Final four!! More and more, the various tie-ins have shown all that they can. SECRET WARS #6 sates the appetite after a seven-week hiatus. Doom is loosening his iron grip on the various baronies. Beyond careless!
SECRET WARS #6 (of 9)
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OLD MAN LOGAN #5
“” (26 pages) Brian Michael Bendis, Andrea Sorrentino, Marcelo Maiolo, VC’s Cory Petit
Logan tries to get his bearings straight. He has landed in NYC in our reality. He is plagued with doubt and attributes it to his advanced age. Perhaps he is senile. The interactions he’s had in the previous four issues replay in his mind. He blames it all on an Ultron head. He has future glimpses of the greatest heroes in the MU. He calmly descends to the streets. Emma Frost and the time-displaced younger Jean Grey greet him. There’s too much clutter in his head to sort through. He hugs Emma. There is a bizarre reunion of sorts with the All-New and Uncanny X-Men. There is mistrust among them especially since he hails from an alternate future where he has slayed them. Logan wants to ensure that he hasn’t completely lost it. To soften the blow, he is introduced to Jimmy Hudson, the son of another Wolverine from another time. Emma assures him that his name and legacy live on and that there is light in his dark days. Doom no longer has a stronghold but the X-Men show him a nexus point where two realities have merged. Emma emphasizes Logan as the epicenter for the battle to take down the metallic monarch. A wall of white will wipe the slate clean. Logan awakens in an alley and prevents a mugging. He uses his sense of smell to determine his surroundings. He is now definitely in the 616 universe. Time to acclimatize!!
The best he is at what he does and what he does surpasses all the others: “Or maybe only a bastard can beat a bigger bastard. And you’re just the bastard we need when we need a bastard the most.” – Emma to Logan
Bendis gives the readers an extra six pages to terminate his treatise on the time-tossed tiny terror. Emma is an excellent therapist per their private convo. The claws are now under Jeff Lemire’s control. Andrea Sorrentino delivers another multi-faceted sequence of panels and spreads. Faces are the main focus in this tale. The fact that a hard-ass can shed a tear whilst thinking of the most important people in his lengthy lifespan humanizes him. I’m curious about Jimmy Hudson’s future appearances. The absence of light (and reality) might seem an easy throwaway but it signifies the tampering of reality. You can’t have a Wolverine story without the “SNIKT” sound-off! [8/10]
SPIDER-ISLAND #5 (of 5)
“The Grand Finale” (15 pages) Christos Gage, Paco Diaz, Frank D’Armata, VC’s Travis Lanham
Agent Venom realizes the only way to vanquish the Spider-Queen is to have his symbiote possess her. There is some reluctance but Flash pleads with his parasitic partner. The gambit pays off. The alien entity has her crashing down to the streets. She’s still wiggling when Stegron arrives with his new pets. Death by dinosaurs. Flash is seriously injured. Nothing can be done. Without the symbiote, he passes away. Before that, he professes his love to Betty Brant and apologizes for all the subterfuge. He also asks forgiveness from Peter for making his high school life hell. Flash idolized Peter as well as Spider-Man. Dino-Thor arrives and appoints Peter as the new baron. Spider-Island will lose its name. Peter suggests Manhattan but Dino says the name is taken. He suggests ‘Thompsonville’ but Betty scoffs at that and points out that Flash would hate it.
An appropriate ending to a shortened story. The Spider-Queen was a tough egg to crack but she rightly bit the dust. There is now unity among the diversity. The Queen really felt fear as the symbiote sacrificed himself. Dino-Thor: the newest character find of 2015? Tough call. [7/10]
“The Long Row!” (6 pages) Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema, Andrew Crossley, VC’s Travis Lanham
Mayday Parker a.k.a. Spider-Woman is very much her father’s daughter – amazing, sensational, spectacular, ultimate. She still stands and is unaffected by Enthralla’s thrall. She asks Darkdevil to let himself be taken by the sinister spellbinder. The effort is too much. DD is so consumed by darkness that the witch is overwhelmed. Red Queen tries to make a hasty retreat when she’s flattened by Uncle Ben in a Spidey costume. He remarks that she relies on her friends a little too eagerly. She retorts by stating she is not a loner like her father. After the skirmish, she comes to peace with Peter’s passing. She suits up with new webshooters and a shinier costume. She will make her father proud.
The brief return of the MC2 validates its existence and acknowledges the fans’ desire to relive those glory days. The inclusion of the guest stars affirms May’s support network. No one should ever deal with any crisis solo. The Red Queen resembles Evangeline Lilly. May has a more mature and confident look. Uncle Ben’s suit is an interesting combo in terms of colour and design. [7/10]
1602: WITCH HUNTER ANGELA #4
“In Which a Witch Will Beget a Very Excellent Piece of Villainy” (20 pages) Marguerite Bennett, Stephanie Hans; in addition to Kieron Gillen, Kody Chamberlain, Lee Loughridge; VC’s Clayton Cowles
The weird, the odd, the fantastical mesh in this concluding chapter. Serah pulled off the trick of the century!! She has resurrected herself! Angela could not be happier but she wants to restore her love to corporeal form. There is one pesky thing still in the way: the deal she made with the Enchantress. The terrible temptress tries to trick Angela into an illusory Edenic existence with Serah. Angela fights back and upholds her end of the bargain. She embraces the darkness and does not care if others persecute her. Upon acceptance, she impales the Enchantress thus snuffing her out. Angela has transformed into the Dealmaker, a Faustian Queen. She gives a body to the ethereal Serah. The prophecy is fulfilled. Angela must abide by her new station in life. It is unsafe for her lovebug. Serah confronts Kit Marlowe. She wants to know how he cheated death. He confirms that he made a deal with the Enchantress. He is now immortal. That doesn’t stop Serah from imprisoning him within the Iron Man. He can live out his days slowly bleeding. She then pays a visit to William Shakespeare. He is in the process of writing A Dream of Midsummer Eve and cannot be bothered with distractions. She brings him special ink and asks him to immortalize Angela. The last page shows the Gardiner’s Men on stage enacting a scene.
The power of the pen: “Belief is a spell. Stories are spells.” – Serah to Angela
Rollercoaster of love!! Angela and Serah definitely went through the motions! It is unfortunate they could not remain together. I truly appreciated the Old English language and the inclusion of real-life authors from the seventeenth century. Stephanie Hans outdid herself by painting a haunting and heartbreaking tale of fidelity and loss. The segment with Marlowe and Shakespeare is a jab at the validity of each author’s character and work. The grainy texture reflects the period as it shifts to a more enlightened era. [8/10]
“What Are You Fighting For?” (21 pages) Kieron Gillen, Filipe Andrade, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Clayton Cowles as well as double-page spreads by Pepe Larraz & Ian Herring; Gary Choo; Bill Sienkiwicz
NOTE: The conversation between Thing and Thanos in SECRET WARS #6 is expanded upon.
Thanos stands before Abigail Brand and Kang. They shoot him. He asks them to stop and to put him in a cell. The pretext is to converse with Benjamin J. Grimm who has chosen to become The Shield. The others stand watch at the wall. They are enjoying pizza as a thank you from Brand. Thanos tells Brand, Kang, Da Vinci, and Summers that his arrival is to simply depose Doom. He has unleashed the Annihilation Wave as a distraction to their forces. Thanos tells Ben that Doom has been playing him for a fool from day one. He is a threat to Doom and needs to break free of his self-imposed prison. Leonardo uses his Enlightenment Cannon on the zombies to subdue them. Lady Kate Bishop has doubts about her usefulness. Ms. America boosts her confidence and tells her to act every bit as regal as she should be. Ben appears and asks to be enlightened. Ben mentions that it is necessary to answer the biggest philosophical question. Leo isn’t willing to part with his symbiotic partner Michelangelo. Together, they make up the Vitruvian Man. However, Michel obliges Ben’s request. The two Renaissance men power up the cannon and fire it at Grimm. Ben realizes that Thanos was truthful. Michel fades to nothing and tells Leo that he embodied the truth. Ben punches Thanos in the kisser as gratitude. He grows to a colossal size, utters “It’s clobberin’ time!” and walks away to meet his oppressor. Leo rigs the cannon to self-destruct. He sprouts wings and vaporizes. Kang will carry out his mission. He eases Brand’s concerns about not failing. America opens a portal and tells Kate to follow her. Brand and Summers still stand. She assumed Kang was unsuccessful. He posits theories of alternate timelines. She finds such talk to be blasphemous. The woman softens up and takes his hand. Together, their silhouettes stand against the incoming Ultron Engines and zombies.
I’m not satisfied with the ending. I find it half-hearted and too open-ended. Abby’s humanization was too sudden. Kate and America were sorely under-utilized. The implication of a budding relationship never saw fruition. It was extremely gratifying to see Ben break away from the wall he had made for himself. I really hope Thanos pummels Doom to a pulp. [5/10]
Tags: Marvel Comics, Secret Wars Declassified