Hiya folks! It’s been two months since my last Secret Wars review/recap, but it was very much worth the wait! I gotta do my usual spoiler-proof opening paragraph though, so bear with me. Anyhoo, I watched The Flash season premiere last night, and while it wasn’t great, it wasn’t horrible either. I’m looking forward to the next episode!

Okay, that should do it.

After a breather issue a couple of months ago, Secret Wars ramps things back up with a time jump to “three weeks later.” A lot happened in those three weeks, apparently; I can only assume it happened in the tie-ins, because it definitely didn’t happen in this series.

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There’s a full-blown revolution against Doom, led by someone called The Prophet. Doom is understandably miffed about this, and wants the Lords and Ladies of Battleworld to squash the rebellion before he has to step in. Sinister is put out by this, and it’s revealed Captain Marvel is working with Sinister; she’s quite possibly either insane or under his thrall. She’s got the same ruby in her head that he does, so I’m thinking thrall.

Good Richards and Evil Richards are working together to defeat Doom. Evil Richards wants to kill Doom, and while Good Richards isn’t exactly opposed to the idea, he isn’t enthusiastic about it, either. Then Evil Richards shows Good Richards an image of Doom’s wife and kids — Susan, Val, and Frankin.

Dun-dun-dun.

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Meanwhile, Namor and T’Challa infiltrate Strange’s hidden sanctum and pick themselves up a teleportation trinket as well as an Infinity Gauntlet. I bet that’ll come in handy! Val is investigating Doom behind his back, and discovers the location of the source of his power, but is afraid to go down into it. At the entrance to the source, Val meets Peter Parker and Miles, who try to get her to remember who they are. They also confirm that the rebels didn’t kill Strange, which Val suspected anyway.

The Spider-Men meet Molecule Man, and give him a three-week-old hamburger Miles found in the pocket of his costume. The hamburger bit between Peter and Miles is delightful, and my favorite part of the issue.

But for a pure “whoa” moment, that has to go to the bedtime story Susan tells Franklin. She tells him about the Fantastic Four — herself, Johnny, Ben...and Franklin Storm, her and Johnny’s father. She tells Franklin about the destruction of their reality, the murder of her father at the hands of Apocalypse, as well as their rescue by Doom. This blows my mind, because it means that Doom didn’t just put a mental whammy on Richards’s family. Susan, Val, and Franklin are genuinely Doom’s family, alternate versions that Doom legitimately has in his life.

...or does he?

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The issue ends with Thanos having a chat with Shield-Thing. Thanos tells Ben that Doom has lied to and manipulated Ben, Johnny, and Susan. Thanos tells Ben that he’s the Shield and Johnny’s the sun only because Doom wanted them out of the way. This enrages Ben, who then breaks out of the Shield as a giant rock monster, ready to kick ass.

This issue has left me very pleased, but also full of questions. Is Doom really a decent person? Did he really meet alternate versions of Susan, Ben, and Johnny? Or are they the “real” versions, simply made by Doom to think they are alternate versions? Two major pieces of evidences for manipulation are Val and Franklin. If they are really Susan and Doom’s children, they should be completely different people, genetics being what they are. So are they the smoking guns revealing Doom’s villainy? Or are they simply coincidences? After all, it’s always been obvious that Val and Franklin look like their mother as opposed to their father. I’m just not sure. But I like the idea of Doom having his family legitimately rather than through mind rapey means.

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I suppose we will find out soon. See you all next issue!