Hey look, me writing about books within a week of their release date again!
Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina
CHRIS FACT: Chip Zdarsky drawing all of my favorites on a variant cover is a surefire way to get me to buy your 5 dollar comic.
Secret Wars is the big 2015 Marvel summer event, and arguably its biggest crossover in sometime. It’s the end game to Jonathan Hickman’s massive Avengers run, AND IT IS BLEAK AS HELL! Marvel has been selling this event with the “EVERYTHING DIES/END!” slogan, and it’s very much the case in issue one.
If you’re looking to pick up this issue and are kind of new to Marvel/Comics, let it be known that Secret Wars is not the most accessible event. If you don’t have some passing knowledge of Hickman’s Avengers run/his body of work at Marvel, there’s a chance you’ll be lost when this issue drop. This doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as Hickman’s always been a writer that play the long game and Secret Wars #1 throws you in the middle of a war and never lets up. It’s easily the least accessible Marvel event in a while, but also one of the strongest starts for one. Hickman’s writing is solid, nailing the voices of it’s large cast perfectly, and handling the dramatics and action well. His contributions as a designer are also welcomed, even though it’s not much different from what he’s doing over on the Avengers book. But still, the constant clean designed is to be applauded.
Esad Ribic is on art duties for this incarnation of Secret Wars, and he’s a perfect fit for it. His issues on Jason Aaron’s Thor run were nothing short of perfect, and he’s off to a great start for Secret Wars as well. It’s not flawless (some character appear off model, or change in the book for no reasons), but it’s still damn fine art in the end. The action pieces are incredibly strong, especially come the final pages of this book. Ive Svorcina is back coloring Ribic, and his grainy style is perfect for Ribic’s style. Secret War continues the tradition of a Marvel event looking gorgeous with these creators attached to it.
Secret Wars is an unapologetic Johnathan Hickman book sold as a Marvel event. And it feels like an epic, given the scale and the stakes, and how cinematic Ribic’s art is. Even with the event fatigue setting in with Big 2 comics, Secret Wars feels plenty fresh thanks to the creators involved.
Gail Simone, Jan Durrsema, Dan Parsons, Wes Ozioba
This may be the most Gail Simone comic that Gail’s penned for DC. That’s not a problem mind you, as that’s what I signed up for when this book was announced. The Convergence tie ins are suppose to be a celebration of the various eras of DC, and this book genuinely feels like that.
My main complaint about the first issue aren’t to be found with issue 2. Gail script is action packed, and Jan Durrsema‘s is definitely stronger this time around. Her art is great all throughout the book, and doesn’t burn out towards the end like issue 1 did. And because of that, Dan Parsons inks and Wes Ozioba’s colors looks stronger in this issue. It’s a great looking book, filled with fun character moments and some smart twists. And the ending is pretty swell, especially if you’re a fan of the title characters.
I don’t have much else to say about this Convergence tie in, but it definitely sets out what it’s meant to do. If this is the final Gail Simone penned Barbara Gordon story for the time being, I’m more than okay with it. It’s an ending fans of Simone’s Babs will love. It’s also nice to see Dick be Nightwing again (even with Grayson as good as it is), and there’s a appearance by another Simone penned DC A-lister that just as great to see. Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle is the best type of fan service, and a fun comic well worth the $4.