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Secret War

(Secret War #1-5)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,808 ratings  ·  204 reviews
When Nick Fury finds a disturbing connection between many of Marvel's deadliest villains, he puts together a ragtag team of the MU's most misunderstood heroes for a secret mission to do what the US government could never allow, eventually leading to a super-powered blowout between a who's who of NYC heroes and mutants.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 30th 2009 by Marvel (first published September 1st 2004)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,808 ratings  ·  204 reviews

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Buddy read with some Shallow Friends!

I read this one back in 2009 and loved it, but I wasn't sure how well it would hold up.
Turns out, pretty well!
It's not a perfect story, but in comparison to some of the longer events I've read lately, this one had more of a coherent feel to it. Like, the whole story was contained within these pages. I didn't feel like I needed to search out tie-ins, or read anything before I read this.
Just...BOOM. One and done.


The story is pretty simple.
It opens with Luke Ca
An astonishing beginning but a poor ending.

This TPB edition collect the 5 issues of the mini-series “Secret War”, that it’s a totally different comic book event than the one titled “Secret Wars” (plural).

Creative Team:

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator: Gabrielle Dell’Otto


This brief comic book miniseries begins with three kickin’-butt issues but sadly, the remaining last two issues were so lame that at the end I thought that the fairest rating was 3 sta
Sam Quixote
Feb 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Nick Fury discovers that the Latverian government is secretly bankrolling a bunch of second-rate supervillains to cause terror stateside and decides to take the fight to their doorstep with a little help from his friends. Except the superheroes don’t know how far Fury is willing to go to protect his homeland…

I honestly thought Secret War might be good as it’s from around the time of Brian Michael Bendis’ Daredevil run, which is superb. But nope - Secret War is an utter nightmare of a mess from s
What does Nick Fury look like?

Does he look like some wishy-washy namby-pamby pushover? Does he look like the guy who lets terrorists get away even if the president tells him to do so?
What does Nick Fury look like?

He looks like the guy who gets the job done regardless of the consequences.

I don't know why I took so long to read Secret War. It must have been brain damage because it makes no sense that I waited this long. Nick Fury demonstrates with simplicity why he's not to be messed with. Whe
James DeSantis
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well now I know why marvel gave Bendis the keys to the Avengers back in mid 2000's.

So what's secret war? Well Fury needed a mission complete. One he knew wouldn't be possible after his own goverment said "nah we good." so what does he do? Recruit some of the biggest superheroes to help him complete the mission including Spider-man, Captain America, Daredevil, Logan, Cage, and more! However...Nick Fury needs to cross a very dark line. One that shouldn't be crossed when fighting for "good" but he
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
2nd review:

This is my third time re-reading this formative tale of one of white-and-old-Nick Fury’s last outings in the Marvel universe.

The art is *so* beautiful, the models for our heroes are so unusually gorgeous, I hardly recognise anyone I'm reading about. It's like I'm looking at Earth-619, where symmetry and smooth skin are omnipresent.

I love that Bendis called out one of the most obvious-in-hindsight angles of all the capes-and-tech types: where the fuck does the funding come from for th
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superhumans, comics
I wasn't reading Marvel when this was first published, so I missed it. I'm glad I went back for it. As far as "event" comics go (and I'm not sure how much of an event this was at the time) this is remarkably focused and character driven. I've seen the changes, mostly relatively subtle, that this single story brought to the Marvel Universe. I wish I'd read this before Original Sin, actually, because it would have been good to see where it started.

This is Bendis, so much of the book actually revo
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nick Fury finds a disturbing connection between a tech villain and the government of Latveria. He leads (and misleads) a team of superheroes in a preemptive strike against Latveria's prime minister, Lucia Von Bardas, claiming it as a defensive move to prevent terrorist attacks. Hilarity ensues.

The title seems to indicate it's going to relate to the Secret Wars of 1985, but the story is actually an allegory about war in general and a couple in particular some Americans might be familiar with. Ben
Captain America. Spider-Man. Daredevil. Wolverine. Black Widow. Luke Cage. On a top secret under the rader black ops mission lead by S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury to overthrow (and assassinate) the government of another country, that's going to do terrorist acts on US soil. Queue morally questionable actions of noble heroes, memory-wipes, retributions-fallout and morality questions without answers. Yup, they don't make comicbook storylines like this anymore these days. Compact, to-the-point, thoug ...more
Wow for once I actually really like a crossover comic. Having been born in the mid 90s, this time period of Marvel I have the fondest memories of. Brian Michael Bendis kicked off an entire new era for Marvel with this comic, and redefined the Marvel universe. Can’t wait to read House of M next!
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good espionage inspired super hero story. The painted art is in the same league as someone like Alex Ross, and really helps give the story more production value. I remember when this first came out, and it took forever because of the art. But it was always worth waiting for. It's also a prequel of sorts to Bendis' New Avengers run, as many of the characters who take part in Fury's 'Secret War' eventually become New Avengers. There's also some plot threads that hang over. The SHIELD files ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite Marvel events!
Shannon Appelcline
Secret War may be the story that started the darkening of Nick Fury that came to a conclusion in Original Sin, a decade later. It's definitely an interesting alternative look at the Marvel universe that replaces the usual four-color fighting with ... well, kind of dark-and-gritty fighting. The result is a delightfully "realistic" look at how our heroes might operate on the world stage.

The chronology is a little challenging, since the story operates in two timeframes. It takes especial care when
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marvel
I LOVE it when superheroes take off their masks, stand in a circle, and hash-out their political differences. I especially love it when superheroes are forced to admit that they have made bad choices and poor decisions.

A brilliantly structured story with moody, atmospheric artwork. Suspenseful and tense. Great dialogue with some fantastic character development. "Secret War" definitely made an impact on this reader. And it made an impact on the Marvel Universe; the fallout from this storyline ha
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Amazing artwork in this graphic novel. The flashbacks and flashforwards can get a little confusing, but they make the story more interesting. It's an intriguing story of a guy trying to do the right thing when his superiors don't want to help.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story and great artwork this Left me wanting more.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing glimpse into the mind of Nick Fury and what happens when politics and superpowers collide.... I wish it was told in a less confusing manner but I suppose that was the point of it all.

Very different in terms of art work with a realistic detailed style that had each panel looking like a painting.
Jamie Connolly
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Meh. It was ok. 3 stars.
Zack B.
So I see other people on here saying that they appreciate how this is one self-contained story collected in a trade, but I guess it is, but I feel like I only read half a story here.
The premise is that Nick Fury recruits a bunch of superheroes to conduct a secret military coup in Latveia and then brainwashes them so they have no memory of it afterwards. For a while this is fine until blowback from this start to come into the superheroes lives and they start to have flashbacks to the events of th
Tarique Ejaz
"It will be our secret war. It shall be ours only."

A plot that spans over betrayal, deception and mystery combined with some admirable realistic artwork. Six major heroes are recruited by Nick Fury to do his dirty work and then walk away completely oblivious of their deed. The S.H.I.E.L.D. in its complete anonymity serves the function of being a ruthless organization as it does not hesitate in manipulating even the symbol of American splendor - Captain America to do what it thinks is needed, des
Nuno Gil Franco
Dec 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Well, this was just horrible, story-wise. The art is marvelous and Dell'Otto deserves every praise he receives. Truly great art. The writing in itself wasn't bad. But the story... Oh boy, the story. First of all, while this is pretty much a closed story, I don't really see any purpose to this story. Fury finds a threat and decides to act on his "own" after the US President tells him to stand down. I don't have any problem with this premise but the way they chose to follow up on that was just pla ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting premise with fantastic art that starts out fun and ends abruptly.

I read this to supplement my recent reading of the New Avengers Omnibus but honestly, it doesn't add much to the story. Almost a blip on the Marvel events radar, though I presume it does set the 'tone' for upcoming events.

Still, it's an easy read with great art and an interesting smorgasbord of Heroes to boot. I wonder if it was almost a pilot run at the upcoming New Avengers series Bendis was to do.

If you're bored a
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Liked the artwork although pretty dark throughout. It fits well with the story. First appearance of Daisy Johnson who has a big role in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV. show. It's a thick TPB until you find out half of it is Secret Case Files. Up next is New Avengers vol. 1 of my Bendis Avengers read.
Started out really good, but felt kind of rushed by the end. I'd have liked to have spent more time reading about the actual war itself. In order to get a good sense of the wrongness of it, you want to know more about what actually happened. The artwork is gorgeous, thought sometimes the color was too dark, especially with a black background.
shaurya gupta
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Stunning artwork and a great story. I really enjoyed it. A must read overall, especially for Marvel continuity.
Stephan van Velzen
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Good story with a huge impact to Earth-616.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Book Info: This collection contains Secret War issues #1-5.

Other Useful Reviews: Anthony's review, Aaron's review

ABSOLUTE RATING: {3.5/5 stars} (Rounded Up)



For years, it's been known that Phineas Mason (a.k.a. the Tinkerer) has been arming American supercriminals with high-tech weaponry and equipment. And despite the best efforts of law enforcement, this underground weapons dealer had managed to avoid capture for quite a while. But after repeated interroga
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marvel-comics
This was a pleasant surprise. A lot better than I expected. I probably should've read this before New Avengers and Civil War, but going through those books without knowing what the hell happened to Nick Fury when most of the Marvel Universe didn't know either made for a great experience finally finding out what went down. I might even say this was a better experience because of that.

This is probably one of Bendis' best works outside of Alias (haven't read his DD yet). I really enjoyed the way al
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book, because I read a blog that told its readers that if you wanted a good background to The New Avengers this a graphic novel that will explain why most of the Marvel heroes no longer trust Nick Fury. While it is a bit confusing at times I enjoyed reading the whole story. I like that it is a complete story too. It makes more sense by the time you finish the whole thing, but it is a little obnoxious to try to piece together the story. I am not giving it a full 5/5, because ...more
Aaron Wiener
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marvel-comics
This is a 3.49

There’s so much potential. The story is kind of cool, the art is stellar, the characters are awesome... but there’s something wrong with the pacing and tone that’s a little hard for me to describe. Also, does that really annoying thing where the comic book is interrupted by a bunch of text based non-comic pages that I have to read. WHY YA GOTTA DO THAT SHIT?!

It’s almost like Bendis didn’t really know what this was going to be. At some points, it almost feels like a Deadpool-like s
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Goodreads Librari...: Bug or issue? Edition with ASIN and ISBN13 9 20 Apr 20, 2018 01:33PM  

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A comic book writer and erstwhile artist. He has won critical acclaim (including five Eisner Awards) and is one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For over eight years Bendis’s books have consistently sat in the top five best sellers on the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts.

Though he started as a writer and artist of independent noir fiction series, he shot

Other books in the series

Secret War (5 books)
  • Secret War (2004-2005) #1
  • Secret War (2004-2005) #2
  • Secret War (2004-2005) #3
  • Secret War (2004-2005) #4
  • Secret War (2004-2005) #5
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