Secret Reverse | Review
Writer/artist: Kazuki Takahashi
In Secret Reverse‘s backmatter, there’s a note from the late Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi in which he says making a Western-style comic with Marvel characters was a long-held dream of his. Given the opportunity with this Spider-Man/Iron Man team-up, he doesn’t stray too far from his comfort zone—at the center of the plot is a Japanese card game not entirely unlike that of Yu-Gi-Oh!.
That game is called Secret Reverse, and it is the creation of Reijiro Kaioh, CEO of a world-famous gaming company. At a gaming convention in Japan, he debuts a new gaming machine compatible with Secret Reverse, with the rather suspect-sounding name of the Deathal machine. It essentially brings the cards to life around the user, which seems dangerous in and of itself, given that some of the cards feature monsters and weapons, but there’s far more to it than that.
Kaioh is actually aligned with extra-dimensional invaders who can use the Deathal machines as portals into this world. Unless someone stops Kaioh before the machines are mass-produced and sold worldwide, the entire planet could be in jeopardy.
“Someone” is, of course, Spider-Man and Iron Man. Both Peter Parker and Tony Stark are in Japan to attend the convention, and they quickly get swept up into a battle with Kaioh and his alien technology. The day is ultimately saved, but the decisive turning point comes neither from Spider-Man’s powers nor Iron Man’s awesome weaponry, but rather from an unexpected emotional breakthrough to Kaioh.
While the plot is rather straightforward and the story itself rather short at just 100 pages, Secret Reverse offers a fun fusion of Western and Japanese-style comics storytelling, making it an overall more interesting endeavor than it might otherwise have been. The design style is definitely that of manga, and so too is much of the storytelling, making for a more action-packed comic than readers familiar with the two leads are probably used to seeing.
Filed under: Reviews
About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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