Secret Wars #6 (2015) Retro Review

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina, Chris Eliopoulos, and Alex Ross

Price: $3.99

Release Date: October 7th, 2015

When readers last left Doom World, fans saw a creation story, conflict, questioning amongst Valeria and the Future Foundation, and approximations as to where several of the residing life raft heroes (or should I say villains) were scattered. God-Doom is pissed and wants to curb this uprising. However, he can’t find the scattered heroes from the original universe. So, will God-Doom locate our heroes? And, how will Reed, T’Challa, and the others from the life rafts find a means to restore their universe and defeat God-Doom? Let’s dive into the issue and take a look!

Jonathan Hickman utilizes this issue to set the stage for God-Doom’s unraveling. And, like any lie, this unraveling eventually starts to come apart over time. In God-Doom’s case, it appears that his yarn about this world, how it was created, who he really was before, and his relationship to these new combatants is starting to wear thin on Valeria and the Future Foundation. Hickman’s style of storytelling leaves breadcrumbs for readers to pick up possible solutions to his stories along the way and Valeria very well may be one of those crumbs. Sometimes, Hickman’s suggestions are straightforward and smack fans directly in the face. Other times, Hickman swerves and gets to the same conclusion but with a different plan in mind. This is precisely one of his best qualities of writing and this issue shoes that first hand.

Currently, readers are under the suspicion that Valeria realizes something is off and will uncover the truth causing a ripple that will cascade to there demise and eventually God-Doom’s as well. However, as comic enthusiasts continue to examine the issue, they discover that Val gets tremendously close to the truth but merely won’t open the door. Nevertheless, her “spiders” are no match for “our spiders” sending Miles and Peter on a mission that finds them face to face with Molecule Man… the source of God-Doom’s power.

This is one of the pivotal moments of the issue, and possibly the series. Sure, it may appear ridiculous on the outside but the Molecule Man has continually said he’s “starving” since he was first reintroduced to the anecdote. Nonetheless, the first person to satiate his hunger is Miles… with a hamburger. (keep this moment in the back of your mind for later) Readers, Hickman concentrates on the small details and renders them significant to the overarching story. This will ultimately amount to something considerably crucial later within the story. Furthermore, the implication of Valeria choosing to not venture ahead with Peter and Miles will also circle back to be a massive aspect of the narrative as the story begins to come to a finish.

The second focal point of the issue was the schemes beginning to divulge from the surviving life raft combatants. Both Reed’s are observed working together to demise a solution, which is reminiscent of the Council of Reed’s from Hickman’s FANTASTIC FOUR run. Readers, this plot thread will also be huge later in the story. Hickman understands the multiversal harmony between Reed and Victor. It’s literally transversed space, time, and reality. These two are forever intertwined and Hickman continues to hammer home the dynamic relationship these two characters have, even ones from other multiverses. Hickman may be pushing the agenda that these two are THEE biggest rivalry in all of comics and that seed was sowed within his FANTASTIC FOUR run and further cultivated throughout this universal shaping event. So, tuck this one away for an issue or two from now and be prepared for the Reed’s plans to come to fruition soon enough.

That said, the biggest reveal of the comic came with T’Challa and Namor. This reviewer won’t disclose that unbelievable detail in the review, but Doctor Strange left behind something that “may” be able to contend with God-Doom. And fans, T’Challa has it in his grasp. First-time readers will flip when they see this plot thread play out within the next couple of issues. Lastly, Thanos makes a special guest appearance as the issue concludes bringing the ”walls down” on God-Doom’s world. Readers need to navigate through this issue and truly be in aw of the creativity they’re experiencing throughout this issue. Without spoiling too much, fans need to read this one!

Taking a look at the issue more critically, readers will recognize that it is a bit more wordy than normal, isn’t as fast-paced as usual, and had very little action throughout the issue. Due to the prior statements, many fans would classify this narrative as a bit stale or boring. However, there are numerous paths to attract the reader. This issue was easy to follow, extremely creative, intuitive, and leaves this critic believing the stakes are extremely high. Furthermore, the clever nature that Hickman inaugurates small nuggets that will become vital down the line is an art form all to itself. For example, the story opens with no one knowing where God-Doom’s power came from. Then, readers find out exactly where his power came from when Victor talks to Owen about Doctor Strange’s death in the last issue. Now, Valeria, the Future Foundation, Peter, Miles, and probably both Reed’s have an idea. The secret is growing.

Fans, the cat is out of the bag and Doom World is coming down. Hickman has gradually unveiled how that operation will happen through straightforward, sharp, intriguing, and familiar storytelling. The action and suspense are coming. However, a good story has to take the time to acquaint readers with all aspects and angles while fully developing each plot thread. Hickman is a rock star when it comes to this very idea and won’t leave out a single detail or fudge the ending to make it fit. This tale was mainly an information issue to set up the final three installments. There is no doubt in this reviewer’s mind about the action and pace will pick up.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you love epic events that feel important, this series is for you. There was certainly nothing more important happening in comics while SECRET WARS was happening. If you’re interested in so many of the main players from Thanos, to Black Swan, as well as the Illuminati, this issue is for you. Hickman continues this smart and intriguing tale that will keep fans on the edge of their seats and passionate for what’s to come. Pick this issue up as well as the trade! Marvel Comic fans will not be disappointed.

9.1/10

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