Sunday, March 4, 2012

Secret Warriors: Wake the Beast HC

So I guess the Contessa wasn’t spying for Nick Fury, huh? That’s a bit of a bummer. She wasn’t exactly my favorite character or anything, but I loved the whole James Bond femme-fatale feel she always had when teaming up with Nick Fury. I suppose there is still a very good chance that she is going to double-cross her Soviet masters, but this colors all those old appearances a bit.

I do have a problem with the Leviathan concept. First of all, how weird is it that Jonathan Hickman and Grant Morrison both created their secret societies with the same name? The bigger problem is the oddball organic-tech design for the Soviet society. It just doesn’t fit in with the conflict between Hydra and SHIELD.

Clearly, Hickman has done a lot of research. I consider myself a bit of a Marvel nerd, but man, the names he pulls for the rest of the caterpillar program is beyond me. I look forward to seeing who these folks end up to be, but wow, that’s a lot of potential new characters. I love that Alex Pierce is one of the bosses, his transformation into super-soldier during Nick Fury vs. SHIELD is one of the best transformations in comics. As for Mikel Fury, I have absolutely no memory of the dude. Is he new?

I enjoyed seeing the origins of Hydra’s leadership, although there is still plenty of mystery there. Kraken’s origin in particular leaves a lot of possibility for ties to the history of the Marvel U. I appreciate Hickman’s escape hatch for Madame Viper, too, she’s too interesting a villain to write out easily.

Stefano Caselli’s pencils shine on some of the issues, but the art maintains a pretty consistent look throughout the arc. I’ve never seen Nick Fury look so hulking, but he’s practically a force of nature for those characters in his orbit, so it makes sense. I love the Contessa De Fontaine’s cover; talk about a James Bond/Jim Steranko vibe!


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