Red Skull #3 Comic Book Recap/Review

Red Skull #3 Recap/Review – Freedom


Red Skull #3 Comic Book Recap

The attack begins.  With the Annihilation Wave at their side, Magneto and the Red Skull prepare to tear down the wall of their oppressors.  First they will take the Shield… then Doom and his kingdoms.  But Magneto holds off, knowing that the forces of the Wall will have some tricks up their sleeves.  Sure enough, Abigail Brand orders the activation of the Sentinels.

[Related: Marvel’s Secret Wars 2015 Complete Reading Order Checklist]

Eric relishes the opportunity to strike at these machines with his full power, but he quickly realizes something is terribly wrong.  His powers have no effect on the robots.  All at once, he knows he has been betrayed.  Neither the Sentinels, nor the wall, are made of metal.  Brand orders her army to clean house, and under heavy fire, the Annihilation Wave scrambles.  Magneto is furious but decides to attack the Shield anyway, only to be blasted back by a Sentinel attack.  The machines unleash a devastating wave of energy, and all at once, the battle is over.

Among the ashes, Magneto has been gruesomely injured.  He fumes over being used.  Tricked.  But the Red Skull is nowhere to be found.  He has retreated back to the Deadlands, and begins to fight his way through a horde of zombies.  But Magneto is able to find his former ally, and attacks.  But the Red Skull has one more twist, and he reactivates Eric’s inhibitor collar.  Now severely weakened, Magneto engages his enemy in hand to hand combat, and the two men ignore the zombies that surround them.  Eric pulls out the dagger gifted to him by the Skull, and attacks, only for the villain to fling the mutant into the hands of the zombies.  Magneto cries out, as he is devoured alive.  But he refuses to die like this, and takes off the inhibitor collar, knowing what will happen.


Meanwhile, the Red Skull flees to the tunnel from where Magneto came to the Deadlands.  He remarks that Magneto could have been useful in the war against Doom.  But he knows that Brand’s people will inevitably learn that he survived the attack, creating a myth of the legendary man who survived a slaughter while also providing a valuable distraction.  But as soon as he escapes, the villain is shot in the head.

It didn’t matter who came back from the Deadlands.  Crossbones would have shot anyone.  He apologizes to his former employer.  It was nothing personal, and Crossbones doesn’t have any particular need to help Doom.  But at the end of the day, Crossbones is the only man who has ever escaped from the Forbidden Zones, and he intends to keep it that way.

marvel comics event secret wars reading order checklist

Red Skull #3 Comic Book Review

Hello and welcome to Comic Island!  My name is Arden, and this is my recap and review of Red Skull #3.

Well, we’ve come to the end of yet another Secret Wars tie-in, and it just so happens to be a series I enjoyed.  Did the finale live up to what has been a fun run with decent art and a solid story that featured a good amount of twists and turns?  In short, no, not really.  In long, the art remained consistent and the content swung back to vivid gore and brutality just enough to suit the impressionistic style of the imagery, though I did find the big battle was a bit of a vomited mess of colour and didn’t feel like it had the level of detail the scene warranted.  Still, the art was consistent with the rest of the series, and consistency is good when we’re dealing with some pretty high quality drawings overall.

Red Skull #3 Recap/Review – Freedom‏

But the story is where this comic’s problems lie.  Now I’m sure I am about to shock you all with this knowledge bomb, but stories generally have a beginning, middle, and end.  And in a three issue tie in, that very neatly fits the model of each issue filling each of the three parts in any story.  All told, while the beginning and middle of the Red Skull series worked, but I found this ending a bit lacking.  It makes me wonder what was the point of it all?  I honestly couldn’t tell you what the central plot or even who the protagonists and antagonists are.  I guess Magneto and the Red Skull are the main characters, but I’m not sure who was the focus or what the story arc was.  The story ends with both men dying rather pointlessly.  What’s particularly confusing is the Red Skull’s behaviour, who seems to have the worst plan imaginable.

[Related: Marvel’s Secret Wars 2015 Complete Reading Order Checklist]

I mean, he knows Crossbones set this mission up.  He should have realized that the dude was no longer loyal to him.  And it was terribly wasteful to set up this big attack on the wall as just a distraction (and a pretty lousy one at that) mixed with an attempt to mythologize himself.  So he comes across as a bit of an idiot, not some master schemer.  Magneto also comes across as a bit of a sap, and the whole thing about him getting a… red skull… is really, really stupid.  Like… <SIGH> that’s so dumb.  That’s something a Silver or Golden Age comic would do, and even then, it would be silly.  The kind of thing we’d laugh about in the modern day, and let’s be honest, people will probably be making fun of this in the future.

Because it’s silly and a childish attempt at irony.  And the annoying thing is that there are still parts of issue three that work.  There were some great moments like the big attack falling apart so quickly because the Wall is so utterly prepared for stuff like this, or Eric and the Red Skull fighting to the death surrounded by zombies.  There’s glimmers of the intense and fun comic I adored, but it’s marred by this craziness and an ending that overall, just didn’t live up to all the build-up and fun of the first two issues.

It’s disappointing, to the point that it drags the tie-in down.  Endings are important. They do matter.  Yes, stories are about the journey, but endings are a part of that process.  They’re the final thing people see so they tend to stick in people’s memory, which is why people are so hard on TV shows like Lost nowadays even though it had a solid beginning and decent middle.  So I can’t in good conscious recommend this comic.  There’s better stuff floating around this week, like Renew Your Vows and Batman, as well as a few other comics we aren’t reviewing like The Walking Dead or Ms. Marvel.

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