Secret Warriors is an absolute hit with The Revolution. This is one of Marvel’s best titles. Hickman has impressed me with his work on this title. I have no doubts in my mind that Hickman will be just fine on his own without Bendis co-plotting with him. Secret Warriors #6 promises to deliver quite an action packed issue. I am confident that this will be a strong read. Let’s hit this review.
Plot: Jonathan Hickman and Brian Michael Bendis
Script: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin “one hour ago” inside Nick Fury’s secret hideout where the Secret Warriors are staying. Daisy comes running into the room and tells the Secret Warriors that her “panic button” just went off. That everyone needs to suit up and get ready to go. Daisy says that she has no idea what exactly they will be jumping into the middle of, but that it probably has something to do with Hydra.
We cut to Jerry standing by Yo-Yo’s bed in the medical bay. Daisy enters the room and mentions how the Life Model Decoy doctors say that Yo-Yo will be better than ever once they are done with her. Jerry asks if Daisy really believes that. Daisy answers “No.”
Daisy then asks Jerry if he finally wants to release what has been boiling up inside of him. Daisy asks Jerry if he wants to get even. Jerry glares at Daisy.
We cut to the present time with the Secret Warriors appearing on The Dock while the three way battle between Hydra, HAMMER and Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos is taking place. The Secret Warriors immediately start brawling with the Hydra agents. Jerry spies Gorgon and immediately goes to lock horns with Gorgon. Jerry says that he owes Gorgon for what Gorgon did to Yo-Yo.
Gorgon slices Jerry’s chest. Gorgon laughs if this is the best that Jerry can do. Jerry gets pissed and suddenly grows giant size and smashes Gorgon. Jerry yells, “How’s this?”
We cut to Dum Dum Dugan on the bridge of one of the Helicarriers. Dum Dum uses his pass code to gain control of the Helicarrier. Dum Dum orders that the Helicarrier take off immediately. Nick radios Dum Dum and instructs him to launch the Helicarrier’s drones at the Hydra agents. Dum Dum does so.
We slide over to Tokyo, Japan where Viper and Madame Hydra are meeting with the Yashida Board and Silver Samurai. The Yashida Board states that their facilities are now dedicated to the production of the Typhoon Groups’ Special Project Division. Viper then asks for the “box.”
The head of the Yashida Board then hands over a small golden box that is even older than the Yashida Clan itself. That the box holds within it a legacy of death and madness. That no one who has opened the box has lived to close it. The head of the Yashida Board says that Viper and Madame Hydra do not know what they have asked for.
Viper and Madame Hydra take the box and get up to leave. They say that they have a deal. Silver Samurai gets pissed that all they wanted was the box. Madame Hydra says that once they have arrived safely at their final destination that the families of the Yashida Board will be released safe and sound.
We jump back over to The Dock where the battle still rages between the Secret Warriors, Howling Commandos, Hydra and HAMMER. Baron von Strucker, the Hive and Kraken all realize that it is time that they retreat.
Strucker comments that Nick Fury knew that Hydra was going to be here. Kraken responds that they have a traitor to deal with. Gorgon does not want to retreat and still wants a piece of Jerry. The other Hydra leaders override Gorgon and they all teleport away from the scene.
We see the HAMMER agents that are still standing surround Daisy and Nick Fury. Fury shouts that the remaining HAMMER agents have five seconds to put down their guns before Nick kills all of them. The HAMMER agents lower their guns. Nick says that Dum Dum is starting a school for Nick Fury’s wayward sons. Nick asks if any of the HAMMER agents want to come home.
We cut to “later” and see that the HAMMER agents have decided to re-join Nick Fury. The ex-HAMMER agents are all celebrating with their old comrades in the Howling Commandos. Gabe tells Nick that 3,000 HAMMER agents have defected over to Nick Fury’s side. Gabe says that Nick was right and that he should never have disagreed with Nick. Nick retorts “Then let’s not let that happen again, Gabe. ” Gabe responds “Yes, sir.”
Nick tells Dum Dum to come take a walk with him. Nick says that they need to increase recruitment in a compressed amount of time. Nick says that he will need three divisions worth of men. Olivia Hooks is the only psi-agent they have, but that she can scrub anyone questionable clean. Nick says that he does not want any screw-ups.
Dum Dum says that Nick’s plans are going to require some serious cash. Dum Dum asks if Nick has that type of money. Nick retorts, “Who said I was payin’ for it?” Nick then tells Dum Dum that he has one month. And then they get serious.
Dum Dum replies that if Nick gives him a month then Dum Dum will give Nick the “baddest bunch of evil bastards” the world has ever seen. Dum Dum says that he will give Nick Howling Commandos that are ready to “Bark at the moon and bite at the sun.” Dum Dum says that he will raise a damn army.
We shift forward to that night in The Straight, the hidden base of the Secret Warriors. We see Nick at his desk with a bottle of alcohol. Daisy enters the room and says that she wants answers. Daisy asks when did Nick get his own personal army in the Howling Commandos. Daisy says that she jumped her team into the middle of a war zone because Nick told her that if the panic button ever went off for her and the Secret Warriors to come running. Daisy says that she could have gotten her team killed because she hopped when Nick hit a button.
Nick comments that instead Daisy’s team saved the day. Nick says that Daisy and the Secret Warriors did a fine job today and that he is proud of them. Nick then reveals that he never called for Daisy and the Secret Warriors. Daisy asks who hit the panic button. Nick sits there silent. Daisy comments that the lies never end with Nick. Nick retorts that it is what they do.
Nick pours himself another drink and says that Daisy has to face some cold hard facts. Nick says that there are questions that Daisy will never get answers to. That there are things going on that Daisy does not get to know about. Nick says that Daisy will rest assured that Nick will never slip up and reveal any of his secrets. Nick says if Daisy has a question to ask it now.
Daisy asks who pushed the panic button. Daisy asks what other groups are out there like hers. Daisy asks why Nick needs his own army. Nick sits there and says nothing. Daisy asks if Nick is ever going to trust her. Nick replies that the best he can say is that he wants to trust Daisy. Nick says that very few people even get that far with him. Daisy leaves the room.
Nick’s cell phone rings. Nick says “Speak of the devil.” Nick answers the phone. It is the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Contessa asks how Nick’s day has been. Nick replies that it has just been another Monday. Nick then asks if Contessa has been behaving or if she has been up to no good.
We cut to Contessa in the Lady Hydra costume and holding the box from the Yashida Clan. The box is open. Contessa replies “Oh, the latter… and trust me Nicky…I haven’t even started being bad, yet.” End of issue.
The Good: Secret Warriors #6 was a fantastic read. Hickman continue to impress me with his writing talents and the wonderful job that he has done on this title. Hickman has managed to construct an incredibly deep story that has so many different layers to it. The reader can easily get lost in this story.
Hickman’s mad brew consists of so many different factions all working toward their own secret purposes. The result is a story where the reader never truly knows who to trust. There is an ever present feeling on this title that anything can happen at any given moment. This helps to inject plenty of excitement and electricity into the story even in scenes that lack any action.
Secret Warriors #6 was enjoyably paced as Hickman delivered furious action scenes along with simmering dramatic scenes. Hickman’s dialogue continues to be impressive. Each character has an identifiable external voice. The dialogue has a natural flow that makes the story enjoyable to read.
Hickman continues to be committed to crafting excellent character work. To be sure, some of the members of the Secret Warriors still need some fleshing out and a bit more panel time. But, the characters that Hickman has focused on have benefited and are fully fleshed out three dimensional characters.
The product of the fine dialogue and good character work results in scenes that crackle with plenty of chemistry between the various characters. This chemistry is evident in longer scenes like the one between Nick and Dum Dum on the deck of the Helicarrier or evident in just a simple one panel exchange like the one between Nick and Gabe.
Hickman does a fantastic job handling the relationship between the two old warhorses in Nick and Dum Dum. The reader gets a keen sense of the long and deep friendship that these two men have for each other. It is clear that Dum Dum is one of the select few people that Nick truly trusts.
Hickman does a fine job using the personal relationships from one scene and building on them in later scenes. After seeing Nick talking with Dum Dum we see both that Nick trusts Dum Dum implicitly and in turn that Dum Dum never questions Nick. It never crosses Dum Dum’s mind to ask Nick about his mysterious benefactor. That is irrelevant to Dum Dum. All that matters is that Nick can get the money and that Dum Dum is to do his job to help Nick achieve his goals. Dum Dum realizes that if that information was important or necessary for Dum Dum to know then Nick would tell him.
Hickman builds nicely off this scene with the scene between Daisy and Nick. Hickman contrasts Daisy and Dum Dum and their relationships with Nick. Unlike Dum Dum, Daisy still has some growth to experience and Hickman emphasizes that while she is talented she still is extremely green and has much to learn. While Dum Dum never demands that Nick tell him ever little detail, Daisy feels compelled to ask Nick to explain to her everything. This scene with Daisy and Nick helps to demonstrates how unique the relationship is between Nick and Dum Dum.
The fact is that Nick is not a trusting man. It is impossible for a person with his background and occupation to be trusting. I dig that Nick says that the fact that he wants to trust Daisy is farther than most people get with him. This was an excellent scene that helped to flesh out Daisy and Nick’s relationship and put it into context with regard to the relationship that Nick has with other characters on this title.
Of course, the star of this title continues to be the man himself: Nick Fury. Hickman flat out “gets” Nick’s character. Hickman continues to deliver a completely bad-ass version of Nick Fury. Nick is as tough as nails and blunt old bastard. Nick’s dialogue is perfect as he pulls no punches, gets right to the point and uses an economy of words to get his point across.
What I enjoy the most about Hickman’s Nick Fury is that while he is a total bad-ass, he still has some depth to his character and it is clear that he also has his share of worries. Hickman has Nick exude an endless amount of confidence and gives him the proper aura of a leader that any soldier would willingly die for.
However, in Nick’s private moments we see an old soldier that is a bit battle worn. The scene with Nick in his office perfectly conveys this to the reader. Nick looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. And since Nick does not have many friends and confidants and cannot show weakness in front of his troops, he turns to his trusty bottle of alcohol for support.
I liked the conversion of the HAMMER agents at the end of the big battle scene. This scene emphasized the loyalty and support that Nick Fury’s magnetic personality engenders among his ex-soldiers. This should also ratchet up the tension and hostility between HAMMER and Nick Fury’s Howling Commandoes. With the HAMMER agents leaving in the droves and with Nick Fury stealing the Helicarriers, Norman Osborn should be frothing mad.
I am curious to learn about the identity of Nick’s mysterious benefactor. Nick’s plans are going to require massive sums of money. And there are few characters in the 616 universe capable to raising this type of capital. Personally, I would love it if it was Tony Stark who was bankrolling Nick Fury’s effort. However, I don’t think that is going to be the case.
Hickman certainly delivers tons of kick-ass action in this issue. This is exactly what the reader has been waiting for. While I have immensely enjoyed the first five issues of Secret Warriors, I will admit that those issues were a bit skimpy when it came to the action. And for a title starring Nick Fury, action is pretty much a necessity.
Hickman remedies that with this issue by whipping up a massive brawl scene that is sure to make most action fans happy. It was great to see the Secret Warriors finally get a chance to strut their stuff.
Jerry was fantastic. The best moment of this issue is when Jerry unexpectedly grew to giant size and put a serious beat down on Gorgon. After begin regulated to the sidelines for most of the first five issues, it was good to see these fledgling heroes finally getting to save the day.
Hickman ends Secret Warriors #6 with an awesome hook ending. This is how you end an issue with style. We learn that Madame Hydra is none other than the Contessa and that she is the traitor within Hydra that Baron von Strucker is searching for.
We also learn that it was probably the Contessa who hit the panic button that sent Daisy and the Secret Warriors to The Dock. We also see that the Contessa has the “cursed” box open. I did not see any of this coming at all. This ending put me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next issue.
I cannot get enough of Stefano Caselli’s absolutely gorgeous artwork. Secret Warriors #6 was a beautiful book to look at. Caselli is equally adept at drawing dramatic scenes as he is furious action scenes. Caselli draws excellent facial expressions and is able to inject plenty of emotion into Hickman’s story. Caselli’s artwork is also able to carry Hickman’s story so that Hickman does not need to drown the reader in unnecessary dialogue or narration.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.
Overall: Secret Warriors #6 was another fantastic read. This issue was a balanced read that offers the reader quality character work and exciting action. Hickman is constructing a wonderfully textured story that has plenty for the reader to chew on. I cannot recommend Secret Warriors enough. Without a doubt, this is one of Marvel’s best titles at the moment. Secret Warriors #6 was well worth the cover price and I urge everyone to give this title a try.