Issue #4 an A+ and I thought things were really looking up. Then we had to wait a while for the this most recent issue, heightening the anticipation. Yesterday, I snagged my copy and I was actually eager to tear into it, but my enthusiasm waned with every page that I turned. It's entirely possible that the editorial team had a meeting and decided that the primary goal for Issue #5 would be to bore the hell out of all the readers who paid for a copy. The best way to sum up the difference between the original (vastly superior) Secret Wars and this woeful 2015 version would be to wonder how a story with access to all of Marvel's best heroes and villains could be anything but a blast. It doesn't seem possible and the 1984 version was jam-packed with fun. Hell, maybe Jonathan Hickman took this as a challenge, because this series is turning out to be as dull as anything that Marvel has ever produced. Perhaps the biggest problem is the lack of star power in a crossover with access to all of the stars in the Marvel Universe. Everyone is a bit player, with even the greatest heroes who have hit the scene in this Secret Wars largely reduced to cameo appearances. This tale has been 85% Dr. Doom and 15% everyone else. Making matters worse, I love me some Doom, but I'm not overly enthused about this take on the legendary villain. He's surely a far cry from the Doom that we saw in the original Secret Wars. It's obvious that the focus here is on reshaping the Marvel universe, and it's equally apparent that there is little or no interest in telling a good story in the process. There has been so little action in the first five issues that it probably accounts for little more than a few pages and there has been so much exposition that calling the 2015 Secret Wars clunky is like calling the ocean wet. It's boring, it's convoluted, the vast majority of the heroes and villains we know and love aren't even present, and the fact that this lukewarm attempt at storytelling bears the name of the best crossover of them all only heightens the disappointment.
Final Grade: F
Issue #1 - Final Grade: D- - read the review here.
Issue #2 - Final Grade: B - read the review here.
Issue #3 - Final Grade: C - read the review here.
Issue #4 - Final Grade: A+ - read the review here.