“The Good Stuff… Before The Good Stuff” (Secret Wars #3)

Secret Wars #3
Mister Fantastic (left), and his evil 1610 counterpart.

After reading the first two issues of the new Secret Wars, I thought that they both left… something to be desired. They weren’t really the awesome return of the classic storyline that I had been hoping for. At most, it seemed kind of tedious. Well, I waited two issues, and finally got to the good stuff.

After the Cabal landed on Battleworld at the end of Issue #2, trouble has been stirring. However, Doom does not seem to be concerned. In fact, even the loss of one of the Thors has not seemed to bother him. Stephen Strange has noticed things, however, and may have an agenda of his own.

I’ll be honest with you. After Issues 1 and 2, I wasn’t exactly rushing to buy #3. I wasn’t ready to give up on the series (far from it), I just wasn’t pawing at the doors while the comic book store owners were unlocking them. But this is definitely where the series picked up. I’m a pretty big Doctor Strange fan, so I was glad that he was really his own person. Something that I also liked was that Doom was actually a pretty great guy. The writers didn’t dumb down the storyline, and instead decided to pay homage to the original Secret Wars, and have Doom as a humble leader, who pines for small and respectable goals.

In the original, all Doom wanted was to fix his face, and save his mother. That was it. It made the heroes decision to fight him that much more gut-wrenching. They didn’t know if they really were doing the right thing, or if they were taking up arms against a man who honestly wanted nothing more than to be with his mother. This was a really crazy moral quandary that I didn’t see coming. In the new Secret Wars, Doom still isn’t a villain. All he wants is to keep order, and make sure that everyone has a good place to live. He was the one who created Battleword in the new series, and he’s the one who’s trying to hold it all together.

By the end of the issue, Doctor Strange revealed that he had the ship that housed the Brighter Future Society, and one by one, all of the heroes who escaped the destruction of Earths 616 and 1610 step out onto Battleworld. And, in a nice twist, Cyclops is now the Phoenix. Plus, I was promised a smashing face-off between Doom’s Thors, and the Cabal. But that’s all next issue. And you know what? I’ll be there first thing. 9 out of 10.

I’ve been waiting two months for Secret Wars to finally pick up, and it did. I love how the writers are keeping true to the original characters, while also changing them in interesting and fun ways. I can’t wait for issue four, after the promise of more action and intrigue.

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