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The Truth About the Eye Patch

August 24, 2010

Dum Dum Dugan and Jasper Sitwell continue to tell their story to the ambassadors of the United Nations Security Council countries in Secret Warriors #18.  The ambassadors are rather surprised to hear about the deaths of most of the Howling Commandos, and Dugan and Sitwell explain that the decimation of their forces happened after the attack on the HYDRA base.  In the flashback, Dugan, Gabe Jones, and Alexander Pierce and his team made it inside the HYDRA base, where they found all of these people getting turned into monsters by the Hive’s parasites.  They blew the room and the whole base sky high, and everyone pulled out.  At the Howling Commandos reunion, also in the past, and Izzy Cohen and Jones told the story of Cap beating up some Nazi soldiers and them realizing that he couldn’t speak German.  Seems it was the last time the Howling Commandos saw Cap.  They then toasted him as “the one man.”  Back to the HYDRA op, Pierce asked Dugan if he’s on “the inside,” indicating perhaps that Zodiac thing.  Dugan brushed his question aside, saying that Nick Fury knows everything and that’s enough for him.  In the present day, the ambassadors show Dugan and Sitwell a map of Fury’s secret hideouts and S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA bases, saying that they were all locations of armed conflict since the Howling Commandos incident.  Dugan then decides to tell them everything.  Back at the reunion, Dugan chatted with Fury, saying that everyone’s was betting on when he got the eye patch.  Seems he got it at some secret time that only Dugan knows about, and it should have killed him.  Then, back after the HYDRA op, HYDRA dreadnaughts came out of nowhere and attack.  They took out one helicarrier and prepared to attack the one Dugan is in.  Dugan refused to leave the men behind, and it seemed that the Gorgon was leading the attack.

Well, stuff is coming together.  We’ve got more hints about this whole Zodiac thing that seems to link key members of HYDRA, S.H.I.E.L.D, and Leviathan together.  We’ve got this nice reunion with the Commandos, which seems to be their last hurrah, since Dugan and Sitwell are the only named characters who have been confirmed to come out of the HYDRA op.  We’ve got the op itself, where all the action is.  And then we have the present day, when it seems that Dugan has decided to enlighten the ambassadors about the fight that the Commandos, the Secret Warriors, and Fury have been undertaking.  This story, more so than any, has reminded me that this book often thrives when the actual Secret Warriors are nowhere to be seen.  It’s amusing, but it’s true, as Jonathan Hickman does a great job with Fury and his pals and with this whole secret organization mythos.  I’d be interested to see how this also ties into the S.H.I.E.L.D. ongoing series, and based on when it takes place, I’m tempted to think that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a new incarnation of the organization, founded after the events of that series and controlled by HYDRA.  I would still like to see more of the main characters, but I don’t mind the focus on the Commandos.  Alessandro Vitti is also coming into his own as the artist on this book.  Yeah, he’s no Stefano Caselli, but his faces and action scenes are improving.  And since the colors are the same as before, that helps with the artistic continuity.  That man sure does love to draw wrinkles though.  My only complaint is that I would think that Cap would have known German.  It’s such a minor complaint, and that should indicate the quality of this story.  Hickman’s the biggest new comic book writer in the last couple of years, and that’s why I enjoy all three of his ongoing books.  Maybe this one most of all.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 9.1      Overall: 9.0

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