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Secret Wars #4: Review

Jul 2015
Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic

Story Name:

All the Angels Sing, All the Devils Dance

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Wars #4 Review by (July 4, 2015)
Review: Clearly this epic event can only be judged in its entirety so I won’t waste your time and ours by trying to review something this strange. Catch me when it’s over.

Secret Wars #4 Review by (July 4, 2015)
Last issue Dr Strange said (I think) that his Eye of Agamotto zone was actually part of Marvel Earth's Wakanda. He repeats this here, but adds that Dr Doom was also able to save "some of your New York", presumably a reference to the Manhattan in Ultimate End. This city is a zone of 2 halves - 1 each supposedly from Marvel Earth and Ultimate Earth, resulting in a mix of heroes from both Universes with some duplication. But there is a problem because the Marvel contingent includes a Spider-Man (when the real 1 is here) and a Cyclops without the Phoenix Force (when the real 1 gets killed here). But I notice that Strange says "some of your New York" not "some of your New Yorks", and he's answering Ultimate Spider-Man when he says it. This suggests that the Marvel half of Manhattan is from an alternate timeline, but the Ultimate heroes are the real deal.

WARZONES tie-ins so far (part 1 - to be continued in #5):- 1602 WITCH HUNTER ANGELA #1-4 Angela and Serah hunt witchbreed (mutants) in 1602 England. But now they hunt Faustians who have made a pact with Enchantress. They meet a version of the Guardians (of the Galaxy), and a version of Rogue. Enchantress kills Serah but Angela tracks her to Faerie and kills her to become the new Faerie Queen. Then she brings Serah back to life but throws her out of Faerie for her own good. 1872 #1-4 Sheriff Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner face the hired guns of Wilson Fisk and Governor Roxxon in the Wild West, as Red Wolf tries to destroy the dam that's stealing his people's water. Rogers gets killed, but others in the town of Timely are stirred to action. Red Wolf takes over as Sheriff, Stark creates a steampunk Iron Man armour and Banner creates a bomb out of a green glowing substance. Bruce dies blowing up Roxxon's dam (but later huge green footprints are seen). Natasha Barnes kills Fisk to avenge her husband Bucky. And the Wild West Avengers are formed to lead in to the new Red Wolf series. A-FORCE #1-5 Arcadia is ruled by She-Hulk, and all its supercharacters are female (including Loki). A fight against a prehistoric shark gets them into trouble with Dr Strange and the Thors when Miss America throws it over the Shield Wall into the Badlands and gets exiled to the Wall. And then a new character Singularity appears, and portals to other zones allow more of the zone-hopping that Doom disapproves of. She-Hulk's investigations lead her into more trouble with the female members of the Thor Corps. Loki is revealed as the traitor villain behind everything, and she punches a hole in the Shield Wall to let the zombies in. Cue a huge battle, and Singularity saves the day.

AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1-5 We return to that timeline, where we find various mutant factions in a hunt - and the maguffin is Cypher and the Legacy Virus. The main conflict is between Magneto's X-Men and Apocalypse's Elite Mutant Force led by Cyclops. Apocalypse releases the virus and everybody gangs up on him. Then the virus kills Apocalypse (and Magneto and some others). But then Dr Nemesis plans to challenge Dr Doom. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1-5 In the Regency Zone the Regent Augustus Roman (from the Blaze: Legacy of Blood mini-series) takes out the Avengers and frees criminals. Spidey has to go to extreme lengths defend his wife MJ and daughter Annie against the original Venom and others. But he also needs to keep Annie's growing powers secret in this zone where superpowers are illegal. It turns out Regent is absorbing superpowers in order to challenge Dr Doom. And 8 year old Annie goes into action. then Peter, Mary Jane and Annie team up to defeat the villain. ARMOR WARS #1-5 Everybody in Technopolis has to wear armour to protect them from a disease. Spyder-Man Peter Urich gets killed for discovering who caused the disease. James Rhodes, the local Thor cop, investigates. Baron Tony Stark is in a corporate war against his brother Arno and his ally Kingpin. 1 bone of contention is the giant armour being developed by Peter's girlfriend Kiri and Lila Rhodes. But Tony turns out to be the real villain, and kills Rhodey - and he also killed Kiri's parents. So Kiri and Lila go for revenge in giant suits of armour. They win. The Thors take the Stark brothers away. Kiri becomes the new Baron, and Lila the new Thor.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Wars #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

As the Thors battle the Cabal in the wilderness, Dr Strange continues to bring the refugees from the 616-Universe (and the readers) up to speed on the new reality. As the universes were being annihilated, Doom and Strange killed the Beyonders and Doom took their powers. With his newfound omnipotence, Doom created this new, fragmented world out of bits and pieces he salvaged from all the dying worlds and now he rules as a god. Cyclops, now powered by the Phoenix Force, demands to know why, with all their power, they do not fix the problems they face. Before Strange can answer, young Thor notices that his Mjolnir is glowing—a signal that they are needed elsewhere….

In the midst of the Cabal vs. Thors battle, a boar-headed Thor prays to Dr Doom and is translated into his presence where he makes his situation report. Doom consults a huge world map where he is able to see what is happening through the messenger’s eyes. He asks Susan and Valeria for their thoughts and listens attentively but the need for action is rendered moot by the arrival of Strange and the 616 refugees at the scene of conflict. As they observe the new situation, Susan spies Reed Richards and senses something unusual about him. Doom, however, knows exactly who he is and has been searching for him. Doom teleports out to the battlefield and confronts Reed, boasting of how he saved the world; Thanos mocks him for his delusions of godhood. Doom unleashes a blast and offers them a moment to accept the new reality before they fall down and worship him—but Cyclops challenges him, melting Doom’s armor and claiming the world as his own. Doom seizes him and snaps his neck. Strange teleports the other 616 refugees away to save them from Doom’s wrath when they would naturally fail to worship him. Doom demands that Strange return them but Strange refuses, warning him that he should be afraid of Reed Richards. Doom responds by disintegrating Strange….

Esad Ribic
Esad Ribic
Ive Svorcina
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Scott Summers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

> Secret Wars : Book info and issue index

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