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Secret Warriors #2: Review

Mar 2009
Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Secret Warriors #2 Review by (August 20, 2019)
Brian Bendis co-wrote this issue with Jonathan Hickman again.

The Satan Claw has been Baron Strucker's weapon of choice since Strange Tales #157-158 (which ended with his 1st death), although various others wielded it while he was dead.

Strucker's authorisation code "Strucker Sagittarius Zodiac" is related to Nick Fury's override code "Fury Gemini Zodiac", and we'll find out why in #25.

This is the 1st appearance of Kraken and the Hive, and of this new Madame Hydra. (Viper was 1 of the previous MH's.) But it will turn out that Kraken and the new Madame H are people we already know in other guises.

Ophelia Sarkissian (if that's her real name) was the 1st Madame Hydra in Captain America #110-113, but she fell out of favour with Hydra. So she killed the original criminal Viper used his id to run the Serpent Squad in CA#180. She retained the name and teamed-up with Silver Samurai in Marvel Team-Up #82-85. Their relationship has continued intermittently until now.

The Hand were introduced in Daredevil #174 during Frank Miller's Elektra run on that title. Resurrection has been part of their shtick since #190 when they brought Elektra back to life.

Gorgon débuted in Wolverine (2003) #20-31, leading the Hand and working with Hydra until Logan killed him. It is from that death that he is resurrected here.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Warriors #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The issue starts with a flashback to 3 months ago during Secret Invasion. In the underwater Hydra HQ Ichor in the Pacific Ocean, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker is watching scenes of superheroes fighting Skrulls. His 4 aides report on the invasion, saying that the aliens have prepared by infiltrating governments and the metahuman community - but Hydra is clean. However Baron Strucker turns on them and says he can tell they themselves are aliens. The Skrulls reveal themselves, saying it is irrelevant because they have taken over Hydra completely - and now they can be rid of *him*.

The Baron dons the Satan Claw and invites them to attack. And after a brief fight he slaughters them. Knowing that the base really is compromised he triggers a self-destruct mechanism with authorisation code "Strucker Sagittarius Zodiac". Ichor is destroyed and only Strucker escapes. Hydra is broken, but he knows that he can rebuild it in the chaos that will follow the Invasion.

In the present in Nick Fury's secret base #17, the Cocoon in New York, Fury has just shown his Secret Warriors' team leader Daisy Johnson what he learned 1 month ago when he broke into the SHIELD secret DataCore facility, the Carousel, last issue - that the now-disbanded SHIELD was always actually working for Hydra. This was true all the time that Fury ran SHIELD and he never sussed it.

Daisy can't believe it, but Nick encourages her to think it through. It would explain why Hydra is never fully defeated. And they could use SHIELD to eliminate their competition. And they had access to all the info SHIELD collected, including the secrets of the superheroes. She asks him why he's so sure that Hydra did this. He replies because that's what *he* would have done. [But what about the successes SHIELD *did* have against Hydra, including blowing up Hydra Island and killing Strucker in Strange Tales #158? But then Strucker was resurrected later. And Hydra didn't die.]

1 month ago in the Hydra base Gehenna inside a mountain in New Zealand, Strucker gets a report on the latest Hydra situation. Recruitment is healthy and they have more than 6,000 fully-trained members. They've liquidated 900 billion dollars from various holdings. They lost a lot of tech in Ichor but they've 'siphoned off' lots of decommissioned SHIELD stuff. And their data survived because of a parallel data store, the SHIELD Carousel DataCore.

However this leads into the breaking news that Nick Fury has just infiltrated that site. Strucker realises that Fury will now at last know what the real situation has been. And this will make things more interesting. He orders the 'grand chamber' to be dusted off and invitations to be sent out.

In the present the Secret Warriors minus Daisy are in a Chinese restaurant. Quake joins them but only to say that Fury wants them back at HQ right away. Yo-Yo Rodriguez warns Sebastian Druid his unhealthy eating is going to kill him. JT James suggests that in their business that's not the way they'll go. Alex Aaron lets slip that he can see the future, to some extent. (Comes of being Phobos, son of the Greek god Ares.) He reluctantly gives them some hints of their fates.

Druid will be a genuine hero. Yo-Yo will get hurt, but Jerry Sledge will take care of her. And Jerry's going to find out who he really is. Daisy will be good at her job, and after some troubles will make it big. And JT's going to die.

Another flashback. 2 weeks ago Strucker's call has gone out. Viper leaves her lover Keniuchio Harada (Silver Samurai) in the HQ of the Japanese Clan Yashida that he rules. Kraken comes from the endless deep, Madame Hydra from the outer dark and the Hive from the unknown regions. These 4 meet Baron Strucker in Gehenna in New Zealand. (This appears to be an ancient HQ of Hydra, and Strucker refers to the room as the Grand Chamber.) But he says they still need 1 more player.

Now Fury tells his troops the news about Hydra and SHIELD. From now on they can't afford any mistakes. They're going to need to gather all the intelligence they can. And someone will have to go undercover in Hydra.

The issue end with a last Hydra flashback 2 days ago. The 5 conspirators have slaughtered their way into the Hand's Resurrection Temple, which allegedly has never happened successfully before. Now they want a body resurrected, which Hydra acquired that morning. (So this is what they took from SHIELD's Black Ice base last issue.) The Hand Grandmaster says his price will be Strucker's head, and the Baron calmly agrees.

The body has been hacked to pieces. The GM and 5 other Hand specialists perform the resurrection ritual. But as the body reforms it consumes them to feed itself. (So Strucker's head is safe.) And the Baron welcomes back Tomi Shishido, the Gorgon.

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Daniele Rudoni
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Baron Strucker, Gorgon (Tomi Shishido), Hand (The Hand), Hellfire (JT James), Hive, Kraken, Madame Hydra (Val de Fontaine), Phobos, Quake (Daisy Johnson), Sebastian Druid, Secret Warriors, Silver Samurai, Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez), Stonewall (Jerry Sledge), Viper (Madame Hydra).

> Secret Warriors: Book info and issue index

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