Welcome back to the world of Marvel. We are now on to Secret War #4. So what happened last time? Lucia Von Bardas has been bankrolling nearly all the tech-based criminals, using money from the US government. Denied by the president, Nick Fury puts together a black ops team consisting of Daredevil, Spider-man Wolverine, Captain America, Black Widow, Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson (also known has Quake). In present day, Luke Cage was attacked at his home and put into a coma. The other heroes with ‘public’ identities are also attacked. The rest of them meet at the hospital, only to face an onslaught of super-heroes. Now back to the story…
We open with Wolverine, who is sitting outside the mansion monologuing. ‘No little X-brats. No ninjas. No Sabertooth.’ He hears something unseen to the audience, and is then hit by a barrage of fireballs, similar to Daredevil’s apartment. I have to admit, the detail is pretty awesome. ‘The smolder of my own skin is killing my eyes.’ Great, thanks for that Bendis.
We cut to the docks, where the battle is raging on, depicted by a double page spread. The shadowed figures adds to the demonic impression of the heroes. However, Mr Fear is falling from the sky for some reason. I find it unfair in this fight that most of the villains belong to Spider-man. He’s battling most of them while being his usual self. ’I don’t know if you know your goblin-themed villain history, but your outfit is in really bad taste. Cap tries to tell Fury to take it away from the city, but it’s too late. Both Fury and Rogers try to call reinforcements, including Stark and the FF. ‘Good, yes! Call everybody! Heck, call the Secret Defenders!’ I’m not sure even the Defenders are active at this moment, Parker. That’s like trying to call the Champions, or the West Coast Avengers. Daredevil is trying to make sense of the whole situation. ‘What do you people want?’ This is a good point, It’s slightly revealed later, but it still doesn’t make much sense. F’ury tries to get them to stand down. ‘So do yourselves a big favor now, and stand down!’ Yeah, because super-villains always surrender. Spider-man actually makes a good point. ‘Where’s all the annoying exposition out of you goofballs?’ I guess the whole page would get crammed, but we could do with some fearsome threats. Daredevil takes Scorcher under the dock to disable his attacks. ‘Why have you attacked us? Who’s behind this? Who’s leading this?’ The other three keep fighting, while the villains seem to be really resilient. ‘When we’re done, let’s hit a Denny’s.’ Lady Octopus gets so pissed off with Spidey that she throws him into a building. I think Lady Octopus must be the leader of this group, because she seems to have some authority. ‘Let’s take out the eyepatch–.’ DD is still interrogating Scorcher. I-I traded my whole life for this damn suit… and now I’m fucked so bad.’ I have to hand it to Dell’Otto, he looks completely terrified. The tears in his eyes and the spittle flying from his mouth makes you feel sympathy towards the poor guy. Spidey is recovering from his toss. ‘Ugh, if I had half a brain I would just sneak on out of here and so home to my wife… But there’s the whole power and responsibility thing,’ This is what I like about Spidey. He has thee choice to just sneak away, but the other three would pr0bably be killed in the process. I also feel sorry for Mary Jane. If Parker died on that dock, would she ever know?
Suddenly, in comes the trump card. ‘Hey, guess what time it is?… It begins with a C and has a lobbering in it!’ We get an absolutely beautiful entrance of the Fantastic Four. Four of the greatest heroes on Earth, bringing some hope into this battle. There are times in this comic when you remember why Marvel chose Bendis and Dell’Otto for this miniseries. Both of them have amazing detail, and makes you know that the heroes are a community. Daredevil leaps out of the water, telling them that they have to get out of New York. The sky suddenly goes red, and all the criminals start falling out of the sky and losing control over their suits. ‘Which hospital should I send the flowers to?
Her.’ We see a robotic figure appear, who is revealed to be Lucia Von Bardas. Her body is hideously mutilated, wires and technology sprouting from panels and metal. ‘Congratulations on your perseverance. and American spirit. Most of you were supposed to be dead by now. But so was I guess we’re even.’ Fury orders them to take her out, with Cap showing some disdain towards him. We get a cool shot of Cap, Daredevil and the Human Torch attacking her with their respective projectiles, proving them to be ineffective. The criminals start convulsing in pain, electricity shooting from them. ‘Take these words to hell with you Fury…You pay for all your sins. Your costumed soldiers have been gathered and beaten. Those ho survived have been purposely gathered here…for one purpose. To watch this.’ All of the villains are dragged up by the electricity, in some blue energy dome. ‘Didn’t think it was supposed to hurt like–AARRGGHH!!’ Reed explains that the tech-armor combined is creating a bomb. Invisible Woman tries to separate them, but the strain is too much. ‘The deaths of millions of American Souls will be on your head, Nick Fury.’ Thing gets blown out of the energy field. Cap takes charge. ‘Pick one! Try to break the chain! We see the whole dock get consumed by the giant energy sphere. And so our comic ends with Von Bardas saying that ‘this is a bomb, Nick Fury! And you pulled the trigger!’
This issue is great. The battle is enduring and gritting. The introduction of the FF is just how one should be, heroic and impressive. Von Bardas is absolutely terrifying, and it is obvious for the reader that something really happened in Latveria.
Now I just want to state something quickly. the files in this issue are of the villains involved. I am going to go through each and everyone of them below. If this seems boring for you, please close this review now. For those of you who want to see my honest views, read on.
Boomerang: We get a couple of glimpses of Myers in this battle, but they are only in the background. Sure he has a thin armor and his jet boots, but other than that, he’s not needed in this comic.
Constrictor; Quite a moderate role in this battle. He is seen conversing with the heroes. Fury’s notes even say that he must have been offered one hell of a deal to be in this, as he is a major player.
Crimson Dynamo: It is not know who is in this suit, he doesn’t appear again. He is seen fighting Cap and Spidey in the fight, and is the largest of the villains, making him stand out. Fury states that he will wind up leaving Dynamo to Stark.
Diamondback: Like Crimson Dynamo, this ‘Rachel’ doesn’t appear again. Fury notes that the real Diamondback will end up finding her. She’s a pretty good character, trying to keep cool while Scorcher’s pissing himself.
Goldbug: I don’t know much about Goldbug, but i think he’s mainly a Luke Cage villain. He gets a bit of screen time, non-verbally. He reminds me of old Beetle.
Grim Reaper: Why the hell is Eric Williams in this. The Reaper isn’t a mere minion. He has single-handedly defeated the Avengers on more than one occasion, He doesn’t even get that much screen time. Also, the only technology I think he has is his scythe.
Hobgoblin: Another unknown. He is too familiar to Jack O’Lantern. Like Fury says, he is pretty good to try and aggravate Spider-man, but it doesn’t really work.
King Cobra: I guess a partner of Constrictor. He seems a bit cocky, and believes he can outrun his fate.
Lady Octopus: Like I said earlier, the leader of the pack. i think I would prefer her in this than Octavius (breath deeply), his arrogance would have been overbearing.
Mentallo: An X-men villain. He doesn’t get much screen time. Where I’m from, he was in an Avengers Academy and an X-men story recently, so he’s fresh in my mind. A pretty shit telepath.
Mister Fear: One of the weirdest and most useless of them all. He seems to be floating the whole time, and his weapon is pretty ineffective. He seems to float about the whole time.
Scorpion: This came out before Gargan became Venom. A solid Spidey villain, one of the most noticeable of the bunch. He seems to handle the situation well, and is focused on killing Spider-man.
Scorcher: I still feel sorry for the guy. He ends up involved in something well out of his depth, and can’t get out. I like this guy.
Shocker: Schultz doesn’t really show up either. He is a pretty solid character, and I can see how someone like him can get roped up in this.
Spider-Slayer: A bit of an oddball. It’s emotionless, ruthless, but kind of pointless. I guess Von Bardas can count on it to follow orders.
Trapster: I like Pete to begin with. I feel sorry for him, as he is like a lost puppy that will follow anyone. Doesn’t really show up.
Wizard: Another character who doesn’t fit in. Yes, he’s a team player (Frightful Four, Intelligencia), but he’s normally the leader.