Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Of all the issues of the "Secret Wars" tie-in series that I've read (and it's a lot), this issue is the one with the most connection to the main event.

As we saw in "Secret Wars" #6, Thanos has a conversation with Ben Grimm that makes him realize that Doom has been playing him all this time.  By using Ben as the backbone of the Shield, Doom was able to get revenge on him for their years of animosity.  In this issue, we learn why Grimm would trust Thanos in the first place.  (Honestly, I hadn't even focused on that part in "Secret Wars" #6.)  Ben asked Leonardo da Vinci to use his "enlightenment canon" on him, allowing him to see the truth about Battleworld.  (Talk about a deus ex machina.)  Moreover, we learn that Thanos is responsible for uniting the denizens on the other side of the Shield.  From his comments, it's pretty clear that he created (or, at least, inspired) the Prophet, the mysterious revolutionary that we saw leading an army to Doomstatdt in "Secret Wars" #6.

In other words, if you're only reading the main title, you might want to pick up this issue.  Sure, the enlightenment canon is fairly ridiculous, but it answers questions that, as I mentioned, it didn't even dawn on me to ask when I was reading "Secret Wars" #6.  You don't even need to read the previous three issues of "Shield."  This issue can function as a stand-alone one.

If you have been reading this series, I'll say that Gillen wraps it up nicely.  That sense of camaraderie that I mentioned in my last review hadn't yet fully coalesced finally does so here.  After all, how else could this series end but with Abigail and Scott holding hands and facing the coming horde?  My only real complaint is that I didn't fully understand the purpose of Kang's time travel.  He used the Fury to clear the "chronomines" in the last issue, but I don't get why he wanted to return to the past in the first place.  It seems like he intended to do something more than just warn Abigail of the coming of Thanos (as he successfully did in issue #1).  But, I don't know what it is.

Overall, though, it ends better than it started.  In fact, Gillen seems to have written for the TPB here, since the series reads better as a continuous story than individual issues.  Now, we just have to wait to see where it all goes.  The end page says that hope now exists because the Shield fell, and I think that it's probably right.

*** (three of five stars)

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