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Secret Warriors #16: Review

May 2010
Jonathan Hickman, Gianluca Gugliotta

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Secret Warriors #16 Review by (December 30, 2019)
It is suggested that the Kraken helmet made the new guy able to pass himself off as the old Kraken, even fooling old friend Strucker. With the help of the Kraken's diaries of course. However that doesn't really explain how come Strucker didn't know Kraken was at death's door given that Kraken told him he was dying in an #13 flashback. And what did he think when 'Kraken' later wasn't dead or even dying?

In #25 we'll learn that the previous Kraken was Daniel Whitehall. We won't learn the new Kraken's identity until #26. But he knows Whitehall because they were both part of the Great Wheel/Zodiac that we keep getting hints about.

When he switches off Whitehall's life support Kraken says he's "helping him become what he's supposed to be". This has been a catch phrase of Whitehall's. He said it to Tomi Shishido the future Gorgon when he gave him a sword in #11-FB, and to the man who would become Hive in #12-FB. Baron Strucker said that's what Kraken does in #13-FB.

For the 1st time we learn the names of the members of the other 2 Secret Warriors Caterpillar teams. Alex Pierce's team Black includes Bobby Gomorra, Aaron Downing, Ellis Love, Ben Huth, Ahmed Noor, Cornell Gray and Lauren Wolfe. Mikel Fury's team Gray contains Sandra Murphy, Bryan Cole, Carlos Ayala, Red Webo, Jenny Monroe, Malcolm Monroe, Lynn Richards and Robert Martin. But we don't know what they can do.

This is the end of Wake The Beast.

Despite what it says this issue we don't see Daisy's Team White in action against Hydra/Leviathan for quite a while. Maybe because Siege gets in the way. Nick and the team are involved in several issues in the event including their own Siege:SW 1-shot.

But even after that #17-19, The Last Ride Of The Howling Commandos, doesn't include Team White. The HCPMC and Pierce's Team Black destroy Hydra's Hell's Heaven base in China where the Hive's parasites are grown. But most of the HCPMC including original Howlers Gabe Jones and Erik Koenig are killed. Team Black gets out safely. (The only Hydra figure involved is Gorgon.)

And then the Marvel Chronology Project has some more scattered apps before we get to the Night arc in #20-22.
Nick Fury is busy. He asks Wolverine to join his Secret Warriors in Wo: Origins #49-50 but Logan declines (Nick doesn't mention Wolvie's old foe Gorgon to tempt him). The Secret Avengers in their (2010)#5 ask Fury who his double is working with the Shadow Council. Nick tells them it's a rogue LMD who Scorpio programmed to believe he was Fury (in Defenders #46-50). Fury then guest stars in Taskmaster (2010) #2-3 and cameos in Fantastic Four #584 and #588 (Human Torch's funeral). In New Avengers (2010) #13 he saves Mockingbird's life (and gives her powers) with the Infinity Formula that has kept him young.
Meanwhile Phobos, son of (dead) Ares, gets dragged into a battle of surrogates of the Greek gods in Hercules: Fall Of An Avenger #2.

#20 will say it's 6 months later so there's been plenty of time for the stuff in between. Hydra and Leviathan have heavily crippled each other, but also they've knocked out a lot of Fury's assets. It is unclear what Team White have been doing in the meantime.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Warriors #16 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
It's 2 weeks later than last issue. Nick Fury is in his secret base #7 Pieta deep under Rome having a conference with holograms of his 3 team leaders Daisy Johnson (Quake), Alexander Pierce and his son Mikel Fury.

10 days ago the leaders of Leviathan arrive at the Hydra financial base the Crown in Kyoto for the meeting they arranged last issue (3 days before). Baron Strucker and Kraken prepare to greet them. They are expecting 3 guests:- Orion, Magadan and the traitorous Madame Hydra/Val de Fontaine. Wolfgang von Strucker says it will revive old memories to have 4 of the original 12 members of the Great Wheel (he, Kraken, Orion and Magadan, see Dark Reign: The List: Secret Warriors 1-shot) together in the same room again.

But for now we divert to another flashback to 2 years ago. A man visits another man in a hospital bed. He refers to the dying man as an old friend, and says he found his Kraken diaries in his London house - a litany of the most evil deeds imaginable, including his involvement with Zodiac. He takes the Kraken helmet and puts it on, and it expands into body armour. He says he'll take over the role, and the helmet seems to transform him both physically and mentally to fit. And then he switches off the man's life support.

Back at the Crown the Leviathan 3 are led to a conference room to face Strucker, Kraken and Gorgon. Then Hive enters with the transformed Viper. She forgives the Contessa for shooting her (#14) because it led to her new form. (Hive revived her last issue and gave her a large tentacled parasite on her head.)

Orion had asked for the meeting to discuss an alliance between Hydra and Leviathan. But now he demands that Hydra be subservient to Leviathan. But they will allow Strucker and the rest of his council to pretend to their troops to still be in charge. The Baron of course rejects this out of hand, saying he should have killed Viktor Uvarov long ago. Orion points out that he *did* try.

Strucker sics Gorgon on him and Tomi Shishido plunges his sword through Orion's chest. But Viktor bats him back with a large mallet that he magics up out of nowhere (is this guy really Slapstick in heavy disguise?!) and then withdraws the sword, saying it'll take more than that to kill him. Valentina calls in a strike and a squad of Leviathan jets and armoured flying troops attacks the base. Meanwhile the occupants of the conference room battle each other.

Now back to Fury's hologram conference in the now. He tells his team leaders that 4 days ago Hydra and Leviathan went to war against each other. (That day count doesn't add up.) He reports that large numbers of troops were killed but the leaders all escaped with injuries. The Crown base was destroyed. Fury tells them to prepare their teams for action because it's time to hit the enemy while they're wounded. When the holograms fade we see that 3 other figures are *really* in the room with him.

Daisy takes her VR headset off in Fury's Providence base and tells her boyfriend JT James (Hellfire) that Nick is going to mobilise her team in a few days. So they start to enjoy what free time they will have left.

We then see Fury and the other 3 in his Pieta base sitting round the Great Wheel/Zodiac table. The others are Dum Dum Dugan, John Garrett (from #7-9 and DRL: SW) and a new player called the Professor (but in DRL:SW they were all listed as members of the Great Wheel). He tells them that what they've been planning for has reached it's moment, so now is their last chance to back out. The Professor says everything is in place. Dugan says he's tired of waiting so let's end it. Garrett asks Fury if *he*'s having 2nd thoughts. Nick denies it but says they'll all pay a price.

Later that night JT gets a message to meet someone. He leaves Daisy's bed and 20 minutes later he's in the Black Atlas bar passing info to someone. JT reminds him he promised nothing would happen to Daisy, and regrets taking the money (#7) from the fortune Nick stole from Hydra. He's talking to Baron Strucker, and all that money was trackable by Hydra so Strucker is blackmailing him.

Gianluca Gugliotta
Gianluca Gugliotta
Sunny Gho
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Mark Morales (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Alexander Pierce, Baron Strucker, Hellfire (JT James), Hive, John Garrett, Kraken, Leviathan (Gargantua), Madame Hydra (Val de Fontaine), Magadan (Vasili Dassiev), Mikel Fury, Orion (Viktor Uvarov), Professor (Thomas Davidson), Quake (Daisy Johnson), Viper (Madame Hydra).

> Secret Warriors: Book info and issue index

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