Current Reviews


Secret War #3

Posted: Friday, October 15, 2004
By: Dominic Davies

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Gabriele Dell'Otto

Publisher: Marvel

Soon after Luke Cage was attacked, both Captain America and Daredevil suffer similar assaults by 'tech' powered assailants. With Peter having flashbacks of a war he doesn't remember fighting in, itís clear that Fury is trying to hide something. What happened during this secret war? And why are more and more 'tech' super criminals coming out of the woodwork now?

Brian Bendis with Secret War has crafted a fine mystery based around a secret mission that nobody remembers. Just in case you haven't been reading this fantastic book, Iíll summarize whatís been happening: Nick Fury and SHIELD discover that the Tinkerer (the genius behind all the 'tech' villains weapons and gear) is being funded by a source in Latveria. Behind Washington's back he creates a secret team of Earthís most colorful heroes (Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America, Wolverine, Black Widow, Luke Cage and a newcomer called Daisy Johnson) to help him overthrow the Latverian government. At the moment, itís set a year after the mission and it seems that none of the heroes actually remember anything about it (obviously Fury's doing). Now, with Luke Cage hospitalized, the questions start coming. What exactly did they do in Latveria? Were they successful in their mission? And if they were why are they all being attacked by 'tech' villains a year later?

Bendis, who has had a hand in almost every Marvel character to date, does an excellent job telling the story: from Captain America's anger, Peter's confusion and Nick Fury's guilt, it is all portrayed perfectly while spinning a intricate tale of secrets, lies and consequence. The story shows us that even heroes have failings and that one day, we all will are held responsible and judged for our actions. Did Fury make a mistake in the best of conscience? And will that mistake cost the heroes too much to bear? We are three books into the series with already so many questions and we haven't even a clue who the real villain is yet. Great storytelling! With Bendis's lackluster work with The Avengers, itís nice to see him craft a truly engaging mystery, but I wonder if this is all really just a set up for his new Avengers team we should be seeing sometime soon.

A book of this epic proportion needs an equally fantastic artist and Gabrielle Dell'Ottoís paintings are absolutely brilliant. The battle scene pictured in Peter's flashbacks have such a level of ferocity that it leaves you breathless and shocked. He captures a perfect level of detail in the characters eyes and facial expressions (particularly when Cap confronts Fury and things heat up) and this makes his Mary Jane stunningly beautiful, his Fury perfectly guilt-ridden and all the old villains new outfits simply dazzling. You can see why Bendis insisted on Gabrielle for this book and itís clear to me that it wouldn't be the same without him.

Final Word:
If youíre a fan of Bendis, Gabrielle or any of these Marvel characters you must pick up this book and the ones before. Forget Disassembled, Gwen's tarnished memory and Colossus's return. This is Marvels biggest and best release this year. Pick it up now!

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