Secret Wars #6 continues the series, with Valeria Richards sacrilegious quest for knowledge. I don’t recognize this as much as I would like to but Valeria has been a real stand out character in the past few years. Her overt child nature makes it easy to over look this, but when you think about it must be a real burden to bear that kind of intellect at that age. This is addressed in this issue where in a confrontation with the two Spider Men, she declines the opportunity to discover the source of Doom’s power. This was a powerful moment because the erudite Valeria has always been bold and unfazed in her exploration, this subtle shift and her recognition of the limits of her precociousness was a really nice touch.
There was another interesting scene where the two Reeds (616 and Ultimate version) discuss the logistics of the quest to take out Doom. The two Reeds differ significantly in their respectively in the philosophies, with Ultimate reed taking a more realist approach and not being above killing. There’s a part that I loved where 616 reed ponders how ultimate Reed could be so callous to which Ultimate reed replies he doesn’t have the burden of a family to tie him down. Those who enjoy the nature vs nurture debate will have a lot mull over with this scene. One of my favourite aspects of alternate universe characters is the opportunity to explore aspects of a character that may not have arisen in their native dimensional upbringing. Ultimate seems to criticize 616 reeds’ ethical and compassionate as unfit for eh task at hand. His final jab 616 reed comes as he informs him about what Doom has done to his family. This appears to put the fire under Reed to do what is required to stop Doom.
The emerging rebellion begins to boil over as the prophet rallies the dissenting ranks. Admittedly I have not been following too much of the Secret Wars tie ins, but I suspect that there should be some connective tissue with what’s going on in these panels and some of those tie in issues. Sadly a lot of these tie ins failed to sustain my interest.
We get more insight into the mythos of Battleworld when Sue tells Franklin his bedtime story. Sue tells of a modified fantastic four origin, where the Human Torch was sacrificed to become the sun of Battleworld. And The thing was made into the massive shield that keeps the dead away from the rest of Battleworld. It is a very touching story highlighting the heroism of both characters featured, however it raises some interesting questions. If Doom acquired for himself a degree of omnipotency, how was it that the circumstances were such that he needed these heroic sacrifices in the first place? To me it seems either strategic, or somewhat vindictive. Doom’s newfound power appears to be tempered by his villiany or perhaps some flaw that defines the limit of his power. The fact that Doom, has exploited or otherwise usurped each member of Reed’s family makes this a very personal attack on Reed and should make for a significant confrontation between the two in the end. This issue made me anticipate that encounter very much.
Story: Johnathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic
Story 8 Art: 10 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy