mrmazz's Secret Wars #2 - Doom Messiah review

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God's Law

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Secret Wars #2 “God Emperor Doom” Written and Designed by Jonathan Hickman Art by Esad Ribic Cover by Alex Ross

I love Elseworld, or in Marvel parlance ‘What if?’, stories. They allow for the reapportion of an understood grammar into new but at times still universal ways. It is through this twist in the vernacular that we can better understand the seemingly universal qualities of these mythic characters. After the end, writer and designer Jonthan Hickman, has unleashed his ultimate twist on the Marvel language in the creation of Latvarion, God’s Kingdom, or as the common folk call it BattleWorld.

Created by Doom himself, according to his self designed religion, Battleworld is a mishmash of Marvel Universe events or timelines transformed into their own countries. These countries are part of a worldwide feudal oligarchy wherein Doom is titular God Emperor, Doctor Strange and Valeria Richards are his right and left hands respectively, and countries are ruled by Barons, such as the Braddocks of High Avalon.

Both due to its status as an “Event” book with something like 40+ tie-ins and just the sheer scale of Hickman’s Battleworld a lot of exposition must be dumped just so there is a framework to hang whatever greater thematic/emotional point Secret Wars will try to make. Laying this foundation isn’t as laborious or mind numbing as it may sound due to the always good narrative idea of showing this brave new world via an audience surrogate; in this case a freshly minted member of the Thor Corps, the paramilitary enforcers of God Emperor Doom’s Law on Battleworld.

Now Kneel, for God is Watching
Now Kneel, for God is Watching

After being deemed worthy by a hammer, Thor is paired with what appears to be Old King Thor from God of Thunder and sent on patrol. Traveling from Bar Sinister and taking to the High Court in Castle Doom wherein Sheriff Strange and Doom settle disputes between the Barons of Battleworld. The High Court is and feudal social structure of Battleworld has clear ties both Medieval times(only the transnational Catholich Church is the ultimate State) and more popculturally current something like Game of Thrones. Old King Thor describing the manner of the Court and by extension Battleworld as “it is always this formal…yes it is. Until it is not.” “God Emperor Doom” dose a fantastic job laying out in broad strokes the geography and social structure of Battleworld by using the language of melodramatic courtly intrigue.

With the multiverse seemingly dead there is no need for artist Esad Ribic to have a pair of styles, here everyone is drawn with the same finely inked style with a light pastel color pallet. The lightness of the color pallet and character design is evocative of some neoclassical art, which sounds like something Doom would want. Without Ribic’s clear artistic unity this world could easily fall apart by the sheer pastiche it is articulating. You have on one level a medieval social structure with clear sci-fi elements, and Venom zombies. It is the Marvel U crammed into one place in time and space and somehow it all makes sense. Or at least holds the promise to make sense and tell interesting stories.

Bits At The End

I have a crazy theory, that isn’t Victor Von Doom under the Doom mask. It’s really Reed Richards. Doom hanging with Valeria makes sense but Sue Storm, not so much

I am Michael Mazzacane. You can find me on Twitter @MaZZM and at ComicWeek andNXTDayTV.

Other reviews for Secret Wars #2 - Doom Messiah

    Wait so how many Thors are there again? (Secret Wars #2 Review) 0

    I love Secret Wars alright but this is pretty much the most boring (but still significant of course) issue. Probably the Thors made it boring for me cause I'm not really a fan but, the awesome part is, they found a ship (we find out later on that it's Thanos'). While the Thors found a ship, there's a thing going on between Baron Sinister and Captain Britain. Captain Britain is exiled to The Deadlands. A place that is ran by zombies (Venom looking creatures) and Ultron drones (sounds pretty cre...

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    The Secret is Out... and It's Name is DOOM! 0

    We have entered the third chapter of Secret Wars, and with this second issue, we are getting a bit more characterization- seeing how all of these newly formed portions of Battleworld have come together (we even have a nicely made, and easy to read, map of the Battleworld and all of its regions. There isn’t anywhere near as much of the high-concept Hickman here that can often bewilder a less informed Marvel fan (one such as myself, often gets lost in the tall grass…) but a lot of rea...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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