my review of the first issue of the 2015 Secret Wars. I wasn't very kind, so it was with some trepidation that I finally sat down to read the second issue. Now, I was hoping for more this time out, particularly after my man at Fanboy Comics (the best place to score your superhuman reading material in Wilmington, North Carolina) insisted that issue #2 was the best book that Marvel has produced in several years. While I don't necessarily share his enthusiasm, it was a vast improvement from the convoluted mess that was the first issue. While that issue crammed enough material for several issues into a single comic, the pacing was much better in the second issue, allowing the players involved to do more than provide readers with a quick series of cameos. Additionally, while the destruction in issue #1 should have made that comic absolutely monumental, the clumsy storytelling and the rushed nature of the book greatly lessened its impact. The second issue offers up some really groundbreaking stuff and takes the necessary time to knock us on our ass. I love the original Secret Wars and my favorite thing about that mega-event was the way that it transformed Dr. Doom into a glorious baddie who was daring enough to go toe to toe with gods and tough enough to win. Suffice it to say that anyone who shares my love for Doom will be greatly pleased with his presence in this issue. I still think there's a bit too exposition being dumped on us and I miss the fantastic clashes that the original Secret Wars was overflowing with. The violence is a bit more realistic (and thereby a bit more mundane) in the 2015 version. Marvel may feel that this will lend more urgency and drama to the proceedings, but thus far it has merely succeeded in replacing the epic throwdowns of the original with minute bursts of action that aren't nearly as satisfying. Still, it was a terrific leap forward after an abysmal start, and if the tale continues on this trajectory, maybe we'll wind up with a series that deserves to be called Secret Wars.
Final Grade: B