All is revealed here in the final issue, and like it or not, it seems as if the upcoming Avengers film has dictated the outcome of certain events. Or at least some of them. Last issue, Marcus Johnson escaped Orion’s guards, and now he’s running free in an attempt to free his father, Nick Fury, and stop the bad guys from reaching their goal. It also seems that along with wanting the Infinity Formula that flows in the blood of Fury and his son, Orion is trying to gain access to the codes that will be the key to his destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its resources.
With each issue this series has been getting better, so it was a bit of a head-scratcher how and why the final issue didn’t blow the doors off. Now, this is not to say it wasn’t good, because it certainly was. It just seems as if there was an expectation that wasn’t quite met when it was all over. The writers kept everything consistent from the action sequences to the solid dialog, and even some unexpected surprises or two. The opening with Fury’s torture/interrogation was vintage Nick Fury, keeping his cool when things seem FUBAR. There’s also a moderate dose of action, as we’re shown a bit more of how resourceful Marcus can be and his dedication to getting the job done. It’s when the book reaches its final few pages that it seems as if the writers were constrained to make the book reflect the Avengers movie franchise rather than set all new ground to build on. Though it was a nice reveal to see who Marcus’s best friend “Cheese” really is.
Battle Scars has consistently been one of the best looking books on the shelf thanks to Eaton, Mounts, and Hennessy. Again, the opening interrogation sequence stands out as one of the best, because of the great balance between the art and dialog, and how they sync up to tell the story. The action is choreographed well, and Eaton’s work during those parts is clear and easy to follow. There’s also a scene where the Avengers show up, but they are relegated to background characters as Eaton maintains focus on Marcus and his goals. This helped to keep the focus on our main character and not have him out shined by the spandex squad. There’s a final talk between father and son towards the end that went over well because of the pacing and quality of the artwork.
Now that Battle Scars has wrapped up, several things are firmly established in the current Marvel Universe. Nick Fury admitted that he no longer has the Infinity Formula coursing through his veins, so he’s aging like a regular guy now. Marcus Johnson and “Cheese” have new jobs that will put them directly in the middle of this superhero/supervillain world they’ve only just experienced. And, when people ask you, “Why is Nick Fury Black in movies but White in the comics?”, it will be much easier to explain this mini-series rather than open the flood gates of questions that come after mentioning Marvel’s Ultimate Universe.