WAR OF THE REALMS #2 / Writer: Jason Aaron / Artist: Russell Dauterman / Colorist: Matthew Wilson / Letterer : VC’s Joe Sabino / Publisher: Marvel Comics / April 17th, 2019
Time to Breathe
Okay, the first issue of War of the Realms felt like a rush of action and not much time to take it all in. This one, in contrast, allows a little more time to get ourselves together. Much like the heroes, the story throws us into the action. It happens so fast, we’re not sure which way is up at first, but the priority is to check where everyone is and regroup to get our bearings. The art is, as always, rich and alive and beautiful to behold. The colours add to it. The fast-paced, exciting writing provides yet another shocking turn I don’t think any of us expected.
Seeing the Matrix
It got me thinking a lot about expectations/theories we have about big superhero events like this. If there’s one thing superhero fans like to do more than complain about comics/movies, it’s trying to predict what’ll happen in said comics/movies. Most nerdy types do this. We like to hyper-analyse every aspect of plot and character to look for clues in themes or McGuffins to see if we can “see the matrix.” Sometimes we do this because we think we can outsmart the writer—which is not the best attitude or approach to have and can really ruin your enjoyment. My own take is that it’s because we’re trying to soothe our own inner worries over what might happen to characters we’ve become emotionally invested in. I mean, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
Again, not always entirely healthy as a way of analyzing or enjoying anything, but I certainly can’t help it! I look for recurring themes or story beats as a way of trying to predict the future of a story. It serves as a way to self-sooth my own worries over a character I may be a little overly attached to. Yeah, it is a little self-indulgent, but if you’re a superhero nerd then you’ve definitely done it too. Hell, fans build whole websites dedicated to making content based purely on fan theories; I was just looking at one not ten minutes ago!
This is my long winded way of saying, The War of the Realms 2 surprised me. It amazes me that I didn’t think of any of it. In retrospect, though, I saw the signs but failed to recognize them as such. That was just one plot element, minor in the grand scheme of this issue’s story; I predict it will have big consequences later. There will likely be more as the event progresses. As much as I hate it when people fail to see value in a story or characters because they ‘figured it out’ (in the end, stories need emotional investment; they’re not always friggin’ puzzles!), I love seeing a plot beat I didn’t predict turn out amazing and making so much sense.
There’s also something else teased in the synopsis for this issue. It was just as tragic as the other surprise was exciting. I, again, tried to predict who it might be, but I was wrong. It was still shocking and sad and I imagine a lot of people might be a little put out by this particular move, especially the manner done. However, given one of the truisms of superhero comics, I imagine it won’t be permanent. Especially if you know what Jason Aaron’s working on next. Your mileage may vary. I’ll be interested to see what people think.
So, yes, a much better issue than the first (and the first was really good), and the event’s only really just getting started! I cannot wait for the rest. It’s also a nice distraction from worrying about Endgame.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
I’m a thirty something British nerd-mum and wannabe author, fueled by tea, poor decision making and a need to be distracted. Cursed to watch favourite characters die and ships sink.