Link to the Marvel page: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/57620/secret_wars_2015_9
Secret Wars #9 concludes Marvel’s most recent universe spanning miniseries and it was great.
This is largely due to Hickman’s interpretation of the Fantastic Four. I’ve written about this in a prior blog post, but Hickman shows he truly understands the core of what makes the Fantastic Four appealing: that balance between cosmic science fiction and the intimacy of familial relationships.
Secret Wars #9 — as does much of the whole series — focuses on these two themes. The final climactic showdown occurs with all of the most powerful aspects of the Marvel universe clashing together. Piercing it all is the final battle between Reed Richards and Doctor Doom. It’s another look into their relationship; two rivals/brothers striving for a better world and pursuing it in different ways. One method being kinder while the other is ruthless.
The ending panels explain perfectly why I love the Fantastic Four and what they represent to me. I only hope Marvel is putting together another comic book series and not trying to screw Fox (who holds the Fantastic Four movie rights) by shutting down the Fantastic Four down forever.
Secret Wars is great. It’s Marvel’s great comic book event this year and, thankfully, it is really great. Hickman has often times written long winded, overly complex stories and this time, I am happy to say he has not done so.
The story here has many moving parts, but all parts feel essential to the eventual conclusion. The story moves along and each plot line has just enough to keep the story moving without going into the superfluous monologues I’ve come to expect from Hickman.
Fun moments abound, from a conversation between Reed’s, the current state of the relationship between Black Panther and Namor, and the discovery of what happened to the Fantastic Four in Doom’s Battleworld. It’s all interesting developments and interesting takes on the characters.
Which leads me to the saddest bit of this book: the Fantastic Four. Most prominent in this book is the Fantastic Four’s involvement in the story. They are essential. It is my greatest fear that this will be the last Fantastic Four story, that this will be Reed’s last story. I sincerely hope that is not the case because, while I have not enjoyed most of the Fantastic Four stories, I have enjoyed Hickman’s run. It embodies what is great about the Fantastic Four: family and fantastic science fiction. Reading through Secret Wars one cannot help but feel that this is Reed Richard’s last stand. His ultimate defeat comes not from Doom, but from Disney/Marvel and their desire for money (in case you are unaware, there are rumors that Marvel is ending the Fantastic Four comic books, not for narrative reasons, but because they cannot reacquire the rights to the films and they no longer want to promote the property).
Score: 8.0/10 While many characters from the Marvel universe are present, this is a Fantastic Four story to me and it is a great one.