By now, the two major comic book companies viz. Marvel and DC are virtually indistinguishable. Secret Wars = Convergence. Same story, same consequences. Endless reboots.
What we, as comic book fans, are left with is quality of art and characterisation. Intriguing Plots? Fuck that!
For this overlong mini-series, where our heroes are plunged into a new reality fashioned by a classic villain (a superhero cliche as old as the ages), we knew that because the villain in question was Doctor Doom, the final confrontation had to be with arch-nemesis Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards).
The denouement reminded me somewhat of Alan Moore’s Miracleman where the monstrous Kid Miracleman is tricked into saying the magic word and reverting to Johnny Bates. Except this time, it is Doom’s hubris (and jealousy) that undoes him.
Central to this, is the Molecule Man – whom I have always thought of as a minor villain. Not any more, Owen Reece seems to possess god-like powers! And in fact, functions as the battery that sustains Doom’s machinations. And in a very simplistic manner provides the climax to the entire piece.
If only he had done that as the beginning, we would have been spared nine issues that vividly demonstrate everything that is wrong about super-hero comics now.
Alan Moore’s quote seems highly relevant –
“It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite ‘universes’ presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.”