Secret Wars: Armor Wars #1 Review


Continuing our reviews of Secret Wars titles that have Spider-Man in we move swiftly on to Armor Wars #1 which brings us Iron Man’s section of Battleworld in which a deadly virus has meant that everyone must wear a version of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor to stay alive!

First of all I wasn’t going to get this issue even though I assumed that we’d be seeing the popular Iron Spider at some point during the series. However whilst picking up my comic subscription I stumbled upon the awesome ‘Iron Gwen’ variant cover, complete with an Iron-Spider-Ham and there as no way I wasn’t picking that up!

Moving onto the actual comic I was pleasntly surprised to see that the issue opened with a two page spread of a robotic looking Iron Man armour wearing Spider-Man. I briefly thought that it was Dr. Aaron Aikman of Edge of Spider-Verse fame as the design is slightly similar but afterwards it became apparent that this was a completely different version of Spider-Man that we’ve never seen before.

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For starters this ‘Spyder-Man’ is actually Peter Ulrich, and not Peter Parker. We get a couple of panels of the mutiple eyed Spyder-Man getting chased by goons who appear to be working for Fisk but they’re easily dispatched by Peter who forces them to crash into eachother in typical Spider-Man fashion.

We learn that Spyder-Man has uncovered something and is evading Fisk’s gons to ‘blow the lid off the whole place’ which is presumably Technopolis’ existence. However as conventional plot dictates whenever someone is about to reveal a big secret they must be confronted by an unknown assailant and presumably (we later find out definitely) killed before they can spill the beans.

Establishing a new Spyder-Man and making him just relatable enough for people to buy into and then using him to introduce the story’s central conceit that is is evidently clear from the outset – that Technopolis has a dark secret that people are desperate to keep secret is a wonderful way to start the issue. However as soon as the distant explosion signifies Peter Ulrich’s probable (later definite) demise and the mid-issue cliff-hanger is indicated via the double page spread credits eight pages in, the issue itself seems to die off a little bit as well.

The scene between Tony and Pepper was mildly engaging and the reveal of Rhodes as an Iron Thor, and Happy as a deputy was inspired but other than that the rest of the issue just fell flat. It’s clear that Tony’s relationship with his brother Arno, Arno’s relationship with Wilson Fisk, and everyone’s memories of not wearing armor are all going to be important plot points but, although I can’t place why, I just found myself getting steadily more bored as the issue went on. Which is a shame!

Check out Whatever a Spider Can’s other comic book reviews

Secret Wars #1 Review
Secret Wars #2 Review
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 Review
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 Review
Amazing Spider-Man #18 Review