Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Luca Pizzari
Colorist: Rainer Beredo
Secret Wars continues, the Battleworld stories are coming from left and right at Marvel. So far, there have been very few low points in these tie ins, so this week I wanted to highlight one of the new ones this month, Red Skull. Williamson has written a handful of Image series that I really enjoyed, and the idea of Red Skull in this world interesting, I was really looking forward to this one. What we got was fairly surprising, but definitely in a good way.
In terms of the plot, this issue is more setup than anything else. Basically, a group of 6 marvel supers from the various worlds in this new universe are gathered by a mystery strongman, who I don’t want to spoil as it’s a great reveal, on behalf of Sheriff Strange. All are accused of crimes against Doom (leader of this new Secret Wars world) and are basically given the task of “find Red Skull in 24 hours, or you’re dead.” As all these number 1s have had, the final page is a great revel and hook for the second issue. While Williamson nails the characterization of Electro, Magneto, Moonstone, Jack O’Lantern, Lady Deathstrike, and Bucky, the best part of this issue is the idea of Red Skull in this world. While it’s known that he existed, and has previously lead a failed Revolution, he’s much more like an urban myth at this point for other dissidents. It’s a weird mix of Hitler and V from V for Vendetta. With ideas like this, Williamson is putting his stamp on the scene as a solid comic writer. When it comes to these big 2 properties, it’s rare that we see new additions or ideas like these when it comes to specific characterization. This makes future Williamson titles worth a check out from now on.
The art in this issue was a great surprise, as I’ve never encountered Luca Pizzari before, but I definitely will be looking out in the future. His style is like a mixture of Stuart Immonen and Ryan Stegmen, characters are very expressive but the line cuts like a knife. the overall feel is really gritty and dirty, which is definitely a mix of Pizzari’s inks and Beredo’s colors, which works well for the story, especially when they go beyond the Shield and into the deadlands. As we see in the logos, the brightness of the reds really come through the heavy inking style as well, making these scenes more poignant. With the title this book has, it’s safe to assume this will only get stronger.
While this is mostly set up, this was still a fun issue. It goes without saying that I’m gonna give issue 2 a try, and there’s no reason to expect it’ll go anywhere but up.
4 Electros out of 5