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Secret Warriors #10: Review

Nov 2009
Jonathan Hickman, Alessandro Vitti

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Warriors #10 Review by (May 9, 2018)
This is the end of the 4-part God of Fear, God of War arc. But the previous 3 issues have really been a crossover with Thunderbolts, although Phobos was prominently featured and did use his power to instil fear.

The Mystic Arcana Official Handbook to Marvel Magic gives an alternative origin for Grasscutter, which reflects actual Japanese legend. That the god Susano got it from the body of the dragon Yamata no Orochi and gave it to goddess Amaterasu. This is somewhat born out by the Thor: Blood Oath miniseries where it was 1 of the items young Thor was sent to 'borrow'. There Mikaboshi has sent his demons to steal it from its temple.
The 1st published app of the sword was in the Marvel UK comic Black Axe #2. As Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi it showed up in Daredevil: Ninja #3. And Phobos will wield it in Siege:SW, and our #20-22 where he'll die and go to Elysium.

The Godkiller sword has no mythical antecedent, it was invented for this series. #11 will reveal that Kraken gave it to Gorgon years ago, so it's the sword that Gorgon has been using in all his apps. He used it in #2-6 including cutting Slingshot's forearms off in #3. He'll continue to do so here including killing Phobos with it in #21 where it gets broken.
In #22 Gorgon takes Grasscutter as a replacement. One would assume that he has that as his sword in his following apps. The Marvel Wiki is the only place I know that follows such things. They don't name his sword in subsequent apps up to Secret Wars III. But in the rebuilt universe he is credited with having Godkiller again.

Nick Fury and Phobos carry on immediately with the next SW act in #11-16 which deals with the rise of the reawakened Leviathan from Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors.
Hercules will feature in Deadpool Team-Up #899 and X-Men:To Serve & Protect #4/4 while Ares wanders through Wolverine:Origins #44, Dark Wolverine #81 and Dark XM #3. Then Herc will do Mighty Avengers #32-34 before commencing a long run in his Incredible series with #129.
Hera will next appear in IHerc#129.
Balder, Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg will return in Thor #603 about then.
All the above will occur before Siege. Hela will be in Siege:Loki, but Hermes will have to wait until after Siege for #5 of Herc's next series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Warriors #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue works through a sequence of scenes, some of which are flashbacks to other comics.

We start 'ages ago' with a war between the old Greek gods and the even older Japanese gods. Zeus and Mikaboshi both go to an unnamed blind blacksmith to ask for special swords. He makes the perfect sword Grasscutter for Mikaboshi and the flawed sword Godkiller for Zeus. The war lasted ages during which gods died and were reborn and Godkiller was lost.

Next we have a flashback 1 year ago to the 2006 Ares mini-series where war again breaks out between the Greek and Japanese gods. Mikaboshi has kidnapped Ares' son Alex Aaron, turned him against his father and given him Grasscutter. In Ares #5 they meet in battle. Alex severely wounds Ares but then repents and switches sides, and the Greeks win.

This flashback ends 11 months ago where father and son recuperate and bond in Africa. They decide to live as humans in New York. (But in the Ares series they were already doing that, and that's where Alex was taken from.)

The next flashback is 9 months ago, Ares fighting Mole Man's monsters as part the Mighty Avengers in MAv#1. Alex looks on admiringly.

7 months ago Daisy Johnson/Quake recruits Alex into the Secret Warriors as Phobos in MAv#13.

5 weeks ago the Warriors fight in Secret Invasion alongside many other heroes including Ares. 3 days later Alex is disgusted to hear that his father has signed up for Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers.

2 weeks ago Ares meets with Nick Fury after Ares discovered in DAv#9 that Alex was a member of NF's Secret Warriors. They make a deal:- Ares will help Fury get into Avengers Tower and Nick will let Alex go with his father to be judged as suitable to be God of Fear by a panel of Gods.

1 week ago we have a flashback to our #9 where Ares fought the Warriors alongside Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) (and he left his axe embedded in the chest of Stonewall).

Yesterday's flashback is to Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors where Ares allowed Fury entry into Avengers Tower (and actively helped him escape afterwards). We see the scene where they agreed to meet today.

And now Ares has come for his son. Nick and Alex meet him. Fury gives him back his axe, but complains that Ares attacking his base wasn't part of their deal. Ares says he was just following orders, and tells Alexander to come with him. Nick tells Alex he doesn't have to go if he doesn't want to, and Alex says he doesn't (because Ares is working for the bad guy).

Ares tells his son they have more important things to do than this Earthly squabble, but Alex doesn't understand because Nick hasn't told him about the Trial of the Gods (to nick the title of a Thor issue). Ares tells him he's going to be judged worthy to be a god. And Fury suggests it's his destiny.

Next scene the realm of the gods. Phobos is to be judged by the Asgardian Balder, the Aztec Quetzalcoatl and the Olympian Hera. But 1st he is given his (Japanese) battle armour and his sword Grasscutter, which has been indelibly stained red  since it stabbed Ares.

Phobos walks into the great hall lined with other gods. We see prominently Hela and Hercules, but others recognisable include Asgardians Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg and Olympian Hermes.

Hera does most of the talking. She claims that Alexander became a god when he killed Mikaboshi (in Ares#5). (It didn't say that there. And if true it means he wasn't a god when he defeated his father earlier.) She also claims that he was the cause of the fighting (but in the Ares series the war had started before Alex was kidnapped). But when Phobos dares to name himself the God of Fear Hera caves in.

Then there's a feast. But Ares tells his son he won't be fully a god until he dies and is reborn.

Alessandro Vitti
Alessandro Vitti
Sunny Gho
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

Plus: Hera, Phobos, Quetzalcoatl, Secret Warriors.

> Secret Warriors: Book info and issue index

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