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The final issue of Marvel’s 2015 event is upon us and writer Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic deliver a great ending to their immensely entertaining and world changing miniseries.
The final battle is upon Battleworld and this issue begins with God Doom facing off against Namor and Black Panther with an Infinity Gauntlet. As this fight goes, on we find Reed Richards and the Maker making their way to Owen Reece, the Molecule Man. Before they reach Reece, the encounter Sue and Valeria. Reed talks to them and, while Sue has no recollection of Reed, Valeria does seem to know things are not as they seem.
As Doom beats Black Panther and Namor, T’Challa reveals that they were nothing more than a distraction for Reed and the Maker to get to Molecule Man. Doom teleports away to confront Mr. Fantastic. Due to not having been fed recently, Molecule Man doesn’t grant Doom the God-like powers he has been using and makes the Doom-Richards fight more even. Just as Doom is about to kill Richards, Molecule Man unleashes a blast leading to the end of Battleworld.
The last parts of the issues include a few epilogues as we see what has happened in Wakanda shortly after Battleworld. The issue then fast forwards eight months with a scene with the Miles Morales and Peter Parker, establishing the two Spider-Men of this new Marvel Universe. The issue wraps up answering the question of where the Richards family is in the Marvel Universe as they and the Future Foundation are helping to create a new Multi-verse with the Molecule Man as the engine. The last pages reveal that Doom’s face has been restored and it appears that he has now turned to a more heroic life.
When the biggest complaint I can make is the delay in which this issue was released says a lot about strength of issue #9. As a whole, I’ve felt Secret Wars has been one of the best company-wide crossovers written by any comics company over the last few years. This is especially true when compared to DC’s Convergence, which sounded very similar when announced. In the end, the high quality of the Secret Wars and its tie-ins easily blew Convergence out of the water.
What was also nice about the Secret Wars event was that I never felt lost, even though I hadn’t read Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and Fantastic Four books before the event. One of the keys of this issue was when you stripped everything away, it was Dr. Doom versus Reed Richards. It was this simple nature of the final conflict juxtaposed with cosmic scale of what had been created by Doom (and Molecule Man) that made a one-on-one fight all the more poignant. In the end, it wasn’t the Mad Titan or an army of the Marvel Undead, but rather plain old Mr. Fantastic that defeated the mighty God Doom.
It was as simple of a conflict as you can get; one man versus another.
If there is something to be critical of, its that a lot of the subplot threads have been all but abandoned, with the sole focus of the book turning on the fate of the Richards family. It would have been nice to see Ben and Johnny’s reactions to seeing the group together again, but that appears to be reserved for another time. One of the reasons for this is that, with the publishing delay and the addition of another issue, most of the subplots have been addressed in their corresponding books.
The last scene with the Richards family and Future Foundation is an absolutely beautiful scene and perfect for the nature of both the Fantastic Four and the Richards family. It doesn’t write them off forever, as the door is always open for them to return to the Marvel Universe, but it also gives worlds of possibilities for the future of Marvel’s first family that just seem right.
Few event comics have ever looked so great as Esad Ribic has done some absolutely gorgeous work. His art gives the event a mythic feel that makes it feel historic. There is a wonderfully done splash page with Reed and Doom’s faces being crosshatched through one another across the page which was a genius way to depict their conversation.
In the end Secret Wars #9 is a great way to end a good event series.
Sam McCoy is a Contributor to ComiConverse: Follow him on Twitter: @realcactussam
A worthy final battle between Reed Richards and God Doom. Writer Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic give a great finale to this immensely entertaining and world-changing event.