Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it’s Secret Weapons #2.
The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.
Secret Weapons #2 by Joe St. Pierre concludes the story where Master Darque uses Dr. Eclipse to eliminate Solar and summon a demon of some sort. It’s an odd issue that doesn’t entirely match up with the first two parts of the story as it begins with Eclipse pissed off at Darque because he’s dead and just a being of pure energy — he can’t feel anything. It’s not like when he had some of Solar’s powers… that was fun and pleasurable, this is just… there. So he kills a town in order to acquire the necromantic energy to use against Darque, which is exactly what Darque wants. Meanwhile, the group of heroes split into two groups: one to go after Darque, the other Eclipse. The trio that goes after Darque rescue Shadowman on the way from a horde of the undead that Darque sent to protect his home, but they make short work of them. The trio that goes after Eclipse don’t really do any harm to him… until they’re all sucked up into a hole in space… Which was Darque’s way of summoning him so Eclipse can act as host to the demon. Darque summons the demon, but it hesitates because Solar isn’t dead. This is the part where Solar breaks free from Eclipse, Eclipse is dead (or as dead as an exploded energy being can be), and Darque’s plans are thwarted.
It’s a very quick wrap-up and one that feels a little out of sync with what came before, particularly Eclipse’s views on Darque. Where did his problem with their deal come from? Last we saw of Eclipse, he was pretty happy with the bargain he struck, so beginning this issue with his dissatisfaction seems like an odd choice. It has a ‘everything you knew was wrong’ feel since there was no indication of this direction before. The elimination of the threat was obvious and… convenient isn’t the right word, but it’s not far off. As quickly as it begins, it ends.
Joe St. Pierre’s art is roughly the same as last issue with one change: Dr. Eclipse is drawn differently. There’s a strong use of white to show the definition of his body where previously that wasn’t done or, in Solar #25, green was used. It looks better, honestly, and it’s a shame they didn’t do it sooner. He looks creepier, more like the opposite of what he should look like since we’re used to black lines being used to show detail and definition.
The weirdest part of the issue, though, is how it ends. The issue ends with a short little ‘story’ that takes up most of the final page, done a very blocky art style that’s about a girl who’s abused by her father, physically and sexually, and he’s killed, but he’s not? The final panel is Darque’s face in shadows, eyes red, and his tattoos visible. I have never known what to make of this page and I still don’t. It comes out of nowhere and has no direct link to the story. Anyone know what it’s all about?
And that concludes, judging by the comments, the least popular part of Nostalgia November. Later tonight, I’ll do the second half of Reign of the Supermen and, tomorrow, something that wasn’t published by Valiant.
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