I am really going to miss Marvel's Secret Warriors series in a couple of months.
Over the past two years, writer Jonathan Hickman has crafted one of the finest Nick Fury epics ever, melding the character's traditional espionage themes with superheroics and obscure Marvel history. In this final arc, "Wheels Within Wheels," we finally get some answers to long-running questions (Pay attention, Lost writers and producers) as longtime rivals Nick Fury and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker both wake up tied to chairs inside a small, locked room after the events of last issue.
The premise is simple, but feels like a scene out of a Quentin Tarantino movie designed to get two central characters to rattle off a bunch of dialogue and reveal several plot points along the way. Behind Fury and Strucker's captivity is Kraken, a mysterious member Hydra since this series' second issue, who plays a number of mind games with the two before finally revealing his identity in a considerable payoff to longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. fans.
The artist helping to sell such a dialogue-heavy issue is Alessandro Vitti, who seems to delight in drawing every line, wrinkle and crevasse in Fury and Strucker's faces. Thankfully, he also has a nice grasp of facial expressions, especially in the page where Fury calmly waits for his expected death, much to Strucker's surprise and exasperation.
Based on the way the final arc is going, Secret Warriors is one series readers are going to want to go back and reread from the beginning, if only to catch various tidbits Hickman dropped along the way that may have been missed the first time. There's still two issues to go, though, and a number of plot threads to be resolved. Let's see who manages to get out alive.