Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
It’s interesting when things happen just as you feared they would. You almost resign yourself to the fact so far in advance then when it ACTUALLY happens, it really isn’t that big of a deal, because you dealt with it so long ago. When I heard it mentioned that Quasar was going to be a part of this crossover, it was not a question of WOULD Quasar die, it was only WHEN Quasar was going to die. The answer was “in Nova #4.” Luckily, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning gave him a suitably heroic farewell (and really, have written him so well during this mini-series) as well as a really good “clearly could be brought back in two seconds if anyone wanted to” death scene.
Anyhow, this was a fine conclusion to this Nova mini-series, especially the artwork by Kev Walker, who has grown as a penciller with every issue, until this final issue, where, with the help of inker Rick Magyar and colorist Brian Reber, where he truly excelled, especially the action scenes with Quasar and Nova.
The basic set-up of the issue is just CLASSIC Western. This is right out of the Magnificent Seven or The Professionals or the Wild Bunch, where a “gunfighter” decides to lay his neck on the line in a valiant effort against an imposing army for the impossible task of saving the townspeople (in this case, the millions of refugees about to be destroyed by the Annhilation Wave). Just like the western, when all seems lost, ANOTHER gunfighter decides to join in on the impossible task (think the slow walk in Wild Bunch, still my favorite slow walk of ALL time).
In this issue, Nova and Quasar were excellent gunfighters.
I have to give Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning a lot of credit for how well they handled the dramatic feel of the issue, while never sacrificing the out-of-control action scenes.
And there’s still Drax and his friend Cammi, who shows an actual fragile side in this issue. It was awesome.
Meanwhile, there’s a turning point in Nova’s life, where he decides to embrace his new status quo. Good stuff.
All in all, I would recommend this comic without reservation. It made Quasar cool for the first time in more than a decade…only to kill him, but still!
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