"Secret Warriors" is the latest series to spin out of the conclusion of a Marvel crossover, following the tradition of the surprisingly successful “Avengers: The Initiative” -- even going so far as to nab the artist of that series for itself! The issue features Nick Fury and his team of “Caterpillar” operatives -- the titular “Secret Warriors” -- following their disappearance at the end of Secret Invasion.
While Bendis co-wrote the issue, his voice is no stronger than Hickman’s in the telling of it -- indeed, substantially less so, if anything, as the script is quite clearly Hickman’s from the outset. Stefano Caselli proves that he’s a worthy part of such a high-profile launch by turning in some excellent pages, imbuing Nick Fury with all the screen (er. . . page) presence of classic movie stars like Clint Eastwood. Fury might not be the sole star of the book, but his appearances make it obvious that he’s going to be the driving force behind it.
While “Secret Warriors” does spin out of “Secret Invasion,” the storyline itself is more stand-alone than you might think. Clearly, there was a need to explain why Fury would keep these characters around even following the removal of the Skrull threat, and Bendis and Hickman have managed to establish such a need early on, smartly justifying the book’s existence before readers have cause to wonder why it’s around. If only all comic launches were as convincing.
Following the main story, Hickman provides page after page of supplemental material delivering background information pertinent to this series, all of which is delivered in his highly original and recognizable “info-graph” style. Usually, Marvel’s tendency to pad out issues with handbook-style information feels a bit unnecessary, but Hickman’s unique work makes it almost justifiable in this case.
Like all good issues, “Secret Warriors #1” ends on a cliffhanger revelation strong enough to bring you back next month, but be warned: it’s a real doozy. Usually when you’re told that the ending of an issue will have severe consequences for the Marvel Universe, it’s easy to assume that it’s just marketing hype -- but in this case, it truly is a massive shift that calls into question a huge amount of Marvel’s history. You can guarantee that it’s going to cause some fairly heated reactions, and either way, if it gets people talking about this new series, that can only be a positive thing in the long run.