Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Secret Wars #8: Nuff Said!

There aren't a lot of situations where I'm okay with delays. Whether it's my flight to Las Vegas or a traffic jam on the freeway or my latte at a coffee shop, I just have a low threshold for getting pissed. That said, I will tolerate delays to some extent in comics if the end result is sufficiently awesome. There just comes a point where that extent becomes so frustrating that I lose my capacity to give enough fucks.

Secret Wars #8 was supposed to come out three months ago. Fuck, it was supposed to be the final issue. Instead, someone at Marvel must have gotten some really shitty weed because their schedule has been more fucked than a Bangkok crack whore. But it's still a story that has been building and escalating in all the right ways. And damn it, I'm going to swallow my frustration, along with what's left of my Thanksgiving leftovers, to review this book for you lovely people.

You don’t need to know too much about the setup. There’s a big fucking battle raging. It’s Secret WARS, remember? There’s Spider-Man, Hulk, Sinister, Thors…pretty much everyone who can make a big fucking war and make it awesome. The last issue established the epic scale. If at this point you don’t appreciate it, you should probably lay off the Xanax.

That’s not to say there isn’t a larger strategy here. While the big ass war is unfolding outside Castle Doom, the two Reed Richards are trying to sneak in with help from Starlord. That goes about a s well as you would think. The fact they only got hit by a Hulk means they got off easy.

Speaking of Hulks, remember that big fucking Hellicarrier that arrived at the battle at the end of the previous issue? The one that, for a brief moment, looked like it was going to make Doom break a divine sweat? Well, it doesn’t matter if you forgot or were too stoned to care because Doom has something better than a Hellicarrier with Hulks. He has a giant fucking Thing to take them down. And no, that’s not a dick joke. But it ought to be.

The explosions, the destruction, and the fighting really don’t need much detail here. It’s like a big pair of tits. No words are needed to convey the awesome. And the arrival of a reanimated Galactus? I’ll let that speak for itself too.

It’s an epic battle on an epic scale that should give everyone an epic erection and/or pussy boner. But there are still a few finer details that ensure this battle will do more than just inconvenience Doom. The Richards duo and Starlord might have been hit by a Hulk, but when has that ever stopped them from landing? Like a North Korean airliner, they still get to their destination and crash in Castle Doom. Now they can fuck with Dr. Doom in a more subtle way. They can’t punch him in the balls, but they can give him a nasty rectal itch.

But who really wants to see two versions of Reed Richards get a rage boner for Dr. Doom? This is a Secret WAR god damn it! Let’s see some more war! A giant Thing and Galactus might make things too lopsided though. That’s why Thanos decides to finally join the fun, complete with the Annihilation Horde. This finally gets Dr. Doom to do something other than watch his world turn against him. It’s finally annoyed him to the point where he’s willing to get off his divine ass and act. Like having to take a piss during a football game, it’s annoying, but necessary.

It gets slightly less annoying for Doom when his pet Galactus makes the battle just a bit more uneven. It’s a little rushed, but not for the same reason a zord battle in a Power Rangers episode is rushed. When Thing finds out that it’s Franklin Richards whose piloting his Galactus zord, he’s no longer quite so eager to wreck Doom’s shit. In fact, he’s so un-eager that he lets Franklin finish him off.

It’s a powerful moment and there have been more than one in this series. Despite the annoying delays, this one still has an impact. Thing would rather die than take down someone he loves. That could be a dick joke as well, but it wouldn’t be a very funny one.

You know what is funny though? Starlord fighting the Black Swan. Why is it funny? Well, it’s not because Starlord has a lousy record in battles against sexy female villain types. It’s because he knows he’s outmatched. Hell, even his dick knows it. But he still carries himself with the kind of swag that makes him worthy of being played by Chris Pratt. Sure, he lets her kick his ass for a bit, but he’s got a plan and it doesn’t involve more dick jokes.

The non-sober crowd might not have noticed, but Starlord has been chewing on a tooth pick since this issue began. Since he’s neither a hillbilly nor a NASCAR fan, he has to have a reason for it. Well, that reason happens to have a name and he likes to remind people of that name. No, it’s not Kid Rock. It’s fucking Groot. You can just hear Vin Disel’s voice and how it soaks every pair of panties in a five-mile radius. On top of that, he grows to a level where he can do the kind of remodeling on Castle Doom that we don’t see outside of a Mythbusters special. It’s a very satisfying moment and I’d be shocked if this didn’t make Black Swan horny on some levels.

So Starlord is taking care of things on his end. He might even get laid if he’s really lucky. Reed Richards (at least one of them) might be able to say the same because while Castle Doom is crumbling like the Cleveland Browns’ season, Valeria manages to lead Sue to him. Now keep in mind, she’s still brainwashed into thinking she’s Dr. Doom’s queen and Battleworld is the only world that matters. Now, she’s face-to-face with Reed again. Not only that, he’s rocking an epic beard. I’d be shocked if even this version of Sue can keep her panties on for more than 15 minutes.

Sadly, it’s not the emotional reunion it could’ve been. It’s more of a teaser. And given how every issue of this series has been more delayed than a Guns N’ Roses album, it’s pretty frustrating. But it’s not completely shrugged off or thrown away off-panel. It’s not like this is an X-men comic.

There are some things that just can’t and shouldn’t be done off-panel. A clash between Thanos and Dr. Doom is one of them. Like a nude oil wrestling match between Jennifer Lawrence and Megan Fox, it cannot and should not be glossed over. Thanos has already annoyed the fuck out of Doom by breaking down the walls that separate Battleworld. And since he’s more merciful than most gods, Doom actually offers him a chance at redemption. If he just places faith in him, he’ll make him a new baron. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right?

Well, Doom is not a Scientologist and Thanos is not Tom Cruise. So naturally, Thanos tells Doom to go fuck himself. That’s some pretty serious blasphemy and Dr. Doom deals with it the same way Saudi Arabia deals with it. He fucking offs Thanos with just as much ease as he offed a Cyclops-powered Phoenix. It’s every bit as badass as it sounds.

So again, the balance is now tipped in Doom’s favor. He’s the one with the god-like power. There’s only so much edge anyone can have over him. He’s now in a position to deal with this war the same way Bill Belichick deals with annoying journalists. He’s taken out Thanos and a giant Thing. With his kind of god-like power, what more can anyone throw at him that would be more than a mild cough?

Well, there’s always zombies. Never forget about zombies. Battleworld had a whole domain of them and as it just so happens, a portal opens that lets a whole fuckton of them come charging through. And if the Walking Dead has shown us anything, it’s that zombies make any fucked up situation more frustrating. A god-powered Doom isn’t immune to that.

But a portal of zombies alone isn’t enough to make a god-powered Dr. Doom worry. It’ll still annoy him, but not to the point where it’s anything more than extensive target practice. But that’s not all that comes through the portal. In addition to zombies, Namor and Black Panther show up and they’ve got something better than a trillion zombies. They’ve got a fucking Infinity Gauntlet. The list of things that’ll make a god-powered Dr. Doom shit himself is exceedingly short, but this has to be at the top, right along with an army of giant Hulks on meth. it awesome?

To this, I say a partial fuck yes! Any comic that has a giant monster Groot fight Galactus while Dr. Doom wastes Thanos like a fresh line of blow is awesome by default on some levels. Even shitty delays can't keep a moment like that from being pretty damn satisfying. But after the previous issue set up the kind of epic final battle that Peter Jackson probably jerks off to, this battle didn't exactly follow through. It didn't strike out, but it didn't hit a home run either. There's still plenty to enjoy. Like half a joint, it won't get you high, but it will put a smile on your face. Plus, the final issue still offers the possibility of a full-joint when it comes out...whenever the fuck that might be.

Final Score: 8 out of 10


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