Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Three


Welcome back to the Battle Report! The tie-ins have gone from two last week to eight this week, but have no fear, your pals at Bam Smack Pow will help you sort out which ones you need to follow Marvel’s summer crossover.

A-Force #1

What happened: The island kingdom of Arcadia is defended by a variety of Marvel’s most beloved female superheroes, including Dazzler, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, and Miss America Chavez. When a megalodon attacks her patrol group, Miss America Chavez throws it into the zombie Deadlands, but this breaks one of Doom’s laws about never crossing borders. Baroness She-Hulk has to exile her friend to The Shield, and everyone is sad about it.

Was it good: Holy crap, yes. This is a reminder of the breadth and complexity of the female characters Marvel has offered over the years.

Is it necessary: Not exactly integral to the main title yet, but Marvel has said this one will persist after Secret Wars has closed, and it does flesh out a lot of what it’s like to live under Doom’s rule.

Should you buy it: Yes.

Secret Wars: Battleworld #1

What happened: In story one, The Punisher (possessed by the spirit of Dr. Strange) is running across borders to shoot people, so the version of Dr. Strange that works for Doom sends an Inferno version of the New Fantastic Four (Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider) to kill him. In story two, a MODOK summons a dozen alternate version of itself to usurp Doom, but by the time the Thors arrive to stomp the rebellion, the MODOKS have killed each other.

Was it good: Better than the usual anthology tie-ins to crossover events, but that bar is so low it could be a speed bump.

Is it necessary: I don’t know about necessary, but it’s setting up a subplot about Doom’s Dr. Strange keeping secrets from his master, and we may see more of the New Fantastic Four in the Inferno series.

Should you buy it: Not yet. It’s fine, but let’s be cautious until we get a better sense of consistency in the work.

Spider-Verse #1

What happened: Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-UK, Arana, and Spider-Man India are trapped on a world run by Norman Osborn, and they have lost their memories. Most of the story involves Spider-Gwen trying to figure out why there’s a tombstone with her name on it.

Was it good: Very good, combining Mike Costa (who wrote the light-hearted Scarlet Spiders mini during Spider-Verse) and Andre Araujo (who drew the heck out of Avengers A. I.) into a treat for Spider-fans.

Is it necessary: Probably not.

Should you buy it: Yep! The Spider-Verse crossover was one of the best things Marvel put out in the last twelve months, and this carries that tone forward.


Ultimate End #1

What happened: Many heroes that might be the 616 versions of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Hulk, Iron Man, Storm, Hawkeye, and Spider-Man interact with several of The Ultimates on Earth-1610 three weeks before the final Incursion. I’m not sure if it’s a continuity glitch, but the costumes of the 616’ers don’t quite line up with the heroes we knew around the time of the Incursion, so it might be that this story is taking place on the Battleworld version of 1610.

Was it good: Oh, yes. Not much happens, but I will gladly pay four dollars for Bendis and Bagley to team up and kill time. It was funny and gorgeous and upheld the tone they set with Ultimate Spider-Man fifteen years ago.

Is it necessary: I don’t know how much backstory we need for an incursion that happened last month. Tell you what, hide a copy somewhere, and if it turns out to be important in some plot reveal, I promise to let you know.

Should you buy it: Only if you want to say goodbye to this line.


Master Of Kung Fu #1

What happened: A charming, Hawkeye-style Shang Chi and a Kung Fu version of Calisto and the Morlocks fight Razor Fist and Typhoid Mary. The set-up is that in this kingdom, Iron Fist and the gang from K’un Lun have a tournament against a version of the Mandarin every thirteen years, and Shang Chi is the son of the Mandarin and the potential winner of this year’s tournament.

Was it good: Yes. I do not generally enjoy martial arts comics, but I loved Haden Blackman’s Elektra series, and this brought in a lot of the fun of alternate reality stories with redesigns of Typhoid Mary and the Morlock crew.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: It’s good, but it’s among the weaker of the Warzones miniseries, so you should probably save your money for Thors or something. But we’ll keep an eye on it for you.



Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #1

What happened: Deadpool tells a funny story about his time in the first Secret Wars against the Beyonder in 1984, then talks about his exploits as a fighter in the Bonus Round of the first Contest Of Champions.

Was it good: So good. A very funny exploration of some lousy 80’s crossovers.

Is it necessary: Not at all. It’s not even about this year’s Secret Wars.

Should you buy it: Not as a part of the crossover, but I do recommend it.



Planet Hulk #1

What happened: Doom pulls a version of Steve Rogers out of Arcade’s gladiator pit, The Killiseum. Steve and his buddy, the red Tyrannosaurus named Devil Dinosaur, have to go to Greenland, a kingdom full of Hulk-people, to assassinate their leader. If they succeed, Doom will help him find Bucky Barnes. They get to the kingdom, are immediately best by scary gamma-irradiated bugs, and are rescued by Bruce Banner.

Was it good: I’m not a Hulk fan, but the gladiator setup was fairly entertaining.

Is it necessary: The backmatter says that the Ghost Racers series will also use the Killiseum, but that’s not exactly vital to the Secret Wars experience.

Should you buy it: It’s not one of the stronger worlds, and it doesn’t seem vital to the story. I vote to wait on this one.



Loki #14 (Last Days)

What happened: As the final Incursion happens, Loki kills Balder and leads the World Serpent against Asgard. Odin tries to recruit help against the Incursions but the conservative ruling body doesn’t believe in “Manmade Cosmic Change.” A different version of Loki asks Verity to tell her own story before the Incursion kills them all.

Was it good: No. I read the first five or six issues of this series and never enjoyed it, and this book showed remarkable consistency with those. The only page I liked in this one was the “Cosmic Change” joke, and I just told it to you. Al Ewing is an amazing writer, and I gush over his Mighty Avengers, but this has never been a title I found very readable.

Is it necessary: Not to the Secret Wars story, no.

Should you buy it: Only if you’ve been collecting Loki so far. Because you are getting something out of it I’m just not.



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