Rating: 4/5 – It’s Finally Over, Say Hello to ‘The Prime Earth’…
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Well, it’s finally over. Arguably one of the biggest events in Marvel’s history finishes with a thirty-plus page issue that puts things back to normal, which we’ve unfortunately already seen because of the series’ long delays and the premiere of a number of “All-New” number one issues. So too, we see changes in the status quo for Marvel’s first family. I’m a bit torn on this issue. While on the one hand the art and certain scenes are jaw dropping in both the beauty of artist Esad Ribic’s pencils and the epic feel of Jonathan Hickman’s writing, on the other hand this issue feels as though it was rushed with trying to do so much to change back, or “fix”, the Marvel Universe and put Marvel’s first family in a position that I’m still not sure how I feel about.
The opening scene has Black Panther with the Infinity Gauntlet in his possession waging war against Dr. Doom. It’s a battle between the two and their god-like powers, all beautifully drawn by Ribic. Unfortunately it feels short, and so many ideas presented in earlier issues like Black Panther’s zombie army only get a few panels or pages. After this brief battle is over, the main battle begins and it’s fitting that it all hinges on the outcome of the struggle between Dr. Doom and Reed Richards. This is the best part of this issue, and maybe the best part of the entire series. Mr. Fantastic’s limbs stretch out and envelop Doom’s energy filled suit over all white panels, culminating in a full page splash that shows the divide in their personalities both figuratively and artistically.
From there, we see just how the new Marvel Universe is created and the re-creation of the Earth we know and love, now called the Prime Earth (no longer Earth-616). It’s an interesting take that pays respect to the importance of the Fantastic Four and their place within the Marvel Universe, but also feels as though they’re no longer the simple family of explorers they were originally created as. I love that this idea can be debated, and the fact that we’ve yet to see just how this new multiverse is different from the old, but the Fantastic Four are fundamentally changed because of it.
The ending of Secret Wars has me thinking about the story long after I’ve read it and that’s a good thing. There are certain panels from this issue and this series that I’ll never forget due to Ribic’s art and Jonathan Hickman’s writing and for that I’m thankful. Although I loved this series as a whole, I’m excited to now move on. Secret Wars will be a book that I plan to revisit and read in its entirety without the long delays, but I think I’ll wait a while and reflect on this ending and the Fantastic Four’s possible future before I do.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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