He’s done it. Jonathan Hickman has channeled the impossible love child of Grant Morrison and George R. R. Martin. No joke. Hickman was able to use his god-like powers to alter the natural order of the universe to have Morrison and Martin do it, bear child, and then, harness that child’s abilities. The result: issue #2 of Secret Wars.
It’s impossible to talk about this issue without spoiling it so be warned this review contains a ton of spoilers.
This issue begins some time after the events of issue #1. How much time has passed is not clear, but what is clear is that a legion of various Thors survived the death of the multiverse. There mission is to enact justice as instructed by their god – Doom.
When we last saw Doom in issue #1 he was encountering the Beyonders alongside Molecule Man and Stephen Strange. During that encounter, the Beyonders identified themselves as God with a capital G. It seems as though God granted Doom god-like abilities, or possessed Doom, after their encounter because Doom is now completely colored white from head-to-toe. Also, the issue is titled God Emperor Doom, so ya he’s a god.
As the story continues, it becomes evident that Doom had something to do with the creation of the place that the Thors patrol, or wants the Thors to believe that he did. The biggest question after issue #1 concluded was how anything could exist after the multiverse came to an end. It appears that Doom used his god-like abilities to save pieces of the former multiverse and transport it somewhere – that somewhere revealed later on in the story.
Of interest is that one of the regions that is explored during this issue is The Kingdom of Utopolis. This region looks like a composite of metahuman caucasus. Stuck within the surface of Utopolis is the life raft that Ultimate Reed and crew used to boogie out of the incursion from last issue. Those that discovered the life raft report back to Doom of its existence, and that the raft pre-dates the existence of the place that Doom created. Concerned that the truth will be discovered, Doom’s right-hand man, Stephen Strange, instructs a group of Thors to quarantine the location of the raft.
The team that quarantines the area accidentally opens the raft, and out emerges Thanos, Black Swan, Proxima, The Maker (Ultimate Reed Richards), Terrax, Maximus, and Corvos Glaive. Before they end up killing everyone around them, they inquire as to where they are, and it is divulged that they are on Battleworld – a world created by Doom.
In addition to the Kingdom of Utopolis, we are shown an area outside the great wall called Shield – Shield separates Doom’s kingdom from the rest of Battleworld. There outside the wall are varios factions; zombie villains, Ultrons, etc. I was waiting to see Jon Snow patrolling the Shield, but (spoiler) he never showed.
This issue had a very mythical feel to it which was complemented well by Ribic’s art. As I read the issue I paid more attention to the faces drawn by Ribic, and damn, does Ribic like to draw people with their mouths open. Almost every face has the expression of a blow up doll. Don’t believe me, take a look at this page.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Ribic’s art and I think it fits perfectly, but the wide-mouth expression on every page is a bit much.
I think that Hickman did an excellent job of teasing the reader throughout this issue. The beginning of the issue felt as though it took place in the prior Marvel universe but then Hickman drops the bomb that its not when Doom is revealed as the All-Father. The pacing is handled very well and just enough information is peppered throughout this issue to get you excited about what’s to come. By far, this was a better issue than #1. I’d have to agree with some other reviewers out there that Secret Wars is shaping up to be very Games of Thrones-ish, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Consume. Review. Repeat. gives Secret Wars #2 (2015) 8.5 out of 10 “You know nothing Jon Snows.”