Sunday, June 14, 2015

I Reads You Review: SECRET WARS #1


WRITER: Jonathan Hickman
ARTIST: Esad Ribic
COLORS: Ive Svorcina
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER: Alex Ross
VARIANT COVERS: Simone Bianchi with Simone Peruzzi; Jim Cheung with Justin Ponsor; John Tyler Christopher; Amanda Conner with Paul Mounts; Butch Guice with Andy Troy; Esad Ribic; Skottie Young; Chip Zdarsky
56pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (July 2015)

Part 1: “End Times”

Almost four years ago, DC Comics re-launched its comic books line, an event called “The New 52.”  That's over, already.  Marvel Comics did semi-relaunches, under the banner “All-New.”  Well, now Marvel is going all in this fall when every comic book restarts with a #1 issue, in addition to the apparent debut of some new titles.

DC Comics heralded “The New 52,” with a five-issue miniseries and publishing event entitled “Flashpoint.”  Marvel's event herald is “Secret Wars.”  Yes, indeed, everything old is remade again, and Marvel's notorious 1984 twelve-issue comic book miniseries, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars get a portion of its title re-purposed.  Worlds, universes, and even characters die in the eight-issue miniseries, Secret Wars, written by Jonathan Hickman, drawn by Esad Ribic, colored by Ive Svorcina, and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos, with painted covers by Alex Ross.

Secret Wars #1 (“End Times”) opens with Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, and Molecule Man facing... “Beyond.”  The multiverse is dying, and there are only two universes left.  One is the universe of Earth-1610 (the Ultimate Universe), and the other is the universe of Earth-616 (the Marvel Universe).  One is invading the other; super-powered types will battle.  Super-powered types will die, and so will a universe... or two.

Reading Secret Wars #1 is only half as painful as reading Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1 was for me.  Secret Wars does have its moments in which I genuinely cared about the peril faced by the characters, at least some of them.  What I genuinely love about Secret Wars #1 is the beautiful art by Esad Ribic and Ive Svorcina.

I have always admired Ribic, even when he replaced my beloved Steve Rude on X-Men: Children of the Atom (way back in the 1990s).  Here, Ribic and Svorcina deliver some potent, striking images, and it is their storytelling that really makes this graphic narrative work, more so than Hickman's script.  Hickman puts a snide remark in Rocket Raccoon's mouth about those comic book from decades ago that had a one-dollar cover price.  Yeah, some did suck, but you usually got a complete story in a single issue.  Let's see current comics superstar Jonathan Hickman pull that off.


[This book includes a preview of The Uncanny Inhumans #0” by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Justin Ponsor, and VC's Clayton Cowles.]

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux; support on Patreon.

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

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