Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina, Chris Eliopoulos, and Alex Ross
Release Date: January 13th, 2016
Secret Wars #9 concludes the way the event began, as a meta-commentary for something deeper, personal, emotional, and more volatile than fans ever expected. Jonathan Hickman finally wraps up this magnificent tale that has felt psychological, heavy and truly enterprising for the Marvel Universe moving forward while concluding his NEW AVENGERS and FANTASTIC FOUR narratives in the process. Readers will leave this issue with almost all of the essential questions answered, which is what every fan ultimately wants at the end of any series. Let’s dive in and see how this culminating issue wraps up!
With one simple quote, readers get to see Hickman’s true feelings towards Marvel’s First Family, as well as Reed Richards’ true meaning to the Marvel Landscape. Reed says, “My name is Reed Richards and I’m the one who fixes thing”. Fans couldn’t help but scream for excitement after this amazing statement from Mister Fantastic. Readers could feel the weight, truth, and passion behind those very words as Hickman drives the point home like never before. At the heart of this narrative, and possibly the 616 Universe, Reed, and Victor are placed at odds as they’ve always been. Nonetheless, as much as these two wage war and are at constant conflict with one another, the sheer respect for each other may very well be what holds our Marvel Universe together and helps the 616-Universe always triumph in the end. This was no doubt one of the many takeaways this reviewer had as he closed this series for good. Is there a better rivalry in all of comics? After reading this series, this reviewer thinks not!
Now, one of the massive takeaways this critic had from this issue was when Reed points out to Victor that one of his first acts as a God was to literally take Reeds family from him. Victor could have accomplished anything first, including creating a brand new family for himself. However, he chose Reed’s family. The angle Hickman takes throughout this entire series, as well as his run, is the beating heart of Victor towards Reed’s family, as well as his life overall. Hickman showcases Victor’s jealousy, resentment, pride, and arrogance throughout this event and elevates it to an entirely new level as this issue comes to a close. The icing on the cake is the ending to this stunning anecdote as Reed actually gets Victor to do the unthinkable; admit that Reed would have done a better job as God. That moment alone made this critic do a double-take. Ultimately, Hickman drives the story forward with the classic balance of power between two of the most brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe and again hammers home this unshakable bond between these two equal and opposite forces.
Fans, this critic departed from the series with relatively limited questions. Furthermore, the queries this reviewer did have were not necessarily pertinent. That said, they were more based on curiosity and would assist this analyst as Marvel Comics continued into the future. For example, are the Marvel Heroes we see at the end of the issue the same from Battleworld? Do the heroes and villains remember what Doom did? Is Franklin going to recreate all the multiverses as they once were before? Are we getting all of the old universes back like the 1610-Universe? And, If the Black Panther traveled through time using the time gem, couldn’t they have just done that from the start? Technically, as much as this critic would love explanations to these qualms, readers can’t expect Hickman to answer everyone’s questions about the future of the Marvel Landscape. So, hopefully, comic enthusiasts can award a bit of grace Hickman’s way.
SECRET WARS # 9 is an incredibly remarkable story that hits on so many levels while fully encompassing the true potential of a company-wide, universe-shattering event. Behind every word, every illustration, and each plot twist, readers can feel the weight, significance, purpose, and gusto of Hickman’s ingeniously polished masterpiece that this critic still surmises to this day as one of, if not thee, greatest events Marvel Comics has ever published. This issue packed such an emotionally charged gut-punch placing Reed and Victor at the center of the Marvel Cosmos. Furthermore, that emotional charge literally traversed time and space making Reed and Victor two of the most important characters to ever grace the page’s of a Marvel Comic. Taking delays aside, readers will leave this comic with a deeper appreciation for Jonathan Hickman as well as Reed, Sue, and the entire Fantastic Family. If you’ve been on board since the series’ inception, adore Marvel’s First Family, and love enthralling tales of fiction, this comic, and series are exclusively for you. Pick this trade up as something that can stand alone, stand the test of time, and can be casually read for fun for years to come.