Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Best Comic Book On the Shelves

I think, Secret Warriors may be the best comic book you can buy today. I say that after reading the first part of the final story arc of the series. The team was created by Brian Michael Bendis and made their debut in the pages of the massive Marvel crossover Secret Invasion. Nick Fury and his second in command, Daisy Johnson had been in hiding since the events of Secret War, where Nick recruited the top Marvel superheroes on a covert mission and the proceeded to whipe their memories of the event. This led to his removal from S.H.I.E.L.D. and during that time he had to work behind the scenes. He helped Bucky Barnes located the assassin who shot Captain America, without ever being seen.

After he helped beat back the Skrulls in Secret Invasion we learned what he had been doing all that time. He learned S.H.I.E.L.D. was a branch of the evil inc. H.Y.D.R.A. who he had been fighting most of his uncommonly-long life. So using his team of unknown super-powered soldiers he took went about destroying as much of H.Y.D.R.A. as he possibly could. This included reuniting with the surviving members of the Howling Commandos who fought alongside him and Captain America during WWII, and drafting as many former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and operatives as possible.
What makes this book so good is the writing; the stories move with a dynamic flow, calling to mind movies like The Bourne Trilogy or Tom Clancy novels, like The Hunt For Red October.  Hickman has created a tightly wound tale full of espionage, complex characters, betrayal and double crosses. Hickman took the characters first created by Bendis and gave us a reason to follow them; when characters were hurt you felt bad for them and when they died you mourned for them. Stefano Caselli's art is crisp and modern, with some panels utilizing incredible amounts of detail and others using the minimal required detail to articulate something.When you put Hickman's detailed scripts over Caselli's art you get one of the best comic books on the market today. Sadly, there are only three issues left and with what happened in the first part of the final story "Wheels Within Wheels" it will probably go out with a bang.

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