Secret Warriors #4
Jonathan Hickman Brian Bendis Stefano Caselli
Ever since Nick Fury vanished at the end of Secret War a few years back, the question would occasionally pop up "where is Fury in all of this?". Something big would happen with SHIELD or Hydra or whatever and you would wonder what Nick was doing. With the Secret Invasion come and gone, Nick (like everyone else) is adapting to the new status quo. In this New World Order, Fury trusts even fewer people than he did before. That short list now includes his hand selected, unattached, agents and, as we see in this issue, the remnants of SHIELD which would not be absorbed into HAMMER. What worked. In interviews, Brian Bendis has given the credit for the actual execution of the book to his co-writer, new-comer Jonathan Hickman. So, I am sure he will not mind if I do the same. Nick's manipulations make you think that the plot is all twisted and confusing, because to him it is, but for us it is a fairly straight-forward read. The deck is stacked completely against Nick Fury. Sinister revelations have called everything he has known into doubt.....except for one thing. Nick Fury fights the bad guys. The only thing that has ever been in question is just who those bad guys are. Nick is utterly incapable of compromising who he is and what he does. How do you show a character like that developing? You let the world change around him and show him responding to changing sets of circumstances. THIS is how action comics in shared universes should be executed. The facts and tone of the universe now demand a response from certain characters, and in this book, those characters do respond. The relationship shown between the new Secret Warriors, Nick's old crew, and even the members of Hydra's inner cabal, all seem individualized and genuine. The Hydra meeting, for example, is more than just villains taking it in turn to deliver exposition. Each one expresses his or her own unique perspective on the issues that they face.
What did not work. I am not entirely certain what was decided at the aforementioned meeting. Something evil, to be sure. I am just not certain what it was. Also, I could have used the standard Marvel who's-who and what-happened page. I can follow the events of the story clearly enough, I just don't have a handle on all of these new characters yet.