The following is a full review of Secret Wars #4 (Beware of Spoilers) – Written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Esad Ribic – Release: July 1st 2015.
Full disclosure: For a while I didn’t want to review this issue. If you’ve been reading my Secret Wars-reviews then you know that I strongly dislike Esad Ribic’s faces of astonishment. Dislike isn’t strong enough, I hate them. This isn’t to say that Ribic’s art is bad (it’s really good), but they’ve been annoying me for a while, and they were particularly annoying in this issue. In fact, I think this was Ribic’s worst issue yet of this event. However, I chose to review this issue anyway – why? It was amazing.
This is really the issue we’ve been waiting for. Finally we see not only the life raft fight, but we also (finally) get to see Stephen Strange, the Sheriff of Agamotto, stand up to Doom. I really really wanted Strange to do something – and in the end, he seems to have been the one hero to set up the Richards vs. Doom battle. Strange is right. Doom stole Reed’s life.
Strange saved the life raft (everyone but Cyclops), and possibly sacrificed himself in the process. And while I still don’t see the importance of Peter Quill in this story, I’m happy he made it out alive. I wish we had seen more of the Cabal, but this issue wasn’t really about that battle.
I do think that Strange is dead (for now), I think that would be for the better of this event. As for Phoenix-Cyclops? I think Phoenix is a clue, he’ll rise up again methinks.
At this point in the story (halfway through!), I’m still not sure how they’re going to reset it all – but this Hickman event will be another Future Foundation and Doom-centric story once it’s said and done – which isn’t bad, ’cause Hickman’s excellent at that.
Final Grade: A – Issue 4 beats out issue 3 as the best issue yet in the Secret Wars Event. Stephen Strange and Dr Doom were magnificent. However, Ribic is still problematic.
– I’m Jeffrey Rex