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Secret Warriors #4: Review

May 2009
Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Secret Warriors #4 Review by (September 4, 2019)
Eden Fesi is a new character, but Jonathan Hickman will take him over into his Avengers series leading up to Secret Wars III and make him a cosmically significant char.

Gateway has been an X-character since Uncanny X-Men #229 where he reluctantly provided transportation for the villainous Reavers. The supposedly-dead X-Men drove them off in #230 and took over their Outback base to use as their hideout, and Gateway gladly transferred his allegiance. He was last seen with the X-Treme X-Men in their 2001 Annual against the Shadow King and the rebuilt cyborg Reavers.
He'll wander off into Uncanny X-Force #5.1 to face the Reavers yet again before returning for a cameo in our final issue when Daisy Johnson re-recruits Eden Fesi to continue the good fight.

Jasper Sitwell was a by-the-book SHIELD Agent introduced in Strange Tales #144. After a while he became SHIELD's liaison with Tony Stark from Tales Of Suspense #93. He continued to be a SHIELD Agent through Nick Fury's Secret War and beyond. He *wasn't* replaced by a Skrull like Dum Dum Dugan and Val de Fontaine were, and was seen during Secret Invasion in Punisher War Journal (2007) #24.

Gabe Jones was 1 of the original Howling Commandos in WWII with Dum Dum Dugan, and progressed with him to become a SHIELD Agent who wasn't caught up in NF's Secret War. He was presumably also not Skrulled. He was last seen in #4 of Red Hulk's 20078 Hulk series between World War Hulk and Secret Invasion.

Kraken's mention of the Spear and the Shield are the 1st overt reference in this series to Hickman's SHIELD series, which wouldn't start publication for another year. The Brotherhood Of The Shield in the East and the Brotherhood Of The Spear in the West were 2 ancient organisations dedicated to protecting the Earth from aliens. That series will say that the Spear declined and was eventually superseded by Hydra. The Shield continues but the series will suggest that it spawned SHIELD, and our series near the end will show more of how that happened.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Warriors #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Daisy Johnson (Quake) and Sebastian Druid are in the Kata Tjuta rock formation in Australia. They came here to recruit someone but Druid crashed the plane. They are looking for the Aborigine Eden Fesi, a universal shaper. He's intended as a replacement (but not in powers) for Yo-Yo Rodriguez (Slingshot) who got her hands chopped off last issue. He's currently being trained by the teleportation mutant Gateway. Sebastian points out that 2 guys behind Daisy might fit the bill. And it *is* them.

Meanwhile in Juba (which will become the capital of South Sudan) Nick Fury enters a bar and is greeted by ex-SHIELD Agent Jasper Sitwell. Waiting for him at a table are his old Howling Commandos and SHIELD buddies Dum Dum Dugan and Gabriel Jones. Dum Dum greets Nick warmly and calls for beers. Gabe isn't so happy.

The rest of the Secret Warriors are in Inside Straight (designated here as Nick Fury's secret base #8) where the LMD doctors are looking after Yo-Yo. Alex Aaron (Phobos) catches JT James (Hellfire) rifling through Fury's files, and offers to help. JT is tired of Fury not telling them what's really going on, and hopes to get some clues. Alex finds a secret switch under a desk which opens a secret door. Inside they find a set of Life Model Decoy versions of the boss. (Now we know why Nick labels this base the replication facility.) Meanwhile Yo-Yo is in a (medically induced?) coma, and Jerry Sledge (Stonewall) is reading a poem to her called "Angels with monster feet, monsters with angel wings" (which I understand was written for this issue by Hickman).

Back in Sudan Dum Dum and Nick are reminiscing over women they have known in their checkered past. Gabe is still scowling. He can't believe the news that SHIELD was really always a part of Hydra - Fury and Baron Strucker kept trying to kill each other! (And supposedly Nick succeeded once.) But really he's pissed off that Fury abandoned them after he was kicked out of SHIELD, and after SHIELD was later disbanded. Dum Dum got this out of his system last issue, and he invites Nick to see their setup.

Back in Australia Daisy and Sebastian are taking it easy at Eden and Gateway's house. There's a kangaroo on a spit-roast. (Daisy declines the offer but Druid says it's tasty.) Fesi says he knows who they've come to recruit him for, but what he really wants to do is express his talent for playing rock guitar. Daisy asks if he's on pituri (a native drug), but he replies that the guitar is his drug. Anyway he can't go because Gateway won't let him. But then Gateway says he *can* go. Fury previously wanted him for his other group, which Gateway knew wasn't right. But Daisy's group *is*. Eden's happy to go, but Daisy wants to know "What *other* group?".

In the Grand Chamber in Gehenna. the ancient HQ of Hydra, in New Zealand the 6 heads of Hydra have gathered. Baron Strucker has proposed his plan. The new Madame Hydra finds it cunning but too aggressive. Kraken disagrees. Madame H is concerned that Fury has uncovered the old secret. Gorgon thinks she worries about him too much, but MH gives him the respect due a worthy adversary. Kraken says Hydra are the Spear, SHIELD are the Shield, and their conflict is age-old - they must fulfill their destiny. Viper calls that superstitious garbage. Hive says something in a language we can't understand, but presumably the others can. Strucker thanks him for his 'devotion'. Viper supports the plan. Gorgon says he knows how it will end and doesn't care about the route they take. Madame Hydra agrees for the sake of unity, and they prepare for war.

Last scene change - back to Sudan where the Howling Commandos Private Military Company have their base. When SHIELD was disbanded 1200 Agents refused to join Norman Osborn's HAMMER and formed this group, with whatever equipment they could 'salvage'. They've been a mercenary group since then, but they try to be selective about their jobs. Nick tells Dum Dum that from now on *he* will pay them to work for him, and their 1st target is the ex-SHIELD base called the Dock that HAMMER now occupy. The troops show their enthusiasm.

Dum Dum takes Nick to look at the armoury, which Fury deems adequate for the job. But Gabe has a concern. They'll be going up against HAMMER troops, many of whom will be ex-SHIELD. He knows many of those men, and they took the job reluctantly because they had families to feed. Fury says they made their choice. He doesn't believe the idea that workers bear no responsibility for what their bosses tell them to do. So he won't lose sleep over having to fight them.

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, Gabe Jones (Gabriel Jones), Gateway, Gorgon (Tomi Shishido), Hellfire (JT James), Hive, Jasper Sitwell, Kraken, Madame Hydra (Val de Fontaine), Manifold (Eden Fesi), Phobos, Quake (Daisy Johnson), Sebastian Druid, Secret Warriors, Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez), Stonewall (Jerry Sledge), Viper (Madame Hydra).

> Secret Warriors: Book info and issue index

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