Thursday, January 6, 2011

Secret Warriors 23

This title has been a favorite of mine since its inception. While this book doesn’t offer many jumping on points, it has provided many satisfying twists and turns for followers. Secret Warriors has always provided an espionage themed tour through the factions of the Marvel U. Even with the end of the title only four issues away theres plenty of excitement to come.

Back in 2008, during the Secret Invasion crossover, creators Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev introduced us to the idea of Nick Fury and his ‘caterpillars’, super powered youths that have yet to be discovered or compromised by anyone else. After the aliens the Secret Warriors got their own book, with words by Jonathan Hickman and art by Stefano Caselli. Recently Alessandro Vitti subtly stepped in on the art, and he’s dishing out some exciting climatic fight sequences. So how’d we get to this point in Hickman’s secret agent, super hero story?

***there’s totally SPOILLERS below***

But it’s just a comic book, so keep reading.

After the Skrull invasion Nick Fury still had plenty of wars to fight. His team of young warriors partnered up with what’s left of the Howling Commandoes, Fury loyalists and former S.H.I.E.L.D.agents, to take on Hydra, terrorist organization extraordinaire. Cold war Soviet espionage organization Leviathan recently resurfaced, but of course Nick Fury has planned for that. Now after meeting the key members from each of these factions, it’s boiled down to a battle royal between Hydra, Leviathan, and Fury’s forces.

Recently it’s been discovered that JT (Hellfire) has sold out his fellow Secret Warriors to Baron Von Strucker of Hydra. This betrayal coupled with the climatic explosion of Hydra headquarters led to young Phobos (that’s right, the god of Fear) being stranded and forced to duel Gorgon, a Hydra leader with an equally mythic epic katana. The Secret Warriors witness their team mate get struck down by the Hydra samurai. Caught in a secondary explosion from the chaos, JT’s life rests in Fury’s hands. A man who lives by a code, Fury cannot allow a traitor to live.

After the recent twists and bummers of the recent battles, this recent issue starts off with an uplifting fresh story of a forgotten warrior. Sebastian Druid was a pudgy slacker whose powers were but a weak flicker of what his father, the late Avenger Dr. Druid, once wielded. Well way back in issue 13 Fury gave Sebastian the pink slip due to ‘being a liability.’

Of course Fury didn’t give up on one of his caterpillars. When Sebastian was dismissed he was met by John Garret, one of Fury’s Howlin’ Commandoes. Garret was sent there to whip the young Druid into a self sustaining secret agent. After some pushups and pep talks, we get see the new and improved Sebastian on some solo missions of varying success. It all leads up to the two meeting up right where we left off with the rest of the Secret Warriors.

Sebastian saves the crew and they get a clean get away. Back at HQ Fury debriefs Daisy (Quake) on the recent events with her love interest JT. Enraged, she destroys the table in front of her in a super powered fit and Fury leaves the room. Can the Secret Warriors be over just as Sebastian has returned?

At last year’s C2E2 Hickman said there was an end game planned for the Secret Warriors title. Then he estimated 32 total issues, now it’s been released that it’ll be 27 issues all together. That’s alright though if it keeps producing gems like this. This series has slowly introduced the reader to a loveable new cast of Marvel heroes, and I’d be interested in anything these characters or creators spin off into.

Jonathan Hickman’s other works out on shelves right now are also amazing. The recent S.H.I.E.L.D. series has been an interesting journey through the history of the Marvel U’s most clandestine underground society. Hickman’s also been brewing up excitement with Fantastic Four, which looks to soon be the Fantastic Three! No news on what’s next from Caselli, but we’ve seen his pencil at the throat of many Marvel crossovers. Vitti obviously has his hands full with the remainder of this series, but after seeing his work in the Brother Voodoo trade as well as this book, I can’t wait to see him pen more characters.

There you have it. That concludes the long winded rant on another favorite of mine. As cheesy as it is, I find this story stirs up inspiration in me. It has perfect timing with all those New Year’s resolutions and what have you. I was trying something different with this long winded explanation of the whole series. Hopefully there’ll be more to come. More reviews. More changes. More comics!