|FUTURE IMPERFECT No. 5, November 2015|
It is relatively easy to see why according to “Diamond Comic Distributors” this fifth and final issue of Peter David’s “Secret Wars” tie-in didn’t manage to make the Top Fifty selling titles of September 2015, and actually saw itself being significantly outsold by the likes of “Invader Zim” by independent publisher “Oni Press”. For whilst this twenty-page periodical’s narrative does (eventually) focus upon a titanic confrontation between the “version of the Hulk from a distant future who has become corrupted by power” and Battleworld’s God Emperor, its eventual conclusion doubtless had the vast majority of the book’s 32,926 strong audience feeling the American author’s plot had disappointingly badly cheated them.
Indeed it is hard to fathom just precisely what the Huxtur Award-winner must have been thinking when he decided to pen an elderly chair-bound Rick Jones as “the ‘Ancient One’ guarding the Destroyer” and have the Maestro easily defeat Victor von Doom courtesy of the additional energy George Perez’s co-creation attained by donning the enchanted armour. Presumably the Maryland-born writer later felt likewise, as having had Dystopia’s Baron obliterate his opponent with “a rather powerful disintegration beam” in order to become “the new ruler of the world” and “god”, the magazine’s final few panels dwell upon the fact the entire battle had actually been nothing more than an illusion and that a suddenly human-sized Bruce Banner will now simply stand before the Asgardian super-weapon “until he dies.”
Admittedly David’s ‘punch-up’ between two of the Marvel Universe’s greatest villains genuinely provides some memorable moments as the two megalomaniacs exchange a series of breathtakingly punishing blows. But whilst this brawl is as impressively paced as cheering on Doctor Doom is disconcerting, there is a palpable sense of betrayal when the comic reveals the events to all be nothing more than a grand deception; “He wished to defeat Doom. It gave him that wish.”
Mercifully however, Greg Land’s awesome artwork does make good on his cover illustration’s promise that the Maestro’s highly anticipated conflict with his “true overlord” will be sensationally drawn. In fact it is hard to find fault with any of the “Uncanny X-Men” penciller’s drawings within this comic book, especially once battle commences and both combatants set upon one another with all the fury which they can muster.
|Writer: Peter David, Artist: Greg Land, and Inker Jay Leisten|