When the war is over, what happens to the warriors?  Your Major Spoilers review of Secret Warriors #12 awaits!

SECRET WARRIORS #12

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Ramon Bachs
Colorist: Israel Silva
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Secret Warriors: “The Secret Warriors came together to take down a Hydra-transformed Captain America and free the Inhumans from Hydra’s prison camps.  They won that fight — but at a cost.  Each of the Warriors had made mistakes.  Compromises.  They had learned the horrors of war.  With Hydra defeated, the team split up.  But fate brought them back together to save their teammate Inferno from Mister Sinister, who — with Karnak’s secret help — was capturing and torturing Inhumans in hopes of creating a new catalyst from Inhuman powers.  This battle too, had consequences: The Inhumans’ only hope of revitalizing their race through Terrigen was lost, and INferno was banished for colluding in Sinister’s schemes while trying to save his nieces, Ariela.  The war is over, for now.  What next, then, for the Warriors?”

A GAME OF RISK

This issue opens with Quake arriving at Moon Girl’s house with a cake to celebrate M.G.’s birthday, while the parents think Quake is their daughter’s babysitter.  Things quickly escalate, as the rest of team arrives one by one, each with cake to celebrate Lunella/Moon Girl’s birthday, though no one really believes that it is actually her birthday.  (Karnak brought the equivalent amount of money, as he couldn’t be bothered to buy the cake.)  Everyone sits down, at Moon Girl’s request, to play a nice board game together, only to find that the competitive nature of what is clearly Risk makes for a problem with a team this fractious.  Karnak is eliminated first, out of sheer spite, and leaves with an important bit of philosophy for the younger Warriors.  As things continue, the game becomes catharsis, with Inferno and Quake working out their relationship woes, Ms. Marvel and Quake making peace, Magik leaving without speaking to anyone and Inferno finally winning the game.  As things wrap up, Karnak reveals that he’s trying to mend fences with his son, and Moon Girl warns him not to keep her dinosaur up all night…

ALL ABOUT THE CHARACTERS

For me, my resistance to Secret Warriors was resistance to Marvel’s seeming intent to make the Inhumans replace the X-Men, whether they fit in that role or not, but this book became something different.  This issue shows how much care the creators brought to these characters and each exit moment works on the merits of this story and the greater Marvel Universe.  I really enjoy the art in these pages as well, delivering on the idea of five people having a conversation in a little New York apartment without sacrificing on storytelling or interesting visual moments.  Daisy “Quake” Johnson gets a little closure, Ms. Marvel gets to prove that she’s both a hero and a good person, Moon Girl’s genius is underlined in ways both obvious and subtle, and even Inferno, Marvel’s least necessary character, comes across well.  It reminds me of the final issues of the Shooter era, with closure that doesn’t kill everyone or render the entire premise null while setting everyone back up for later adventures.  Sometimes, stuff just ends, and that can be okay…

THE BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT WAY TO DO A LAST ISSUE

This is my favorite issue of Secret Warriors, and the idea that 20 pages of playing a board game can be revelatory for six different characters just shows how skillful this creative team is.  Secret Warriors #12 is the kind of final issue that sends you off to grab the rest of the series so you can read the whole arc over and over again, with some well-done art and, most impressively, making every team member feel real and authentic, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I don’t think that Marvel ever quite made ‘fetch’ happen with The Inhumans, but if this book is what comes out of that editorial directive, I’m fine that they tried…

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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