Ok, so, turns out I lied to you all a little yesterday. I said in my Jessica Jones review that we’d be seeing Skrulls in Secret War. Apparently I got Secret War mixed up with Secret Wars. Y’see? I missed the “s”.
Also Secret Invasion…
Ah well, this story is still really good! Even without the shape shifting aliens!
And, I was delighted when I was reading this and noticed that I definitely recognized the story from somewhere. But I’ll get to that later.
On to the review!
This issue exists to start this long trail of dominos in an event with some serious repercussions for the Marvel Universe.
We start with taking a look into the life of Luke and Jessica. Only dating at this point in time, they’re adorably bickering over Danny Rand’s costume. Luke threatens some teens outside their humble abode to get them to do some spy work for him and get the name of a local playground drug dealer.
They walk inside their little house and there’s a mysterious woman waiting for them. She blasts them both with a beam large enough to destroy the entire building, or at least take a massive chunk out of it.
We cut to Nick Fury who’s being debriefed on a bunch of shit when he hears that Luke Cage is in a coma.
Fury goes to check on Cage, who’s being read the daily sports news by Danny while Jessica cries at his bedside. Jessica asks him why he’s there, and we jump backwards in time.
Two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are interrogating a B-list criminal known as Killer Shrike, who was successfully apprehended by Iron Man and Thor. Turns out that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s been on the trail of a villain known as the Tinkerer, a genius inventor who’s been selling a ridiculous amount of expensive, high quality gear to a bunch of nobodies.
They get Killer Shrike to join them on a sting, but he’s quite quickly found-out by the Tinkerer and disposed of. The Tinkerer gets away, and S.H.I.E.L.D. is left with nothing but his lab and what little the gear he left behind (including what looks like a new suit for Wonder Man’s brother-we-never-talk-about, Reaper).
Luckily, Nick operation hasn’t yielded absolutely nothing, as Natasha Romanoff (aka. Black Widow) has successfully tailed the Tinkerer to Latveria, where he’s picked up by some government cars.
Nick Fury then heads over to the White House to inform the president and his guys about all he’s found out. Nick presents them with the evidence and tells them that the conclusion that has to be drawn from all this is that Latveria’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Lucia Von Bardas, is actively funding terrorists in the United States.
Now, for anyone who’s a fan of the Ultimate Alliance games, this name might ring a bell. In fact, a lot about this storyline might ring a bell, or several!
It turns out that the beginning missions for Ultimate Alliance 2 were inspired by Bendis’ Secret War event!
Pretty cool, huh?
Well I thought it was cool…
Nick Fury is sure that he’s on to something, but unfortunately the big wig government officials don’t feel the same way. I mean, they got her elected, after all. And they gave millions in aid to Latveria this year! Calling Lucia out for her clearly shady and shitty behaviour…well, that wouldn’t be very diplomatic, would it?
Basically, the prez tells Nick Fury to stuff it, and to let the Secretary of Defense (who has a “pleasant relationship” with Prime Minister Von Bardas) handle it.
Having been dismissed, Nick is confronted by one of his agents who asks him about what happened. With his thousand-yard stare, he starts mumbling about how it’s all going to happen again: they have the evidence but they’re ignoring it and people will die because of it (9/11 anyone? No really, that’s what Wikipedia says)!
We can then infer that Nick did something pretty drastic (and secret!…and more than likely highly illegal), which is why Luke and Jessica were attacked. The issue ends with Fury lamenting over what he’s done.
This issue was fucking sweet. Not only is the story totally intriguing, the dialogue is once again on-point for everyone (especially the two nameless S.H.I.E.L.D. agents harassing Killer Shrike), and the art is fucking GORGEOUS.
I know I haven’t mentioned art since the First Day of Bendis, because that’s really not what I’m looking at for these reviews, but I had to address it this time. It’s beautiful. Gabreile Dell’otto has become one of my top comic artists because of this issue. It’s spectacular.
And it’s something I’ve noticed with all of Bendis’ issues thus far (and the two comics I’ve read of his before this little project). He seems to always work with really talented artists. I have yet to read anything Bendis that is not also accompanied by some really pretty or highly stylized art. It really helps enhance the story, and I appreciate it greatly.
Nothing is worse, in my opinion, than reading a story with bad art. Doesn’t matter how good the writing is, if the art is garbage then I personally have a really hard time reading and enjoying the book. The best example of this for me is the first volume of Dejah Thoris: good story, shitty art. One of the hardest reads of my comic career (I might review it at some point, actually, now that I think of it)…
Anyway, my point is that, since comics are just as much a visual medium as it is a literary one, I absolutely love when a great story is paired with visuals that deserve it. And you certainly get that with this comic!
We’ll be having some fun with that other Jessica I talked about on the Fourth Day of Bendis. On to the 2009 run of Spider-Woman!
Before I go, I just want to say that you should really check out this event. If you can get your hands on Secret War sometime soon, be it a trade copy, or all five printed issues, or from Marvel: Unlimited, please please PLEASE check out this one. As much as I’ve enjoyed all these other issues, I understand that they’re the beginnings of long serieses, and not everyone has the time or patience to stick with it. This event, however, is only five issues long, around 20 pages per issue. You’ll be done reading it in a day, if you’re a slow reader or really busy.
I honestly can’t praise this one enough. Actually, after I post this, I’m going to go read the rest of it myself! 🙂
So, if you have ANY interest at all, please read Secret War!
Until next time.
- Gorgeous art (I know this has nothing to do with Bendis' writing, but holy damn he knows how to pick em!)
- Intense story - lots of spywork and subterfuge!
- More Jessica Jones!!! She and Luke are adorable together <3
- No Skrulls...This isn't Bendis' bad. That's my bad...