Tag Archives: jonathan hickman

The Final Battle Begins in Secret Wars #8!

It’s the story that has the world talking. The biggest Marvel event of all time. And it’s rocketing toward it’s cataclysmic conclusion. Marvel is pleased to present Alex Ross’ stunning cover to Secret Wars #8 – the epic, penultimate issue of the blockbuster event! Creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic march toward the end of their grand saga as the final battle against God Doom rages on! Battleworld teeters on the brink. The Shield has fallen. Armies march on Doomstadt. As Battleworld gives way to a new Marvel Universe…no one will come out the other side unscathed, if they come out at all. Who lives? Who dies? Find out when the penultimate chapter comes to comic shops!

SECRET WARS #8 (AUG150653)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
FOC – 11/09/15, On-Sale – 12/09/15


NYCC 2015: IDW Announces Transformers: All Hail Optimus

Coming in February, Transformers #50 will see Optimus Prime will declare Earth to be a part of Cybertron’s Council of Worlds—and the Decepticons and the people of Earth won’t take it lying down! The story starts here, but the repercussions will last forever. Transformers fan-favorites John Barber and Andrew Griffith continue their acclaimed run, with celebratory covers by Jonathan HickmanMike ChoiAndrew GriffithCasey W. Coller and a retailer incentive cover by Alex Milne.

Transformers All Hail Optimus

Secret Wars #9, the Event Just Got Bigger

It’s the story that has the whole world on the edge of its seat. The biggest Marvel event of all time. The story that destroyed the Marvel Universe. And if you thought it couldn’t get bigger – you thought wrong. Marvel has announced the expansion of the much delayed blockbuster Secret Wars event with Secret Wars #9 – coming to comic shops later this year!

Chartbusting creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic will extend their stay on Battleworld for one more epic issue. Allowing their cataclysmic story to wrap up as intended, this additional issue will bring Secret Wars to its explosive conclusion. Paving the way for the future, be there for the genesis of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe.

Like the original Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, some of those puzzle pieces will hit the Marvel Universe before the event concludes. But if you want to see how they all fit together, you don’t want to miss these last few issues.

Battleworld teeters on the brink. What will become of this strange patchwork planet? Who lives? Who dies? One thing is for certain – nobody will come back from Battleworld the same after SECRET WARS #9 this December!

Cover by ALEX ROSS
On Sale in December!


Review: Secret Wars #5

Secret Wars #5 CoverOwen Reece died for our sins.

The first issue of the second half of Marvel’s world changing event and it’s…. a recap issue? Yeah, Secret Wars #5 pretty much goes over a lot of the information we already know, making it a good starting point for folks who don’t want to read the first four issues.

The issue isn’t a complete recap (though most of it is), it does give us more information about Doom, Molecule Man, and Dr. Strange’s battle with the Beyonders that got us to the point we’re at. We also get to see a little bit of a crack in Doom’s God-like control, he shows a bit of doubt through it, and also some perspective as to why he stepped in. There’s a feeling like the world’s weight is on his shoulders, and he’s feeling it.

Writer Jonathan Hickman has basically given us a recap issue, with a bit of new perspective, which is really interesting.

Artist Esad Ribic continues his beautiful art. I’ve always loved Ribic’s work, no matter the quality of the story itself, it’s art you can stare at for ours. Easily one of the top artists out there, and it’s fantastic Marvel is going with top notch talent like his for the main story.

This issue is a nice catch-up for those late to the story, with some new details for those who have been keeping up too. It’s a read because of that. Still, this is Marvel’s strongest event in a long time, and it’ll be interesting to see how they wrap it up with just three issues to go.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Read

Review: Secret Wars #4

Secret Wars 4The fourth installment of Secret Wars core story begins with a narrative by Sheriff Strange, informing the reader as well as the salvaged heroes and villains about the metaphysical nature of Battleworld. Sheriff Strange hints that Battleworld’s existence was born from uncertainty and as such it is a place of challenge and constant contest as “survival is its first and highest purpose” This identification of Battleworld had me wondering if the reality could have taken on other metaphysical properties if someone else had taken the power that Doom has usurped.  Doom has always taken measure of himself by challenging insurmountable odds, as well as cosmic magnitudes of power.  It is definitely telling that Battleworld appears to operate under that same ethos as well.

Upon further reflection, Battleworld follows in a long line of idyllic artificial realities/constructs gone awry. While reading issue four I couldn’t help but be reminded of 2005’s House of M, 2011’s Age of X, and in a sense Scott Summer’s Utopia. All established to solve some pressing conflict/circumstance.  All of these temporary solutions were fragile and suffered an early demise.  What Battleworld shares intimately with Age of X is that both of these realities reflect or project the inherent flaws of their respective creators. (David Haller aka Legion in the latter case) Perhaps this will be the key to Doom’s defeat.

In a previous review I pondered at the upper limits of Doom’s newfound Godhood. His apparent boredom and hesitation continues in this issue until he witnesses the arrival of his long-time nemesis Reed Richards. Doom’s disinterest melts away at this point and he joins the fray with a very spectacular entrance. Questions regarding Doom’s abilities are answered as he takes on a phoenix imbued Scott Summers and seemingly kills him. (but as we know with a Phoenix this is usually a Sisyphean task)  At this critical juncture Sheriff Strange makes a decisive play that answers any questions regarding his allegiance, but this has a fatal consequence for him.

I really loved this issue, call it morbid fascination, but for some reason I really enjoy watching yet another idyllic construct unravel, and I just find the inner psychology of Doom so fascinating. With each progressive issue he comes off as more rattled and insecure. We do not see him this way often. With the literal weight of the world on his shoulders and for all his power it is so interesting that one mortal (Reed Richards) can worry him so greatly. At this point I am not so burdened by the impending cosmic reset. When you think about it, paradigmatic shifts in the landscape are a staple Marvel’s event cycle as each event is bookended by them. What’s laudable about Secret Wars and Battleworld is that these changes are more ambitious affecting an entire universe rather than a political status quo, or a specific population. In this sense the arrival of Battleworld and the coming universe in its aftermath are a mix of traditional and uncharted territory, I can respect that.

Esad Ribic‘s art continues to dazzle me.  The panel where Doom goes to his watch room to observe the battle of our interloping heroes/villains were just breathtaking. I have been a critic of Ribic’s art in the past but this issue made me feel as though I am seeing his art in its full splendour for the first time. I wish he always drew this way.  After a cautious and curious exploration of this event, I can say I am really hooked….impatiently awaiting the next issue.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy!

Secret Wars Too #1 Takes You Beyond The Biggest Comic Event of the Year!

Give Secret Wars a grand sendoff as some of the hottest names in the comics industry bid adieu to Battleworld later this year! Today, Marvel has revealed Secret Wars Too #1, an oversized one-shot of epic proportions coming to comic shops and digital devices in November! Secret Wars scribe Jonathan Hickman himself unites with the likes of Sergio Aragones, Ryan Browne, Al Ewing, Rob Guillory, Kate Leth, Eric Powell, Declan Shalvey, Kyle Starks, Ramon Villalobos and Brittney Williams to bring you a 40 page epilogue to the biggest comic event of the year. Prepare for a side of Secret Wars you’ve never seen before!

On Sale in November!


Review: Secret Wars #3

Secret Wars #3The third installment of Marvel‘s Secret Wars answers some questions, but also  leads to more.  I have been slowing diving into the series despite my initial misgivings.  I can say that my patience is slowly being rewarded.

The multidimensional patchwork Battleworld presents a fascinating landscape. I can’t help but see it as a parallel to our world. A deeper reading of this event will show connections to many of the geopolitical events facing our world today, where issues of sovereignty, conflict containment, illicit trans-border flows, and disease are the norm. I am pleased that Marvel has kept with its tradition of drawing some inspiration from real world occurrences, it really gives credence to the Marvel Universe being “your universe”.

Issue 3 opens with Doom being briefed by Sheriff Strange,  on the various goings on in Battleword and he appears bored with the report.  Doom seems a bit overstretched, perhaps burnt out. Although he has achieved, some manner of Godhood, establishing and perhaps maintaining the current metaphysics of Battleword appears to have drained him. There is an interesting exchange he shares with his Royal Consort Susan Storm, where he confesses his feelings  of being flawed, and lamenting at not being able to heal his scarred face.  I found this very interesting, as it shows a new take on Doom’s character. Doom usurping cosmic variations of power has been a constant trope for the character. Here we see Doom having achieved everything he has always worked towards, namely world domination and he is markedly bored and burdened by it.

Strange continues his role as our defacto tour guide to new world. He reveals to us that there are some remnants of the 616 marvel earth, in this new multidimensional hybrid. He also informs us that it has been 8 years since the final incursion.  The scene where strange stumbles upon the incursion life raft was very reminiscent of the crashed shuttle scene from the Secret Invasion event years ago. The reactions I have to this scene are a bit reminiscent of Secret War as there is small degree of suspension of belief on my part. With so many multidimensional versions of key characters it is really hard to parse who is really who.  I love good exercise in worldbuilding, and the creation of battle is an example of this par excellence. What I find so interesting about this new status quo is that Battleworld stands as both a testament to Doom’s ingenuity/power but also a significant challenge to it. After a quick browse of some of the tie ins, there are two Phoenix avatars, (at my count) multiple mutant kingdoms, at least one with dangerous mutant plague pandemic and an inhuman teleportation/smuggling network.  What happens when these self contains worlds clash will be very interesting…a definite powder keg to be dealt with. Doom has a his work cut out for him and I am very interested in seeing how the venture of Battleworld plays out.

That said, I do have some reservation. Knowing that very soon the giant reset button will be pushed on this event leading to a new status quo has led to some suspension of investment on my part.  Marvel’s storytelling cycle is clearly evolving. Secret Wars has been likened to a “soft reboot” or Marvel’s “New 52” this is a fair comparison. Marvel’s rich and clear continuity has always been (at least for me) a defining hallmark and strength of the company’s stories. Marvel is taking a risk in its dilemma to attract new readers while staying true to their long term loyalists. This has left me hoping Marvel does not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Esad Ribic‘s exotic landscapes are the perfect complement to the uniqueness of battleworld, I am reminded of his artwork depicting the world from the Uncanny X-Force series, that said my one long standing gripe with his work are his isomorphic facial depictions, they tend to look very uniform.

Final Thoughts

Doom not being able to heal his face makes me question the upper limits of his powers. Has the creation of Battleworld weakened him?

Strange occupies an interesting position between his loyalty to Doom and his salvaged allies., it will be interesting to see how this plays out  in future issues.

Story: John Hickman, Art: Esad Ribic

Story 8 Art 9 Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy!

Review: Secret Wars #2

Secret_Wars_2_CoverThe first issue of Marvel‘s Secret Wars read like a quick paced gigantic battle throwing the reader directly in the center of it all. If “shock and awe” were a comic, that would have been it. Even with an oversized issue, it’s clear after reading the second issue, the first was just the scene before the credits role for the blockbuster film. The second issue slows things down, just a bit, throwing us into this new world and giving us a better idea of what we can expect in this epic series.

Written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Esad Ribic, Secret Wars #2 is more of a tour and general explanation of what’s going on. A new Marvel world has been formed, molded by one of the most powerful villains out there. So what is Secret Wars? It’s less Convergence, and more House of M meets Flash Gordon.

A lot of the issue is set up of the various kingdoms and rulers of this new world. Now Barons rule their people with lots of hinted at gamesmanship and warring factions. I fully expect Arboria and Frigia to show up at some point the way this issue reads. While the concept is a mash-up of familiar stories of the past, hell even retreading some of what Marvel has done, it’s still beyond entertaining.

What helps is the seeds being set, including lots of dissension, and the appearance of a group that should shake things up. For folks who have been reading Hickman’s Avengers lead up, you might think you know who it is…. but it’s an awesome bait and switch.

Hickmans writing is enhanced by Ribic’s beautiful art which matches the fantasy like setting. Ribic is a talent we’ve seen come through again and again, and the art is almost worth the read and purchase.

The first issue was interesting and had me entertained, this second issue has me really interested to see what happens next. Unlike recent events from Marvel, this one is actually living up to the build up and hype so far. But, we have a long way to go before it’s over. If you missed the first issue, you can skip it, the second is where things really begin.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: East Of West #19

East Of West #19

Story By: Jonathan Hickman
Art By: Nick Dragotta
Cover By: Nick Dragotta
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: JAN150680
Published: May 13, 2015

“THE DEAD WOOD” The son of Death, BABYLON, learns the true value of life and decides the fate of the world in the mysterious place called “The Dead Wood.” The Apocalypse: Year Two continues in EAST OF WEST #19.


Preview: The Dying And The Dead #2

The Dying And The Dead #2

Story By: Jonathan Hickman
Art By: Ryan Bodenheim
Cover By: Ryan Bodenheim
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC140729
Published: April 1, 2015

“THE OLDEST GENERATION” Faced with an impossible task, the Colonel assembles the remnants of his WWII team for one final mission and one last ride into the glorious sunset.


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