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COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Secret Wars #3 – The FACE OF GOD

 
Secret Wars 3
Secret Wars 3
Secret Wars 3

 
Overview
 

Story by: Jonathan Hickman
 
Art by: Esad Ribic
 
Colors by: Ive Svorcina
 
Cover by: Alex Ross
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


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Raves


Very accessible read; Doom’s face!; Excellent Plot twists; Explanations are clearly defined

Rants


Less action scenes; Some artistic inconsistencies; Ribic’s lips and mouths (again)


To sum it all up..

The plot thickens and Jonathan Hickman slowly and surely places his pieces so well in Secret Wars #3. A master of subplot storytelling, Hickman showcases four, no, five interconnecting stories that are superbly very intriguing to read. Similar to a very good novel and short story writer, Hickman makes sure that the ending of each […]

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Posted June 5, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Secret Wars 3

The plot thickens and Jonathan Hickman slowly and surely places his pieces so well in Secret Wars #3. A master of subplot storytelling, Hickman showcases four, no, five interconnecting stories that are superbly very intriguing to read. Similar to a very good novel and short story writer, Hickman makes sure that the ending of each chapter fits smoothly to the next story, and repeats this transition for an interesting cliffhanger teased for the next issue.

I am more engrossed on the level of sophistication Hickman presents right now in fleshing out the nature of divinity and the deconstruction of omnipotence and humanity. This is very evident in the exchanges of banters and dialogues between the “Emperor God” Doom and “Sheriff” Strange, and later, with the “Royal Consort” Susan Storm. Combining some elements of traditional and postmodern literary techniques, Hickman presents Doom as human as possible, behind the so-called “omnipotence” he possesses and the remnants of humanity he still holds on from the “old” existence. This is more illuminating with his conversation with Susan Storm. Even though the writer is an intellectual savant, he respects superhero comic readers’ love of soap opera by showing through the dialogues his love of a good romantic line or two when the story demands it. Doom strips his “godhood” to the one he really cares and loves by admitting the “flaw” he possesses. If that’s not a mushy type of dialogue you expect from the likes of Hickman, I don’t know what it is!

In typical Hickman’s fashion, unexpected forces show up and this is a momentous development to make the readers and fans glue-in for the next succeeding chapters. If future Marvel titles or post-Secret Wars era are the best indicators, this third mega-event chapter alone answers how and why the “unexpected” ones come abut and will “survive” this said event.

Actually, by just studying the beautifully Alex Ross cover art, readers should already know what these “unexpected” things occur inside this book. Knowing Ross’s style of delivering high-quality photo-realist illustrations, his take simplifies the difficulty of grasping the supposed complexities the story may bring upon. He remains consistent of making the cover art integral to the overall quality and necessity to the grand narrative and/or single story.

Esad Ribic continues to illuminate further by remaining consistent all throughout this mega-event. What totally floors me on his latest artistic endeavor is his rather shocking portrayal of Emperor God Doom’s face. Readers should be reminded that this visual treat is a historic moment in Marvel comic history, and we may not see this after that one. There are certainly individual comic issue that tackled on the “true” facial appearance of the evil genius, but never ever shown completely until this issue itself (I emphasize the “disfigured”, “hideous”, and “scarred” face, not the original Secret Wars’ “healed” façade version). This issue is a must have!

Surely, there are minor flaws here. The focus is more on building the plot, rather than having some action packed scenes. But Hickman justifies more on plot and saving the latter for future installments. Second, Ive Svorcina’s colors are both enticing and yet, inconsistent with the tone of Ribic’s desired artistic vision. The latter is a mere asterisk but the shading is sometimes inappropriate to some panels, like in the opening of another raft and the last page. And, Ribic’s perennial problem in illustrating lips and mouths is surely a favorite nitpicking for critics. I may add his drawing of Captain Marvel-Carol Danver’s Mohawk for in one page, it is prominent, but in the next one, it is not at all.

Secret Wars #3 is basically an excellent chapter to begin with. From Ross’s cover art, Hickman’s mixture of serious and touching dialogues and his brand of non-linear sequential storytelling, up to Ribic’s anatomically balanced illustrations (plus Svorcina’s light coloring techniques), this is a well executed and engaging read. To wit, EXCELSIOR!


Paul Ramos

 


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