Earth-616 and Earth-1610 have been destroyed, Doom is God and Battleworld has been created. A mesh of pieces of worlds that were picked from pieces of time, it is policed by an army of Thors (awesome! ) with a giant wall separating each unique piece of land. It has certainly been different from the original Secret Wars, that’s for sure. Marvel’s huge event continues this week in Secret Wars #3, just after Convergence ended over at DC. Are they anything alike? I sat down, read it, and put my thoughts down just for you dear reader, so read on!
Previously in Secret Wars: After the destruction of the 616 universe and the Ultimate, the world has been remade by God Doom. During the destruction event, each universe’s Reed Richards made a life raft (spaceship) to save the heroes of their world. It appeared that all were lost until one of the ships was discovered on Battleworld, and from it emerged Ultimate Reed Richards along with Thanos!
BEST DOCTOR DOOM EVER
Secret Wars has not been what I expected and that has me feeling pretty good. I imagined it would be a lot of fighting between different versions of characters from different worlds (much like Convergence), and while that may still happen, for now it’s a smart book with some great ideas. Almost too smart for its own good. There have been many concepts thrown in and possible clues, making me think that Hickman may be too smart to write event comics. He’s great at tying years worth of stories together but suffers from making the reader pay attention to every tiny detail and needing to read lots of other stories. While Secret Wars suffers from this less than Infinity, there are clearly things that have happened in his Avengers titles that play a large role here.
The discovery of the life raft has Doom and his sheriff, Dr. Strange, concerned as it could mean others finding out about the universe as it existed before Doom became God. There’s a conversation at the beginning between the two that give hints of what may have occurred before this world was created. This is unfortunately the issue at its weakest and there are things referenced that must have happened in another title. A statue of the Molecule Man is seen, for what reason I don’t know but I’ve been told it ties into New Avengers. Readers like me who haven’t been reading the Avengers books are certain to be out of the loop.
From there things pick up and a scene between God Doom and Sue Storm is the best one I’ve read with Doom ever. It shows that he’s actually a caring God but he still has that great Doom ego. When Sue thinks he’s upset because he made a mistake in his world he corrects her saying “There is no flaw in the world…it is the world I wanted.” God Doom is upset because he isn’t being the best God there ever was. It’s a nice sensitive side to Doom but still true to his character and we get to see his real face. There is more with Dr. Strange and it turns out he found the other raft three years ago and just now opens it. Some 616 heroes get off and Strange tells them about the changes and how Doom is God, leading to contender for best panel of the year. It’s a slow issue but there are enough revelations and great moments that it’s still gripping. There are still unanswered questions but Hickman has five more issues left. I’m interested to see how Doom reacts to Reed Richards appearing but do hope the pace picks up. It is an event comic after all so there should be some big things should coming up. I’ve been lukewarm on Secret Wars but this issue really turned things around.
MOST BEAUTIFUL UGLY PANEL
Esad Ribic continues to knock things out of the park and this issue is gorgeous. The panel of Doom’s unmasked face is beautiful while also being a bit disgusting and does an amazing job of conveying emotion on Doom’s face. Everything is wonderfully laid out, detail is extremely high and just a treat to look at. Coloring looks good if somewhat muted, but it works with the pencils and inks. Faces are drawn well but I have some issues with the way Ribic draws lips at times. They look odd and too big. They’re all minor problems and the book is one of the best looking comics on the rack.
BOTTOM LINE: I LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING
I wasn’t completely sold on Secret Wars but after this issue, I’m certainly coming around. The pacing may be too slow for some but there are enough wonderful moments in this issue that make it a great read. Hickman has a lot of unanswered questions that need to be addressed and it still suffers from the reader needing to have read other titles to fully understand some things. The artwork is phenomenal and has some of the best moments in a comic this year. Secret Wars is getting better and if things keep up, could be one of Marvel’s best events.