Posted by:
Chris Bushley

Advanced Review: Secret Wars #1


Fans have been clamoring over all the buzz regarding Marvel's attempt at "re-creating" it's universes for months. They have been clogging up chat rooms and drooling over the chance to see some of their favorite storylines from the past come blazing back to life throughout the Secret Wars event. I personally cannot wait to see the new take on Inferno, but I digress. Even though the hype is through the roof for this event, it is the first issue that sets the tone and will drive fans to comic shops in droves. Sadly, I was hoping for more than what Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic are bringing to the table.

I LOVE an epic tale that throws caution to the wind and has you on the edge of your seat throughout the tale. That is what I was expecting here, and it just never got to that level of excitement. The entire book, from start to finish, is one giant battle that comes across as having way too many moving parts to feel like a cohesive tale. It is just a jumble of explosions and falling debris with commentary by opposing Reed Richards' that tries to form itself into some semblance of a story. Even the prolific yammering of Doom as potential bookends to the tale just couldn't hold this story together enough for me to enjoy it as an actual, singular tale that is supposed to launch Marvel into a new era.

And yes, there are some great scenes in this book! There are a number of character deaths that were unexpected and shocking, there is a "fastball special' sequence that I NEVER would have thought I would see, and there is a particular scene by a gun wielding man that I thought was absolutely brilliant. But all in all, these scattered scenes do not make up the entirety of the book, and there is too much emphasis on fitting the utter destruction of two worlds into this single issue to actually build up a great story.

Fans of the Avengers books will enjoy Hickman's eventual "payoff' that he has been building up to for the past few years, but for those fans who want to buy this book to see what is going to happen to the Marvel Universe, they will be utterly lost! Absolutely NOTHING is explained to the reader, you are thrust face-first into utter chaos, and the only options you have are to hold on or close the book and move on. Unfortunately, Hickman has made this book impossible for new readers to feel connected to at all, when the whole point of this event comic is to draw new readers into a brand new Marvel U!

If you have been enjoying Hickman's run on Avengers then you will love this book. But if you are someone looking for a cohesive, enthralling story that launches into an epic new direction for Marvel, you will be left wanting more.

As of this issue, if my hard earned dollar had a choice of going to a bunch of domes "converging" or two worlds colliding - it would be nestled safely "under the dome!"