages) by James Robinson, Marcio Takara, Esther Sanz, VC’s Travis Lanham
Tony shakes off his lazy stance and decides to take a stand against his brother Arno. He is on a collision course with his rotten sibling’s crystalline quarters. Kiri is wrestling with her feelings over her boyfriend Peter’s death. She is miffed that he hid his alter ego from her but understands her sacrifice when Marshall Rhodes gives her the rundown. Tony and Arno slug it out and have a good laugh afterwards. Kiri learns that the Kingpin is the culprit. She preps to take him down. Marshall Rhodes has amassed his forces. He asks Wilson Fisk to surrender. He’ll do no such thing much to Rhodes’ absolute delight. [7/10]
Adjectives abound! “That was the source of his abilities…that amazing, spectacular armor…” – Rhodes discussing Peter Urich, the Spyder-Man.
Translation, please: Mobairu Yōsai = “moving fortress”
INHUMANS: ATTILAN RISING #3
“Whispers of Defiance” (20 pages) by Charles Soule, John Timms, Roberto Poggi, Frank D’Armata, VC’s Clayton Cowles
Battle royal(e)!!! Medusa and Black Bolt reconnect in the most unfriendly circumstances. His side is losing. Auran isn’t faring much better against BB’s men. Frank McGee blinds her men and disarm her with Kamala Khan as their prisoner. BB makes it out in one piece. He overpowers Gorgon and raises a dagger to Medusa’s throat. He gives her the most surprising info: his surrender. Eldrac transports McGee, Murdoch, and Karnak in the middle of the New Mars battlefield. They are overpowered. Medusa throws down the other side’s precious leader as an indicator of their defeat. [7.5/10]
Unappreciated: “Focus on survival, Murdoch, not theatrics!” “Come now, Karnak. What is life without theater?”
PLANET HULK #3
“The Storm” (20 pages) by Sam Humphries, Marc Laming, Esther Sanz, VC’s Travis Lanham
Devil reappears in the nick of time to assist his master and Doc Green against the Sea-Hulk. He goes against it full-force and emerges victorious. The good doctor informs Steve that they have veered far off their destined path. The faster way would be through the Red King’s Mud Kingdom. Steve agrees since he wants to make haste and save his partner Bucky. Another flashback shows the Captain and the Winter Soldier combatting Holocaust (or an atom-blazed Red Skull). The route is fraught with the threat of the Tribal Hulks. The trio press forward. Sure enough, they end up being ambushed. Steve is impaled with spears from all sides and defies his attackers. [8.5/10]
SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD #3 (of 4)
“A Thousand Cuts” (10 pages) by Ivan Brandon, Aaron Conley, Ryan Browne, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Mojo entices his viewers with multiple versions of Wolverine from all the realities. He is the most feral creature in existence. One particular version has found peace with himself and the universe. His life is in peril if he can’t reel in the other savages. He goes all Zen as numerous killers surround him. [5/10]
“Fistful of ‘Changas” (9 pages) by Ryan Ferrier, Logan Faerber, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Deadpool and his trusty steed Lockjaw come across Moonboy and Devil Dinosaur. When DP spots DD, he wants to master it as his new ride. The T-Rex ain’t going for that and neither is his master! The (un)necessary fisticuffs lead to understanding and new friendship. The four ride off into the sunset. [6/10]
“World War Ant” (1 page) by Ryan Ferrier, Paul Pope, Jordie Bellaire, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Scott Lang accidentally steps on Hank Pym and Eric O’Grady as they battle for the reputation of Ant-Man. Whoops!! [8/10]
WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #3 (of 5)
“Tipping the Velvet” (20 pages) by Garth Ennis, Russell Braun, Dono Sanchez Almara, Rob Steen
Karl Kauffman can’t make Clemmie Cox come his way because she is a lesbian!! She fits right in to the Amazonian (not the river) milieu. He is lower than dirt and treated like a third-world citizen. While imprisoned, he discovers two elderly blind men who were marooned there and are used for their seed. They are beyond drained. OUCH!! Clemmie is friendly with him but has no intention of freeing him. He has a grudge match against Di, the bruiser of the group and sorely loses. Shortly after, he’s stripped of his clothes (and dignity). Clemmie recognizes his Union Jack tattoo on his chest and proclaims he be executed. He wonders how she has knowledge of this and realizes her name is Clemmie Franklin-Cox. She remains coy. Karl is going to the chopping block but the head he’s going to lose isn’t the one on his shoulders :0
Title track: Tipping the Velvet is a historical novel by Sarah Waters. It is set in Victorian England and is provocative for its lesbian themes.
Time & place: 1923, by Karl’s count
Jack off! Karl’s tattoo seems to be offensive to the Amazons.
YEARS of FUTURE PAST #3
“” (20 pages) by Marguerite Bennett, Mike Norton, FCO Plascencia, VC’s Joe Caramagna
I will say that the twist of fate regarding Chrissy and Cameron is one I could not have predicted!! The secret is out: they had a Luke-and-Leia moment before realizing they are siblings @_@ Cameron even refers to it!! That’s all that really matters in this story. I won’t bother to mock or criticize incest but the Kitty is out of the bag. The two make peace with their situation. Nightcrawler’s priestly presence does little to help since the sibs worked it out on their own. Chrissie rushes into battle to save persecuted mutants after hearing Kurt’s story. She was rash since it turns out that the Freedom Force don’t need saving from a trap of their design. [7/10]
Relatively speaking… The taboo topic is breached by Cameron. “Siblings. Very Star Wars.”
Sprechen sie Deutsch? Schwesterschen = “sisters”; freunde = “friends”; jungendliche = “teens”; kinder = “children”
Tags: Agent Ward, Secret Wars Declassified