Secret Wars #3 Review


As we settle into the seemingly desolate universe of Battleworld, the action takes another backseat to a much slower and more intimate progression. The issue begins with Dr. Strange reporting all affairs of the state of the kingdom to Doom, be them big or small. Aside from the trial with Sinister in the last issue, this is where we get to see Doom act as a king as opposed to the dictator he was implied to be. After a few cynical remarks thrown back and forth between the two, we find out a little more about their history with one another. This was also referenced at the beginning of Secret Wars #1, when they were in the presence of the Beyonders.

Returning to his duties as Sheriff, Strange explores the kingdom to assess the situation that occurred at the end of the last issue. After confronting the Thors at the scene and learning that there may have been some survivors of the planetary collision, we see a few familiar faces. Strange somehow found a way to keep the ships that escaped the universe collision in a stasis, freezing them in time until he decided what to do with them. I won’t spoil who else survived and made it into Battleworld, but I will say that we finally get a little Spidey attention again. While it is short lived, it’s nice to see a web-slinger or two among all the nameless Asguardians flying around who are of little consequence. Simply put, there’s no telling where the Spidey stories are going as of yet.

More from Bam Smack Pow

The heart of this issue lies with Doom and his conversation with Susan Storm. Not that we’ve seen him be particularly cruel in the story so far, but his genuine manner of speaking and levels of insecurity nearly inhibit the notion that he even could be. It seems that out of the few people Doom trusts with his kingdom, Susan is the only one he trusts with his heart and mind. Admitting to his lack of self worth is a side we haven’t seen before, and it is sure to add an interesting dynamic to the rest of this event when he confronts the survivors that landed before Spidey and his crew.

Issue #3 manages to do something the first two haven’t; progress the story while also diving into the traits that build a powerfully crafted character. However, as charming as the Doom side of this issue is, there’s something about Strange that puts me off. After he unfroze the ship that Spidey and the rest of the 616 crew were in, he approached and spoke to them without much caution. This got me wondering two things: Is Strange one to keep secrets from Doom? Secondly, even though this ship was full of heroes, would Doom allow them to live in his world? Because of those interactions, this issue left me a little unsure as to the differing mindsets between Strange and Doom.

More from Spider-Man

It was great to see some character development behind Doom and the potential villain loom closer to his ruling fist. The motives of Doom and Strange seem to uncomfortably differ, despite them being so close up until this point. I won’t knock the issue for this ambiguity just yet, because maybe I’m looking too far into it. But aside from that, I’m only more excited to see where the book will take us now that more characters have been introduced to the world.

More from Bam Smack Pow