Comics – Secret War HC

22 11 2006

Secret War HC

Originally uploaded by swftoys.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’. I was reminded of this saying when I put down Secret War after finishing its last page. My search for story-lines connected to the events leading to Civil War has put this comic on my radar. When I finally located the hardcover version in a local bookstore, I was hesitant to pick it up because I thought the cover art looked rather lame.

Although it was beautifully painted by Gabrielle Dell’Otto, Wolverine, who is right snacked in the center of the cover, looked awful in that pose. He is depicted too flatly and looked like going through the moves of a line dance. I guess I reasoned that a rendition of Wolverine that ugly cannot amount to a good story within the comic’s pages. It did not help that the plot summary at the back wasn’t outstanding. Well, that reasoning was wrong.

Back home, I came across several good reviews of Secret War. These brownie points from other readers helped me decide to pick it up the next day. And I was captivated from the first page! I love the art! It reminded me that I was back in the good hands of a team similar to Kingdom Come.

The art of Michael Bendis and Gabrielle Dell’Otto has also made me a new fan of Daredevil. He is my favourite character in Secret War. Prior to Secret War, Daredevil was just a blind guy who knows martial arts. In Secret War, DD is rendered so beautifully – in and out of the red costume.

As Matt Murdock, he looked really cool with that brooding yet calm poise. The facial expressions and dimensions really worked for me. As Daredevil, he looked really menacing. With the rain depicted in certain scenes, I could almost hear the squeaking of his rubber suit when he moves a muscle. The fantastic art simply draws the reader into the story.

I did a check on DD after finished reading Secret War to understand more of this crime fighter. It turned out that he was someone wrecked with pain from lost love. He seemed to be struggling to hold together the pieces of his emotions. This dark looming background adds to my new found curiousity of Daredevil! I should be picking up a Daredevil TPB this weekend…

Back to Secret War, the story is a pretty interesting read. It strings together tech villains who had been around for decades. It explores the question most take for granted – ‘How did lowlifes get hold of hi-tech equipment in the first place?’. Frequently, readers just accepted without questioning how villains get hold of customised equipment bordering on robotics, weaponry and aeronautics – all hi-tech. “Maybe someone funded these toys for a purpose…”, ventured the Secret War story.

Spiderman was rather hilarious in the story due to his talkative nature! It’s a good use of Peter Parker’s neurotic personality to inject humour amidst a dark plot. His motormouth has even driven his enemies nuts!

Wolverine was at his feral best here. And he got to stab someone with both claws. At that moment, I wondered how the victim could survive the brutal attack. If the victim did survive, it would do Wolverine’s wrath injustice. If the victim died, er… we would loose someone. With high of the attack came the low of knowing the Deus Ex Machina thingy was employed again! Thankfully the art and the positive notes of the story did Secret War justice.

As I was reading Secret War, I cannot help but find SHIELD’s agent, Daisy Johnson, looking a lot like Angelina Jolie. It was in the after notes that I read about the creative team’s desire to depict Johnson as Jolie.

This Secret War TPB also includes the files of several heroes Nick Fury had considered to bring aboard for his secret operation. It’s a good read for me who is unfamiliar with characters such as the Sentry, Purple Man and few others. Incidentally, my further reading into the background of the Purple Man has led me to Marvel’s MAX comic – Alias. Another TPB to pick up this week!




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