Thursday, July 16, 2015

Secret Wars 2099 #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Another awesome tie-in issue!  Let's get right to the heart of it, shall we?

In this issue, we get confirmation that Roberta has no idea that she's Captain America, though we still don't get any information on why that ruse is necessary.  To make matters worse, her husband and Hercules both know that she's Captain America; her husband is revealed also to be an Alchemax agent, though it's unclear if he has a costumed identity.  (Iron Man?)  In fact, it appears that many people know her identity, because someone at Alchemax may have leaked her identity to Stark-Fujikawa since it sent the Specialist to kill her.  Roberta instantly transforms to Cap to stop him, but he commits suicide so that she can't discover his employer.  Conveniently, he has on his person the business card of some dude named Martin Hargood, an "all-around criminal type" from Downtown.  The Avengers go Downtown to get some information from him, but John Eisenhart, a.k.a. Hulk 2099, has beat them to the punch.  The usual "superheroes fighting each other upon meeting for the first time" battle ensues.  However, Strange 2099 appears with the Silver Surfer to stop the fight, announcing that they're the Defenders.

Honestly, these revelations come fast and furious and each one is better than the next.  The Specialist!  Hulk 2099!  The Defenders!  David is pulling out all the stops.

In addition to confirming Roberta's ignorance of her identity, we also get confirmation that Miguel is Spider-Man, since his eyes are red.  (It's possible that we saw that last issue and I missed it.)  But, we still have a number of questions on the table.  As I said, we don't know why Roberta needs to be in the dark about her dual identity or if her husband himself also has one.  We don't know why someone would want to kill her, beyond the possibility of wanting to deny Alchemax her services.  Hulk 2099 was going after Hargood for his "after-hours activities," but it's unclear what they are and if they have anything to do with the hit on Roberta.  (Also, if it turns out that the business card wasn't a plant, expect me to do some major eye-rolling next issue.  Are we really supposed to believe that a guy willing to commit suicide to hide the name of his employer just happened to carry around his business card?)  Miguel slumps his shoulders when the Black Widow asks if he has any plans that evening, implying some sort of personal pain that I presume we'll eventually clarify.  Finally, I'd love to hear the Defenders' origin story.

In other words, as usual, David has managed to create a fully realized world in just two issues.  I don't know how he does it, but there you go.

*** (three of five stars)

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