Secret War (comics)

Secret War (comics)

Supercbbox| title = Secret War

caption = Captain America as featured on the cover of "Secret War" #3, art by Gabriele Dell'Otto.
schedule =
format = limited series
publisher = Marvel Comics
date = Feb. 2004 - Dec. 2005
issues = 5
main_char_team =
writers = Brian Michael Bendis
artists =Gabriele Dell'Otto
pencillers =
inkers =
colorists =
creative_team_month =
creative_team_year =

"Secret War" is a five-issue comic book limited series published by Marvel Comics. The series is written by Brian Michael Bendis and painted by Gabriele Dell'Otto.

The storyline involves a large scale super-hero crossover featuring Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Nick Fury fighting a wide array of super-villains who have received hi-tech armaments from a mysterious benefactor.

The first issue was published in April 2004, and though intended originally as a bimonthly publication, it faced long delays. It was completed with issue five's publication 21 months later in December 2005.

The aftermath of the series was explored in stories in "The Pulse" and Bendis has gone on to use many of the same characters in his "New Avengers" titles.

The storyline in "Secret War" is totally unrelated to the original "Secret Wars" and "Secret Wars II" crossover limited series which Marvel published in the mid-1980s, although its title is clearly inspired by them. Those stories received their own spiritual successor in "Beyond!", published in 2006.

Bendis has noted that "Secret War" is connected to "Secret Invasion" where Skrulls have infiltrated several institutions of Earth.


In 2003, Nick Fury, Director of the international security force S.H.I.E.L.D., uncovers a secret plot by Latverian Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas to fund a group of B-List Supervillains with advanced technology, presumably that of previous Latverian dictator Doctor Doom (who was trapped in Hell at the time), as a means of wreaking terror on American soil. Fury immediately takes his findings to the President of the United States but is denied the authorization requested to overthrow the post-Doom Latverian government due to its sponsorship by the U.S. Government. Fury is enraged at what he sees as the same pre-9/11 security complacency inviting disaster yet again.

Fury recruits Captain America, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Black Widow, Luke Cage, Wolverine, and superhuman S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson in a private attempt to covertly overthrow Latveria.

A year later, a mass reprisal is unleashed across New York City, leaving Luke Cage in a coma as Fury and a cadre of NYC heroes face off against von Bardas and her hi-tech army. The reprisal is revealed to be a trap for New York's superheroes when von Bardas arms a high-tech bomb linked to the technology provided to her supervillain army.

Von Bardas is "killed" by Daisy Johnson, the bomb is disarmed, and the supervillain army is defeated and arrested. Invisible Woman and Captain America immediately demand answers from Nick Fury about what happened. They are soon joined by the X-Men and Wolverine, who attacks Fury until Johnson informs him that the man before him is a Life Model Decoy and that the real Fury already departed. Through the L.M.D., Fury reveals the invasion of Latveria and the fact that the heroes (with the exceptions of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Black Widow and Daisy Johnson) were brainwashed afterward (it bears noting that Captain America, while technically a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, was subjected to the mind-tampering and did not discover it himself until undergoing standard testing as required of agents). Nick Fury then informs the heroes that this is the last time they will see him and that he hopes those involved in his plot will understand that what he did was necessary.

His replacement as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria Hill, discovers the particulars of the story through her interrogation of Agent Johnson in the present-day framing device of the story.Secret War #1 (April 2004)] Secret War #2] Secret War #3] Secret War #4] Secret War #5 (December 2005)]

Continuity Issues

When Wolverine meets up with the heroes on board the plane to Latveria, he sniffs out Peter Parker on the plane and quickly identifies him by smell as Spider-Man stating that he had never seen him out of costume before. This is not the case, however, as Wolverine similarly sniffed out Peter years earlier in an adventure in Germany. This may, however, just be a reference to the upcoming Secret Invasion, thus this may not be the 'real' Wolverine. Also, due to One More Day, Spider-Man's past has been changed to an unknown extent, so both of these events have probably been altered. [Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1 (September 1992)]

Cast of Characters

Here are the known participants of this event:


* S.H.I.E.L.D.
** Nick Fury
** Nick Fury L.M.D.
** Black Widow
** Daisy Johnson
* Captain America
* Spider-Man
* Daredevil
* Luke Cage
* X-Men
** Beast
** Cyclops
** Emma Frost
** Shadowcat
** Wolverine
* Fantastic Four
** Mister Fantastic
** Invisible Woman
** Human Torch
** Thing


* Lucia von Bardas
* Boomerang
* Constrictor
* Crimson Dynamo IX
* Crossfire
* Diamondback III
* Eel II
* Goldbug
* Grim Reaper
* Hobgoblin V
* Jack O'Lantern
* Killer Shrike
* King Cobra
* Lady Octopus
* Mentallo
* Mister Fear Iv
* Scorcher
* Scorpion I
* Shocker
* Spider-Slayer XIX
* Tinkerer
* Trapster
* Wizard


In addition to the main five-issue series, there were a few other comics that tied in with the storyline. "Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury" was a handbook-style one-off publication that featured SHIELD profiles of all the main characters, written by Mike Raicht. These profiles are presented with the five issues in the Secret War hardback and paperback collections. "The Pulse" #6-9 featured an original storyline which runs parallel to and intersects with the main series (it was meant to last five issues but when the last two issues of the mini-series were delayed Bendis decided to remove some content from the tie-in in lieu of spoiling the main event). This storyline was collected separately in its own paperback ("The Pulse Volume 2: Secret War"). Bendis has also stated that part of the upcoming Secret Invasion storyline has its beginnings in the "Secret War" publications, as he has been planning this event for several years.

Video game

It was announced in E3 2008 that the forthcoming video game "" would begin during the events depicted in the "Secret War" story arc of the Marvel Universe.


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