Secret Wars #2 | Writer: Jonathan Hickman | Artist: Esad Ribic | Colorist: Ive Svorcina | Cover: Alex Ross | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $4.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com
Enter Battleworld, a new plane of existence somehow created in the wake of the Marvel universe being destroyed. It’s a crazy dark place where the characters we know have new lives and have taken on radically different roles. A seemingly medieval symmetry encapsulates the motif and lifeblood of this realm.
Various families and houses squabble, politic, and plot to expand their dominion under the watchful eye of one supreme monarch. While there are certainly no songs of fire and ice, I got the impression that winter is coming.
Despite the comparison, Jonathan Hickman very much makes this his own by placing key components and characters in the right situations while giving a voice to the world around them. The fact that this isn’t just another multivariate scenario with different versions of characters being thrown together is refreshing because the creative process isn’t handcuffed by what’s already been established through decades of continuity.
At the heart of it, all in one Victor Von Doom who has gone from being an evil doctor to now being the lord almighty himself. Let that simmer for a moment. On the surface, he’s just an egomaniac obtaining absolute power. Still, when you peel back the layers, this is a dangerously cerebral individual with a god complex, and now his wish has come true.
One of the great things about Jonathan Hickman’s storytelling is the world-building within his pages. Introductions to new plot points feel like we’re meeting an old acquaintance of sorts. The other side of the wall known as The Shield is home to uncaged horrors such as symbiotes.
Esad Ribic is truly a visual maestro whose illustrations tell as much of the story as any word balloon. Just seeing Doom’s arsenal alone is scary and beautiful at the same time, while the head-chopping action scenes are amazing to watch unfold.
Secret Wars #2 has so much going for it as the status quo has been replaced with a new order of things. It’s only a matter of time until someone challenges Doom, but I have no earthly idea how anyone can oppose him, much less win. It’s not just the fights that will be interesting, but how the areas of Battleworld interact with each other that seemingly make this deep story full of endless possibilities.
Score: 5 out of 5