Sunday, August 16, 2015

Squadron Sinister #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

One of my problems with the "Secret Wars" series depicting struggles between territories has been that a bunch of said territories haven't appeared on the main Battleworld map.  For example, the Squadron controls "Utopolis" on the main map.  Last issue, the team annexed the neighboring region of Supremia.  However, Supremia doesn't appear anywhere on the main map.  Thankfully, the editors make it a littler easier to understand these dynamics in this issue, because they include a more detailed map.  This map shows the domain of "Utopolis" with an outline that conforms to the outline on the main map.  Within "Utopolis" is a number of smaller regions, and one of them confusingly is also named Utopolis.  As such, "Utopolis" appears to be both the larger domain and the smaller region, sort of like New York.  I'm just going to go with that and call it a mystery solved.

Focusing on the issue itself, Guggenheim ramps up the "Game of Thrones" drama.  The Nutopians are planning to give a vast number of people a small part of the power of the Starbrand to defend themselves against the Squadron.  The Frightful Four make a move on Europix, one of the other regions, forcing the Squadron to defend it (and then annex it).  However, this attack might've been simply a distraction so that Sandman could swipe Doctor Zero's "Argonite weapon," something that Nightwing earlier wanted to examine to see if it was the weapon used to kill the Thor last issue.  However, it's unclear to me how Sandman would've known about the weapon or what he planned to do with it.  After all, it seems unlikely that he swiped it for the Wizard to do something with it later, since the Four had to know that they'd be unlikely to survive a fight with the Squadron (and, as such, for the Wizard to be alive to use it.)  Meanwhile, Hyperion is increasingly concerned that the murder of the Thor is going to attract Doom's attention, since he's clearly the only thing that Hyperion fears.

All that said, I'm not sure that the story that Guggenheim is telling is all that interesting.  The Squadron is still stereotypically villainous here, killing and torturing people with abandon.  We still don't know why Warrior Woman is betraying Hyperion to Nutopia, and I have no idea why Nightwing really believes that he could defeat someone as seemingly omnipotent as Hyperion.  (I'm assuming his desire to investigate the Argonite weapon has something to do with that plan.)  We'll likely get some answers to those questions, and I hope that Guggenheim gives us a little more characterization along the way.

** (two of five stars)

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