Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Stefano Caselli
I'm going to start by saying I loved this follow up issue of Hickman's Secret Warriors. He didn't waste time beating around the bush or drag out the Hydra reveal and gave us concrete and solid information while systematically showing us the current steps Hydra has been taking to consolidate their power base.
It drew on every facet of Hyrda lore, from old Nick Fury vs Baron Strucker stories to the numerous 'leaders' or pretenders to the crown of Hydra, like Madame Hydra, Viper, etc and presented everything in a straightforward and clear format that, from my point of view, has made Hydra a credible world class threat for the first time ever and I loved every minute of it.
However, I can also see how some people could be confused over this issue or displeased with the supposed disrespect to comic book deaths with the numerous resurrections.
For starters, many assume Baron Strucker is dead post-Mark Millar's Wolverine: Enemy of the State storyline. However, he was revealed to be alive in New Thunderbolts shortly after that storyline wrapped up, making Hickman's use of the character perfectly acceptable to me. Similarly, the resurrection of Gorgon, who died in that same Enemy of the State storyline, didn't phase me in the least as he was brought back through established deus ex machina manners in the form of a Hand resurrection ceremony.
So, all in all, I have no problems with these supposed disregards for comic book character deaths, which have become absolutely meaningless at this point, and Hickman treated all of the characters with respect and used their current continuity or established means to revive them. At no point did it become hokey and I was thoroughly entertained at every point in this issue.
The shear length at which I've gone on about these resurrections probably overplays their importance, but I've seen complaints online about them and felt like addressing them in the review.
While we were treated to a few brief moments of the actual Secret Warriors team, my only disappointment with the issue was just that - the lack of development for the new team. What little we saw was great and I understand that we needed this issue to establish Hydra as a credible threat and expand upon their new role in the Marvel Universe, but I still wish we had seen another page or two of the actual team this early in the series.
Verdict - Must Read. I know I droned on about the resurrections in an attempt to dispel rumours and forum rumblings about them, but that doesn't mean this issue is bad. I loved every minute of this issue and it's cemented Secret Warriors on my pull list for the months to come.