Thursday, May 7, 2015

NB of the Week


Secret Wars #1
Written by Jonathan Kickman
Drawn by Esad Ribic

Hickman begins the ending to his two year, massive story in world shattering fashion. Literally. In the start of his New Avengers run, we found the beginnings of the Incursions, wherein two universes began bleeding into one another with Earth as the focal point. Two outcomes were possible at that point: either one Earth was destroyed, thus destroying that realm of existence or neither Earth did anything at which point both universes collide and cease to exist. After fighting other worlds, fighting the bad guys and fighting each other, the Avengers and the whole Marvel Universe are down to one last Incursion and one last fight:
The Marvel Universe is colliding with the Ultimate Universe.
This is Secret Wars. This is the new Marvel.
After the Illuminati refused to kill another universe, Namor joined forces with those that will. Mainly villains like Terrax, Maximus the Mad and Thanos. Seeking to be the ultimate victor, they travel to the Ultimate
universe, seeking aid from their (arguably) worst villain: Reed Richards. They warn that the two worlds are dying and they just want to be on the winning side. Meanwhile over on regular Marvel, the Avengers are trying their best to save as many people as they can before everything dies. As warned, the two Earths have appeared together and all Hell breaks loose. Ultimate Marvels battling Regular Marvels as everything around begins to fade and collapse. As the Illuminati try to gather what they claim to be the best hope at rebuilding (ie the smartest and the strongest), they find themselves in way over their collective heads. The massive ship they're trying to leave on gets pulled apart, Regular Reed Richards (and others) in one half as Sue and his kids (and others) are in the other. They try to pull the two back together but it's too late. Sue's half is seemingly obliterated along with everything and everyone left on both Earths as the planets crash together. Everything turns white before we're left in the issue with nothing but blackness and a final epitaph page with the birth and death dates of both universes.
And all kinds of crazy happened. The apparent deaths of Rocket and Groot (before the worlds crashed), Scott Summers joined the Phoenix again, Doom is always behind everything. Not to mention with the world ending, Punisher goes after all the villains possible.
Ive said it before and I'll happily repeat myself: If you aren't reading a Jonathan Hickman book, you need to. Any book. The man is a plotting genius. His stories carry for lengths on end, never leaving a thread behind and everything he writes is important. It feels confusing and bit too heavy at times but dammit all if the payout hasn't been worth it every time. This is no different. We know that not everything is gone. Marvel has said that what is built from this is BattleWorld. A new Earth made up of different versions of characters from all kinds of different dimensions and timelines. Whatever comes from this will be the new, regular Marvel but those plans are pretty tight-lipped right now.
The only real negative from this issue is that if you haven't been reading the Avengers titles, it may come off as a bit confusing. If you're reading it, you likely know what the premise is and should be able to follow that much, but it's all been building and this is the full culmination of it all.
Amazing writing. Beautiful art (great to see Esad Ribic back with Hickman once more). Nothing will every be the same. Except those parts that are.

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