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Secret Warriors #23: Review

Dec 2010
Jonathan Hickman, Alessandro Vitti

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Secret Warriors #23 Review by (February 25, 2020)
This is a standalone issue which has "Rebirth" on the cover. But it's also an epilogue to "Night".

Bill Rosemann and Lauren Sankovitch are joint editors again.

Ursa Major was #1 on a list of Leviathan bases in the Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors 1-shot. We saw the assassination in #20 so the meeting there was in Ursa Major. Now we know that Nick Fury arranged this to reignite the Hydra/Leviathan conflict after a ceasefire.

The White team won't be in the next 3 issues. We'll see Druid and Quake again in #27, and the others will join them for the finale in #28. John Garrett will be there too.

Next issue will focus on Mikel Fury's Grey team in the start of the final arc Wheels Within Wheels.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Warriors #23 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue tells us what happened to Sebastian Druid after Nick Fury fired him from the White team of Secret Warriors.

It begins with a flashback to 6 months ago at the end of #13 where he finds Fury's note telling him to go home, which turns out to be Hawaii. But there he finds the cyborg ex-SHIELD Agent John Garrett waiting for him, who informs him he's not been fired but sent for special training. Garrett gets him to fill out an Army aptitude test, but after reviewing it just says Druid's too fat. This makes him a liability to the team because it indicates a lack of self-control which spreads into an inability to fully control his magical powers.

You can't *will* yourself a better person you have to do the work to *become* that better person. So John puts Sebastian through a gruelling fitness regime, and 2 months later he's slimmed down and more magically accomplished.

6 weeks ago they are on a mission in China. In #17-19 the HCMPC attacked a Hydra base there and left 2 crashed helicarriers which the Chinese impounded and are studying in warehouses in a remote valley. Fury doesn't want them to reverse-engineer the tech so he wants the wreckage disposed of. Druid remotely alters the corrosion rate of the materials so radically that they disintegrate to nothing in seconds. Garrett commends him for creativity.

1 month ago they are outside Leviathan's Ursa Major base (which appears to be in the Russian oblast of Amur north of China). Druid magically creates a special bullet which Garrett will use to assassinate 1 of the 3 heads of Leviathan. He says that 1 of them Fury doesn't want to get off so lightly (that'll be Val de Fontaine) and another can't be killed (we'll learn in #28 that description applies to Orion). So the target is Magadan, and the special bullet paints the Hydra symbol on a wall with his blood. Garrett is quite happy to kill Vasili Dassaiev because their enmity goes back a long way (to when they were members of the Great Wheel/Zodiac, which we will learn more about in #25-26).

Then Sebastian tries to magic them an escape route but fails under the pressure. So they have to run for it in a blizzard.

Recently they're in a troop transport plane. John won't let Sebastian take the controls despite Druid claiming to be much better than when he crashed 1 (in the Australian desert in #4). Garrett reminds him that his general performance is erratic. He did well in China but badly in Ursa Major. Well in Leviathan's other base Ursa Minor (an incident we know nothing about because that place has never featured in the stories), badly in London (which again I think is new to us). He has trouble keeping his head in sticky situations.

They get a call from Eagle (Nick Fury) to them (Last Chance) for urgent retrieval. And they land at the Hydra base Gehenna near the end of last issue to pick up Fury and what's left of the White team. They've lost Hellfire and Phobos, and Stonewall is carrying grievously injured Eden Fesi. Quake and Slingshot are OK. The team scramble aboard along with Nick who was keeping Hydra troops off their backs. They leave Gehenna in ruins.

Following on from last issue Sebastian enters the main cabin of the plane for a reunion with his surprised old team. Garrett lets Fury know that Hydra have sent a lot of faster planes after them. So Druid goes to the still-open bay door and destroys all the planes with 1 spell. (Which got reported to Baron Strucker at the end of last issue.)

Later they've all made it to Fury's secret base #26 Excalibur in Alaska (called the Hammer in the list in #1). Garrett confirms to Sebastian that Alex Aaron and JT James are dead. Eden Fesi is being kept in a medically induced coma to help him heal. Nick is talking to Daisy Johnson about her boyfriend JT. He shows her evidence that JT betrayed them to Hydra. She angrily quakes the room and tells him to leave her. Fury joins the other 2 and tells them that she's taken it too hard. Garrett apologises to Sebastian - after all his training he was ready to rejoin the White team, but the team is now disbanded.

Alessandro Vitti
Alessandro Vitti
Imaginary Friends
Paul Renaud (Cover Penciler)
Paul Renaud (Cover Inker)
Paul Renaud (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Bill Rosemann. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: John Garrett, Manifold (Eden Fesi), Quake (Daisy Johnson), Sebastian Druid, Secret Warriors, Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez), Stonewall (Jerry Sledge).

> Secret Warriors: Book info and issue index

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