OWEN REECE DIED FOR OUR SINS!
Cover-I’m not sure if the cover shows Doom being destroyed from within by the Beyonders power he has absorbed or is this him absorbing the power of the many Beyonders he defeated? Either way it looks pretty sick!
Art-Ribic’s art gives this issue a sweeping, dramatic and epic feel. This is maintained even as we have rungs of exposition sometimes only conveyed by talking heads. It’s a testament to Ribic’s style that it remains engaging because with lesser art/talent this would have surely failed.
Story– The story opens at the funeral of Sherriff Strange, attended by God Doom, Invisible Woman, Franklin and Valeria. The Thors are in attendance as well. After the funeral rites Doom visits Molecule Man, one of only a handful of survivors of the end of creation. After their debate he tasks Valeria and her Future Foundation with finding the outsiders.
Mystery- Who holds the world together? Doom or Molecule man? Molecule man all but states this issue that he is using Doom rather than the other way around…is Doom aware or too busy thinking he’s in charge? Or perhaps he is too distracted by his guilt over Strange’s death and the threat of his rival Reed Richards? Hmmm…
Doom– We finally see how Dr. Doom bested the Beyonders and created Battleworld, it was pretty cool and also put a different spin on the Molecule man’s origins and the nature of his creation. What was interesting about the reveal is that Doom was ready to allow Dr. Strange to save the universe…but Strange could not handle it and as a result Doom did the only thing he could. He saved creation because he had to. He’s God in this world but in private he shows a great bit of doubt, humility and vulnerability which enhances his “I’m not really a villain” stance. It also makes Stephen’s betrayal and death more poignant. Stephen Knew Victor’s nature yet chose to allow him to save creation then after years of following Doom’s commands he suddenly decides to act against Doom. In Doom’s mind all this could have been prevented if Stephen had done the right thing but instead it’s all on Strange for choosing cowardice and allowing Doom to make the rules. There is plenty of Mileage that one can get from this debate.
Our Heroes– Close to the end of the book we see our scattered Illuminati: Black Panther is with Namor, Captain Marvel has been captured by Sinister and Thor…she is hiding in plain sight. Missing is Scott Summers/Phoenix and Reed Richards, curious indeed.
The Thread-Like Oedipus was unravelled through curiosity, Doom is unravelling or has set in motion his unravelling through his fear. He kills Stephen because his friend goes against his wishes and as a result has set both his children Franklin and Valeria on a path of destroying or coming into conflict with him. Valeria is pulling the same thread as Oedipus. Her curiosity may very well drive her mad when she realizes the fallibility of her father and god. Franklin though if he possesses a fraction of his real counterpart’s power could be a major threat to Doom in the stories to come. Perhaps this foreshadows a showdown between the siblings as the more pragmatic Valeria sides with Doom and Franklin sides with Reed…
Exposition– Unlike any issue before it this one is very dialogue and exposition heavy
Filler– Apart from the finale few pages there was not a great deal of story progression this issue.
Overall this was yet again a rock solid comic book courtesy of Jonothan Hickman and Esad Ribic. If you read Hickman’s work at Marvel then you will enjoy this even more than the average fan. Secret Wars is a deeply complex tale with philosophical questions about self determinism, faith and life at its core. This may well be Marvel’s best event since Civil War! We give Secret Wars #5 4/5 stars