Just when you put a good group together, your hero turns out to be an unblinking fascist who erects an impenetrable darkforce dome over the city. Isn’t it always the way? Quake and company try to make the best of it in Secret Warriors #2. Is it good?
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Javier Garrón
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Huh, when did the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo get tentacles? And who put opera-cape Mr. Hyde in charge?!
Best get the heck out of there, Warriors, in the most comedic way possible. It’s hard to fit in a small car! Moon Girl does not understand “shotgun”! And oh, that wacky Karnak!
No good deed goes unpunished, as the team blunders into a trap set by the stars of a title that itself barely made it past issue #2. I thought Secret Empire wasn’t all about hero vs. hero again?
I also didn’t expect it to include fish-out-of-water gags and faces funnily smushed up against car windows, but hey, what do I know? Matthew Rosenberg, maybe best known to Marvel readers as the writer of the super-serious (and seriously awesome) Kingpin series goes in a very different, somewhat puzzling direction for Secret Warriors, bringing humor to the most dire of situations.
The exposition is well-concealed.
Don’t get me wrong, the humor is well-done, feels genuine and highlights the differences between the characters — it’s just strange to see it in the context of running from the gestapo sent by a heinous traitor to America and all that we stand for. Secret Warriors #2 reads like a book that was pitched for a totally different purpose, but only got the green light if it was launched as part of an event, to goose the initial sales.
The dynamics between some of the characters are consistently depicted, but others are kind of blank slates. This is my first time reading Grid, and I’ll honestly admit I still don’t really know what his deal is or even what he can do. And why does Moon Girl interact so little with Devil Dinosaur? It’s too early to Simon his Garfunkel, Lunella.
And where the hell is Devil Dinosaur in this book? You’d think the giant, red scaly thing would be easier to pick out. You can’t blame Rosenberg for not focusing on him, with his dedication to illuminating the more human characters, but I’m not sure artist Javier Garrón gets the same leeway. His pencils themselves are nice overall, though his faces do tend to look a little rubbery with over-exaggerated expressions in places.
Colorist Israel Silva does a better job of splitting the difference by turning up the vibrance for the fight scenes, but muting his palette for the more somber flashbacks.
Secret Warriors #2 is the zaniest take on brutal dictatorships that you’re likely to find. The character interactions are mostly well-done and the humor itself is better than average, but it’s hard to get invested in the Mystery Machine-like antics of Inferno and the gang in the midst of Marvel’s highly political, gut-punching thriller. Who the intended audience of this book might be is much more of a secret than the Warriors themselves.