The Marvel universe is now known as Battleworld and issue #2 revealed some of the underpinnings of how it works. Tie-ins in the last two weeks fleshed things out, but issue #3 is bound to give us a lot more detail. Is it good?
Secret Wars #3 (Marvel Comics)
Well, stuff certainly happens this issue. Strange and the Thor brigade investigate the down the raft, discovering a stowaway aboard. Dr. Doom and Susan Storm talk. Then Strange opens up his own raft and we check in again with the survivors of the bad guy raft. That’s pretty much it…and boy, does it drag.
I didn’t review the last two issues of the event, though I did read them and indeed followed Hickman’s entire Avengers run. So now that I’m here with Secret Wars #3, I got to admit… I’m incredibly underwhelmed here. The first issue was a terrible start for a brand new comic event unless you have been reading everything Hickman is writing (everyone else be damned), while the second issue was a freight train of exposition and world building being smashed into you. The third issue is by far the best of the three we’ve had, but it still feels lacking.
First of all, who talks like that, Strange?! Also, thanks for the ass shot. It was very much appreciated. ::rolls eyes::
Story-wise, this issue seems to push the plot a bit further (hopefully the pace picks up soon) by introducing more of the characters from the previous universe that survived, but that’s about it. Honestly, most of the comic is exposition that has to continue to explain the new status quo and what is currently going on in this world, because otherwise there will be plotholes quickly filling up. Now considering the situation in the comic, it makes sense to spend a lot of time explaining things and dealing with a lot of exposition. The problem is… the dialogue is still pretty bad, which is sadly not surprising at this point. A lot of the time the dialogue is just so dry and pretentious it makes the comic drag so much. There’s barely any personality to it, between everyone talking in the same manner, trying to be so grandiose, and not sounding remotely realistic (Dr. Doom and Strange’s scene was particularly bad in that regard). There are certainly some brief bits of emotion and personality here, but otherwise the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired.
Unfortunately, it feels like the comic has very little else to offer. For an event comic, it’s very low on action and the stakes don’t feel all that high like in Infinity or Flashpoint. It’s mostly just talking and lots of setup, but nothing else to invest the reader in. As the ultimate end for Hickman’s Avengers run (I mean, everything was building up throughout that run into this event), it falls by the wayside since Hickman is only really concerned with the Fantastic Four characters and that is rather disappointing since there is so much left to cover that was left unexplored. Most characterization is given to the Fantastic Four characters, while everyone else really falls to the wayside or is left to the various mini-series to handle. That’s good for people who liked his run on the Fantastic Four, but for people who haven’t read it (like me) or even care that much about the Fantastic Four to begin with, it doesn’t mean as much. The writing is acceptable, with a very slow pace and the story moved and flowed reasonably, but that’s it. Not much else to really take away from the comic.
The artwork by Esad Ribic is still very much pleasant to look at. His characters are drawn pretty well and he creates a nice looking atmosphere (definitely helped with Ive Svorcina’s colors) and some striking imagery. However, the man is not very good when it comes to drawing faces. Faces rarely look good, often looking rather silly with how the character’s mouths are left wide open, how emphasized their lips are, or the direction their eyes are going in. It leads to a lot of silly and rather derpy looking faces, often cutting into scenes that feel like they should be a bit more serious and emotional.
Is It Good?
Secret Wars #3 is rather dull. It’s another exposition heavy issue, but with little plot progression and more continuing setup. There’s really not much else to chew on in the issue besides some Fantastic Four moments. Not awful, but it’s not great either.