Secret War by author Brian Michael Bendis, Illustrations Gabriele Dell’Otto
Secret War is a 5 issue series that ran between 2004 and 2005. Avengers: Secret Wars is currently slated to become a movie in 2026.
I read Secret War because it kept being referenced in other comics that I have read. Especially in the New Avengers, also written by Brian Michael Bendis (at least part of it). So I was glad to see some of the story lines from a new angle.
Actually this is one of the coolest things about reading a ton of comic books. I read mostly Marvel and the more Marvel I read the more I’m able to pick up on. There was a scene in this book that I had already read in another book but from a different character’s perspective. That was actually pretty exciting, to know what was happening and where that other character went next.
However, that’s also the problem with comic books. If you haven’t read a lot of them you’re far more likely to get lost. Books like Secret War tie into a lot of other lines and rely on you being at least familiar with a lot of them before picking it up.
So, for existing Marvel fans I think Secret War will be a rewarding read. For those who are newer to the fandom, you might want to start smaller.
For fans of art, this book is amazing. The art is absolutely stunning.
That should be reason enough alone to check it out. But, let’s briefly talk about Wolverine. There is a scene in this book in which he is a drunken asshole to everyone else on a flight. What the heck is that about? One, I thought it was cannon that Wolverine’s rejeneration abilities made it impossible for him to actually get drunk despite his affinity for beer. Two, Wolverine’s just not usually a total asshole. He’s more of the stoic brood in a corner type. Not the make a scene and hit on all the ladies on a plane type.
I’ve seen this before with Bendis. He sometimes misses the mark pretty far with characters that he doesn’t write very often. I’m starting to really dislike that about his books. Makes me feel like he doesn’t enjoy reading comics, just writing his own.
Now, the plot of Secret War is exremely convoluted and complicated but can be boiled down to “Nick Fury is up to sketchy shit.” Seriously, comic book Nick Fury is nothing like MCU Nick Fury. Fury in the comics is as bad as Iron Man in the comics. They both suck and the movie versions are vastly better, there I’ve said it.
So anyway, Marvel nerds, check out Secret War and never trust Fury or Stark.
3/5 superheroes 🦸♀️🦸♀️🦸♀️
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Secret War Summary
Secret War kicks off with a huge explosion that destroys a chunk of NY. Nick Fury steps in to discover the cause and reveals an organization of supervillains using advanced technology. In order to stop them he must form a team of superheroes to take down Victor von Doom.
Included in his team are Captain America, Spiderman, Wolverine, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. Yes, you must be fairly familiar with all of them in order to understand this book. They’ll be working in secret, clearly, and will not have any backup to help them if they fail.
They journey to Latveria to find Dr Doom and are quickly attacked by his Doombots. They split up to find his evil supervillain lair. Spiderman and Wolverine make it to his castle while the others find a laboratory where he is developing this evil technology.
Daredevil activates his heightened senses to catch Doom’s scent. Before they can ambush him they are captured and brought to him instead. Doom admits to the NY bombing and recites his plan to take over the world! Muahhahahah!
The supers are locked away but Daredevil escapes to send a message to SHIELD. Although they had been previously told there would be no backup Fury manages to convince the government to provide some backup.
Backup arrives, they are also ambushed by Doom’s minions. The heroes are really bad at that in Secret War. Without the backup they manage to escape, guess they didn’t need that help after all. They battle with Doom and succeed, the world is saved.
Then Fury’s intentions come to light. In the comic books, Nick Fury is a manipulative bastard. He orchestrated this whole mission for personal reasons so the superheroes furiously disband.
This causes some of the superheroes to have moral dilemmas, others return to business as usual. Nick Fury gets off without any consequences and the book ends with him accepting a new secret mission from a sketchy figure from an unknown organization. Don’t trust Fury.
This is a fairly simplified synopsis of a convoluted Secret War.
3/5 superheroes 🦸♀️🦸♀️🦸♀️