Four Letter Nerd

4LN Comic Review- Secret Wars #1 (2015)

Series: Secret Wars
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art Team: Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina, & Chris Eliopoulos
Publisher: Marvel

Summary from Comixology: “The final incursion is happening! The Marvel Universe is colliding with the Ultimate Universe, and neither will survive!”

Secret Wars (2015-) #1

Overview –
Before I go any further, let me explain a little about what Secret Wars is. Marvel’s original 616-Universe and the Ultimate Universe they launched and began exploring over a decade ago are colliding into each other and heroes from both dimensions are doing what they can to either stop the event, or at least save as many people as possible before all life as both worlds know it is destroyed. If that makes no sense to you, then I’ll be straight-forward. Just stop reading this now cause it doesn’t get any easier to understand.

Now, for some unsolicited opinion… I loath comic book events. I used to read pretty much all of them, but one day it dawned on me how much of a money grab they are and I swore to myself that I would never read another event. Even being as big a fan of Marvel as I am, when Secret Wars was announced I took Marvel’s name in vain and I’ve been going on expletive-filled tirades ever since whenever the topic comes up in conversation. I hate events. I hate crossovers. I hate getting invested in a series and then having to read 18 other f—ing books to know what the hell is going on. But if you don’t read the event then whatever series you are reading will probably have some sort of crossover arcs that relate directly to that event and then you’ll be confused at what’s going on in these series you’ve been reading since the first issue. I get that comics are a luxury, and cartoon books are a dumb thing to complain about, it’s still not fair. My fellow 4LN writer Bill Clark begged me to read Secret Wars and after much resisting I finally agreed to read it. He sent me his digital copy code and I punched it in and read Secret Wars at like midnight. “Well… dammit.” I said to myself, after finished the issue, “I owe this book an apology.”

click for super-sized previews of Secret Wars (2015-) #1

Highs –
The creative team on this is absolutely fantastic. Jonathan Hickman is a writer that I very much respect. East of West is one of my favorite Image books right now, and his S.H.I.E.L.D. mini-series is drastically underrated in my opinion. The work that he’s been doing on Avengers and New Avengers has led us to this point and he does not fail to deliver on his promises. The story is ominous at first. Then it gets chaotic, and begins moving really fast. The ending… I was not prepared for the ending. It hurt me. I won’t say anymore for fear of spoiling if for you.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Esad Ribic is the best artist working in comics right now. His style is like, realism with some slight embellishments for the sake of keeping things from being *too* serious. He’s flanked here by a fantastic artwork team, who help him immensely in putting out one of the best looking comics I’ve seen lately.

click for super-sized previews of Secret Wars (2015-) #1

Lows –
Did I mention that I hate events? I did? Are you sure? Well, just on more time for good measure… I hate events. I won’t go into any more details because I already did that two paragraphs prior. So let me lament a couple of other problems I have.

First off, this is a $5 book. There are going to be 8 issues. They want us to pay $40 for 8 issues of a comic. That’s absurd.

Secondly, if you haven’t read any of Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers series’ then you won’t understand *why* this is happening (the case can also be made that this even goes all the way back to Hickman’s run on FF). You only get to know *that* it’s happening. That’s irritaing. “Hey, here’s this event that’s so massive the comic book universes we’ve created will never be the same again. Only, you have to have read these 2 books for any of it to make any f—ing sense to you.” That attitude infuriates me. Luckily for me, after I quit reading Avengers after the 3rd volume trade, Bill kept me informed on what was going on so I understand  little. Also, I was reading Fantastic Four and they feature prominently in this issue so that helped as well. Some people won’t be so lucky.

click for super-sized previews of Secret Wars (2015-) #1

The Final Say –
I was wrong to write off Secret Wars. I’m sorry I did that, but I’m glad Bill pushed me to let down my guard and read it.I looked the clerk at my comic shop in his eyes and begrudgingly said, “I need to add Secret Wars to my pull list.” He was very polite and never brought up the cruel things I previously said to him about it. To be truthful, I can’t recommend this series to someone who is new to, or interested in starting to read comics. You’ll be lost. In fact, I would not recommend current Marvel or DC books to anyone who’s just now wanting to start reading comics. They’re both making it very difficult for new readers to jump on anywhere right now. I’d recommend you start with an Image title (I’d suggest Chrononauts or Bitch Planet), or one of the many new Valiant titles that recently launched within the last few months (I personally recommend Ninjak). For veteran readers however… Secret Wars #1 is very, very good, and I genuinely am very excited to see where the story goes. I’m giving Secret Wars 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. It deserves a high rating, and I’m big enough to admit when I was wrong. Hell, in this case, I’m even glad I was wrong.


Music Paring –
When reading Secret Wars, you want something epic. Something with multiple layers and eclectic sounds. It’s a very big story with a wide range of emotions and you want to listen to something that can match up with that well. I recommend Between The Buried And Me’s “The Great Misdirect”. Specifically, listen to “Swim To The Moon.” I think you’ll find it complements Secret Wars #1 very well.

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Stephen Andrew

Stephen has spent most of his life reading comics, watching horror movies, listening to death metal music, and speaking in the third person. His favorite comic book character is The Punisher, and he believes that the Punisher: War Zone movie is criminally underrated. His favorite film of all-time is National Lampoon's Vacation, and his favorite album is Pantera's "The Great Southern Trendkill".

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