This month sees the Champions join the fray (As in their title, they’ve been a pretty important part of Secret Empire for the majority of the event) and they are searching for their dear friend Ms Marvel. Spider-Man comes up against Doc Ock once again in Shanghai whilst Doctor Strange and his team move in on Baron Mordo.
The Amazing Spider-man #30
- Amongst his fellow heroes, Peter lies defeated by Cap and Hydra. However, he isn’t giving up that easily. He takes charge, ordering Quicksilver to kick up a dust cloud for the heroes to retreat. He saves Bobbi from Taskmaster and goes to Shanghai.
- Meanwhile, Doc Ock moves in on Parker Industries in San Francisco, clearing out the office unopposed. Meanwhile, Peter faces his employees in Shanghai. He needs there help. Many leave but not all.
- Peter talks to Doctor Wu who thanks him for helping his cancer research progress s far. Lien offers to help Parker, indebted to him for forgiving her betrayal. Aunt May decides to do all she can to help save Parker Industries good name.
- Peter confronts Otto on the roof of the building. With the help of Lien and his fleet of Spider-vehicles he appears to have the upper hand. However, Otto’s been a part of Parker Industries from the start. He has control of everything…
Slott demonstrates exactly why I can’t let this title go come Marvel Legacy. Seeing Peter step-up following defeat to protect his fellow heroes is precisely what I love about him. He is willing to put himself on the line for the sake of those he cares about and he won’t stop trying. I couldn’t help the grin that formed after reading the first few pages. I had been really unsure about carrying Spider-Man forward but those doubts have been dissipated.
The Superior Doctor Octopus continues to shine as a formidable threat. His plans have been in motion for a long time and it’s interesting to see them finally unfold. Things aren’t looking great for Parker (Then again, when do they ever?)
Immonen and co, as ever, deliver phenomenal art this issue. It was awesome to see Cap holding Mjolnir drawn by another team, they nailed the aftermath of that reveal. Immonen has really delivered on his reputation.
- Story – 9/10
- Art – 9/10
- Overall – 9/10
- Spider-Man, Hulk and Viv are trying to track down Ms Marvel. After some difficult code-breaking, Viv locates an Inhuman prison 89.3 miles northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico. As it turns out, Cho helped build it.
- Originally designed to house a calm Banner, the Hogan’s Alley has been repurposed as a prison. Cho quickly draws up a plan to get in which the trio pull off seamlessly. The Inhumans are scared, thinking they are with Hydra.
- Hulk and Viv sort out the evacuation whilst Spider-Man tracks down Ms Marvel. However, the girl he meets is simply dressed up as Ms Marvel. Spider-Man meets up with his friends again to see the Inhumans fighting.
- Some want to leave, some don’t. It poses a problem till Kamala (Ms Marvel cosplayer) suggests an idea. They wire Viv into the system and hide the prison from view. This allows the Inhumans more time to talk and the Champions move on.
Waid explores a side of Secret Empire I honestly forgot about (Something I feel terrible about, I assure you), the imprisonment of Inhumans. It was really intriguing to see what was going on in one, reflecting that, though with Hydra, Steve Rogers hasn’t gone full monster (Whether or not that’ll be the case by the end, I don’t know).
It was a slightly sadder issue with the team disbanded as they are, Nova trapped in space and Cyclops hanging with the X-men. They’ve really grown as a team and seeing them search so keenly for Ms Marvel was touching.
As always, Ramos and co did a stellar job on the art front. The robot guards creepy face before blasting two Inhumans was very unsettling. Not as unsettling as deformed Norman Osborn but unsettling none the less.
- Story – 9/10
- Art – 9/10
- Overall – 9/10
Doctor Strange #23
- Whilst Daredevil ‘bonds’ with Mordo, Doctor Strange discusses the cost of using magic going into explicit detail on a few of the many artefacts they have. Kingpin poses new challenges but armoured-up Urich takes him on.
- Meanwhile, some of the other heroes run into a spot of trouble taking on Mordo. They are quickly overpowered. Urich manages to restrain the smoke demon inside Kingpin. Thank heavens for Dungeons and Dragons.
- The rag tag team head outside to take on Mordo. Spider-Woman manages to gain control of sentient bi-plane, ensuring all the members have something to take Mordo on with.
- However, Mordo is far from ill-equipped. With one heck of a lot of magic, monsters and the other heroes trapped, Mordo is in an exceptionally strong position.
Hopeless‘ story has been fab from the off set, this issue being no different. The eclectic mix of characters have a weirdly great chemistry that makes dialogue a treat. Urich donning the armour of light was very jazzy, made better by his D&D inspired larping. I aspire to that level of vocabulary.
With Secret Empire drawing to a close soon, I’m curious to see what part our heroes play in bringing the dome down. New York City is going to be a mess and half when that dome inevitably comes down.
As with the story, Henrichon’s art has been graphically amazing from the offset. The Doctor’s description of the cost of magic was made all the more serious as a result of horrifying images used to reflect the repercussions (The Werebear standing out as the worst personally). I was incredibly fond of Bachalo but Henrichon is doing is fine job in his place.
- Story – 8/10
- Art – 9/10
- Overall – 8.5/10
With things concluding next month, I’m excited to see how the writers wrap up their stories. All of them have done an excellent job of their handling of Secret Empire. Sure it plays a relatively big part in all the arcs but each could stand alone as great normal arcs (Doctor Strange borderlines a bit more than the others but still could stand rather well alone). If you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments. Thank you.