Jonathan Hickman & Esad Ribic's Secret Wars Finale
Jonathon Hickman has some of the best books out right now. With both “East of West” and “Manhattan Projects” he gives us single issues with a more fully developed stories than most writers whole runs. The big selling point of his Marvel work is that it’s essentially one long running epic. His saga started in Fantastic Four(Dark Reign) and ran through SHIELD, The Ultimates, Avengers, and crescendoed in this year’s Secret War miniseries. It’s obvious, single issues are not the only thing Hickman can do well. Like most Marvel events, Secret Wars started with a bang. It threw everything you’ve ever loved from Marvels history of events and multiverse stories at us. Where it separated itself was with a strong follow-through. He kept the pace up, while still handling the huge cast with finesse. The concept of bringing (sometimes multiple) different versions of characters into the same world could have turned hokey, but instead is spun into a Game of Thrones-esque power struggle. Today saw the long delayed final issue of the series. This delay came at the cost of a comprehensive launch for the “All-New, All-Different” Marvel initiative. There are stand-alone books that are pretty unaffected, and shine, but the deeper shared universe books are still a bit muddy. Whether this delay was caused by missed art deadlines, story problems or print issues it was worth the wait to have a cohesive book, completely drawn by a legend like Esad Ribic, no less. The final issue brings it home with a fitting ending to the long-reaching tale, which I’m not gonna spoil here. The issue, as a whole, was more of a wrap up, but that’s not a bad thing. The real fireworks took place in the 8th issue, leaving this issue room to breathe and really get the point of the story across. It should come as no shock to anyone currently reading comics that a new Marvel universe is created from the fallout of this story. It will be really interesting to see what develops from the new “behind-the-scenes” status quo. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough for some of it to spill into the, also long delayed, finale to he and Dustin Weaver’s SHIELD book this year.