Famed Yu-gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi unveils an exciting and unique Marvel story in his new collaboration comic Marvel’s Secret Reverse. The Marvel world collides with the world of card games in this upbeat comic. Iron Man and Spider-Man must team up at a gaming convention when card game creator Kaioh goes out of control. But there are mysteries behind Kaioh’s card game and his new gaming device. The duo can’t stop him unless they put all the pieces together. Takahashi showcases his Marvel fandom throughout this comic, an incredible tremendous challenge for Iron Man and Spider-Man. He knows these characters well and easily meshes them into his card game psyche. While his love of card games still plays a role within the story, it doesn’t mask the traditional Marvel storyline or battle, causing it to feel like another Marvel occurrence.
As one of the many people drawn into the Marvel fandom from the movies, I was excited to read a fun team-up story about two of my favorite characters. However, I don’t know much about Yu-Gi-Oh! or card games in general, so I was a little nervous that the story would be complicated and too far-fetched. I was pleasantly surprised that Takahashi simplified the card game knowledge and didn’t explain every detail of it. The facts didn’t matter, so I appreciated that they were left out for the most part. I think this helped the story and made it feel more like another day in the Marvel Universe.
I also like that the story centers more on tech-based reasoning than magic. The Marvel Universe is of course enmeshed with both, but with Tony Stark and Peter Parker, it made more sense for the tech geniuses. My only complaint with the storyline is that Iron Man and Spider-Man don’t really “team up” until the very last fight. They’re both off doing their own things, investigating separately, and there’s no collaboration between the two. They just happened to simultaneously be there at the same time and fought the enemy together. It felt very coincidental and more of an accident rather than a team-up.
Easily one of the best parts about Marvel’s Secret Reverse is the artwork. Takahashi beautifully combines his unique style into the traditional Marvel artwork. You can see flares of his unique creativity in multiple spots throughout the story, particularly when it comes to the villain Kaioh. Kaioh features the well-known spikey shaded hair, and his card game monsters are easy references to the Yu-Gi-Oh! World. But yet, readers can spot the Marvel design subtly supporting the storyline. The standard comic book fighting words litter the battle scenes, “kaboom” -ing their way into the effects. Our heroes get their usual epic explosion backgrounds, walking away calmly as the scene lights up with fire behind them. Takahashi meshes the two visions together flawlessly.
For any Marvel or Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan, this comic is a perfect entwinement of the two worlds. The blend creates an exciting but straightforward action-packed storyline, and the artwork is a unique vision in itself. I highly recommend this comic to fans of either fandom or anyone who wants a fun and effortless read.