Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Six


Welcome back to the Battle Report! Things will return to a manageable level next week, but this week, your friends at Bam Smack Pow will pull the best stuff from fourteen offerings. (Fourteen. Marvel was wise to slow themselves down.)

Marvel Zombies #1

What happened: Elsa Bloodstone is guarding the Shield so the zombies of the Deadlands don’t eat neighboring kingdoms, but a fight with teleporting Azazel (called Red Terror here) strands her in the midst of zombies like Dr. Octopus and Juggernaut. She meets an androgynous orphan child who helps her decide to explore south, away from the wall, instead of the suicide mission to return home.

Was it good: It was Pick Of The Week good.

Is it necessary: Well, a lot of the other titles (Secret Wars 2, A-Force 1, Secret Wars Journal 1) have referred to the Shield and the Deadlands, but I think this is just an extra exploration.

Should you buy it: You very much should buy this book.

X-Men ‘92 #2 (Digital First)

What happened: The X-Men explore Cassandra Nova’s supervillain rehabilitation program and fall into a trap. Meanwhile, Xavier fights her on the astral plane only to find out she’s his clone, created for Apocalypse and genetically manipulated, then possessed by the Shadow King to become the Shadow Queen.

Was it good: Amazing. I thought this title was going for cheeky parody, but instead, it’s giving out a consistently fun title that is better than the cartoon series ever was.

Is it necessary:  Again, I doubt the main crossover will see much impact from a digital title.

Should you buy it:  Yes. And go back and pick up the first issue, too. Or wait for print collection in a couple weeks. Of the X-books for this crossover (including X-Tinction Agenda and Years Of Future Past), this issue just took the lead over Inferno.

Secret Wars Journal #2

What happened: In the first story, Misty Knight and Paladin chase a treasure through a casino full of bad guys in the Killville we saw in M.O.D.O.K. Assassin. In the second, Si Spurrier spins the most efficient heartbreak tale following Matt Murdock and Elektra as culinary staff for Mr. Sinister in “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Was it good: The first story was as much fun as the Young Avengers tale last time, and the second story is haunting and wonderful.

Is it necessary: This issue felt less connected to the main book than last time.

Should you buy it: No. I recommended getting last issue, but this isn’t a series with an arc, and there are fourteen titles to choose from this week.


Spider-Verse #2

What happened: Spider-Gwen rescues Spider-Ham from Norman Osborn, then teams up with Spider-Man India, Arana, and Spider-UK to look for Spider-Man Noir.

Was it good: The first issue took its time to set up characters, but this one felt like too much movement, not paying off many of the previous character moments. It’s still good, but the quality dropped.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: I used to think so, but with the astounding quality of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, I think Spider-Fans could reasonably consolidate their dollars to that title and the main series.


Inferno #2

What happened: Colossus’s team has been splintered throughout Manhattan’s Hellscape. The Goblin Queen gives him Illyana’s Soulsword and sets him up as the leader of her army. Her young son, Cable, plays jailer to Domino. A minor demon drags an injured Boom Boom to a mysterious master, and the Darkchilde turns Nightcrawler into an awesome dragon.

Was it good: It might not have been as good as issue one, but it was a lot of fun.

Is it necessary:  No.

Should you buy it:  If you are an X-fan and can only buy one tie-in, get X-Men ’92. But if you can afford two, this is your best bet.



Ghost Racers #1

What happened: Five Ghost Riders (Danny Ketch, Johnny Blaze, Alejandra Blaze, Wild West Centaur With Gattling Guns Carter Slade, and reigning champion Robbie Reyes) race the track of Arcade’s Killiseum. Reyes wins again, but Arcade hints that this is part of a long game.

Was it good: It was light, but the action was a ton of fun, and I may never get over a Wild West Centaur With Gattling Guns.

Is it necessary:  No. The Killiseum has been seen in Planet Hulk and last week’s Secret Wars Battleworld, but this race was nowhere to be found.

Should you buy it: No.



Inhumans: Attilan Rising #2

What happened: Kamala Khan infiltrates the Quiet Room to learn more about the Inhuman resistance movement but gets caught by a surprisingly vocal Black Bolt.

Was it good: As with so many of the second issues this week, yes, but not as good as the previous issue.

Is it necessary:  Yes, the idea of an organization to overthrow Doom has a strong potential presence in the main title.

Should you buy it:  Yes.



Secret Wars 2099 #2

What happened: The Specialist attempts to assassinate Captain America, and the Avengers follow a lead to Hulk 2099.

Was it good: Bucking the trend, this is better than its first issue.

Is it necessary:  No, this seems contained in its own Warzone.

Should you buy it:  No.

(Check out Bam Smack Pow’s review here!)


Ultimate End #2

What happened: The Thors kill the Hawkeye that is supposed to represent Earth-616 (but I don’t think he really does), and the Tony Starks of “616” and the Ultimate Universe team up to break up a fight between the two Hulks.

Was it good: If you like talky Bendis, yes. And I like talky Bendis.

Is it necessary:  It’s still unclear how this fits in to the story. Is it before the last Incursion? Is it a group of folks like our beloved 616’ers meeting up on the Ultimate Universe Warzone? Did editorial slip, or am I supposed to be obsessing about costume continuity?

Should you buy it:  Only if the Ultimate Universe means enough to you to need a goodbye.

Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #1

What happened: Carol Danvers leads a squad of awesome female pilots running missions for Hala, but several of the team are starting to doubt the truth of Doom’s theology – there is nothing above the sky, there is nothing below the sea, there has always been Doom. Carol wants to be a good Captain, but as she finds evidence of corruption in her higher-ups, she decides to lead her Corps to find their own answers.

Was it good: Yes, much better than the latest run of Captain Marvel (I really didn’t enjoy much of anything in the Carol-In-Space volume, but when she got back to Earth, that was my Pick Of The Week).

Is it necessary:  I think so. It’s a high-profile character with a movie coming in a couple years, a high-profile writer (Kelly Sue DeConnick), and it’s pushing a threat to the underlying rules of the whole event.

Should you buy it:  Yes.

1602: Witch Hunter Angela #1

What happened: Angela and her girlfriend, Serah, hunt and kill Witchbreed, the 1602 version of mutants, but they learn the threat of The Faustians, people who are granted powers by The Enchantress.

Was it good: It’s entertaining enough, but not one of my favorite tie-ins

Is it necessary:  Not yet, and I’m not sure how this connects to the Angela in the Thor Corps we saw on the last page of M.O.D.O.K. Assassin.

Should you buy it:  No

Weirdworld #1

What happened: Arkon explores a puzzling island and fights elaborate monsters like dragons and Squid-Sharks, earning the attention of Baroness Morgan Le Fay before he is captured by underwater apes in diving suits.

Was it good: Yes! I wouldn’t have bought it if not for the column, having a very low tolerance for barbarian stories in general and Arkon/Polemachus stories in specific, but it was engaging and creative, and Del Mundo’s art is always a treat.

Is it necessary:  Not to the main story, but Marvel says this book will continue after Secret Wars ends.

Should you buy it:  Not yet, let’s see if Marvel can make good on their promise of relevance.

Mrs. Deadpool And The Howling Commandos #1

What happened: After her husband is killed by Dracula, Shikla plots to put together a powerful weapon under the guise of taking Deadpool’s ashes to Hell. Dracula assigns a team of monsters like Werewolf By Night to accompany her.

Was it good: It’s fine. The scene where the monsters beat Invisible Man so bloody that he becomes somewhat visible is very affecting, but I don’t know Shikla and didn’t connect to her this week.

Is it necessary:  Marvel says the team of monsters will exist after Secret Wars.

Should you buy it:  No, if there’s a Howling Commandos book after this, I bet you’ll be able to jump on.

Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #9 (Last Days)

What happened:  In the last few minutes before the Incursion, the team comforts one another and provides some solace to the fearful doomed population of New York.

Was it good: Absolutely. Moving, powerful, elegant

Is it necessary:  Nope, that final Incursion is well in the rear-view by now, and this isn’t adding to the post-Incursion story

Should you buy it: If this was around six weeks ago, yes. Now it just feels like going over good memories about a bad ex – you’re never, ever, ever getting back together, so move on.

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