Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Eight


Welcome back to the Secret Wars Battle Report! The number of tie-ins jumped to twelve this week, and we are here to help you pick the ones most relevant to enjoying the big summer crossover. (Hint: the Last Days tie-ins have even less to do with the main story than ever, and this was a group known for being only lightly related to the first issue of the book.)

X-Men ’92 #3

What happened:  Cassandra Nova begins therapy on her captive X-Men, connecting Wolverine to his huggier nature but failing to brainwash Storm. Jubilee escapes captivity and fights a collection of dark 90’s characters like Maggott and Feral.

Was it good:  It’s terrific. This little digital comic that could won Pick Of The Week.

Is it necessary: No, the digital tie-in about 90’s X-Men culture is not key to the company’s biggest summer investment.

Should you buy it: Yes. This is the best X-Men tie-in book of the whole event, winning over excellent titles like Inferno and X-Tinction Agenda.

Korvac Saga #1

What happened:  Korvac is the Baron of Forest Hills, and he wants his security force, the Guardians (Starhawk, Major Victory, Charlie-27, Yondu, Martinex, Nikki, and Geena from Guardians 3000) to keep the peace while Simon Williams and his Avengers (a nostalgic lineup of Moondragon, Vision, Yellowjacket, Jocasta, Hercules, Black Panther, Black Widow, and the male Captain Marvel) visit from neighboring Holy Wood to have trade discussions. Unfortunately, a virus running through the kingdom has people remembering the world before Battleworld – this makes them violent and blasphemous, and Korvac’s wife may be one of the infected.
Was it good: Yes. After a rough start, Guardians 3000 became a dark, emotional work of science fiction, and this feels like the next natural chapter in their story.

Is it necessary: No, it’s showcasing one of the themes of Battleworld (Doom suppresses anyone who believes in a world before the one he created), but that’s getting much more directly challenged in Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps.

Should you buy it: No, but it would be a nice use of extra dollars for fans of Marvel Cosmic or the Avengers lineup present.

Where Monsters Dwell #2

What happened:  American lout Karl Kaufmann and his mysterious British client, Clemmie, have crashed into a Battleworld kingdom of dinosaurs and native tribesmen. They stop fighting just long enough to survive a scary attack by a giant shark and a giant crocodile, and they crash land on an island of beautiful blonde bikini-clad warriors out of a Frank Cho sketchbook.

Was it good: Absolutely terrific. The arguments between the main characters were funny and sharp, and the action was exciting in a way pulp adventure must have been.

Is it necessary: No, it looks like they won’t be showing off a variety of worlds the way Old Man Logan has set up to do.

Should you buy it: Not as an integral piece of Secret Wars, nor as a top-tier Battleworld mini, but this has general appeal and would be worth your consideration.

Infinity Gauntlet #2

What happened:  The family has escaped an attack by giant space bugs, and their mother has returned from the Nova Corps to help. She drafts them (including the dog) into the Corps and quickly teaches them to fly and shoot and use the Mind Stone so they can all escape the next wave. In the background, StarLord and Gamora steal another one of the Infinity Stones from Nova headquarters, and Thanos uses the Time Stone to plan out his eventual defeat of the Nova Corps.
Was it good: Yes. The art is clean and open, the story is simple and emotional. Though Sam Alexander is nowhere to be found, this feels like the best of his recent run. Maybe better.

Is it necessary: No, it’s very much contained to this one world.

Should you buy it: No.

E Is For Extinction #1

What happened:  After Professor Xavier kills himself to defeat Cassandra Nova, Magneto leads a team of New X-Men including Beak, the female Angel, Dust, Glob Herman, Quentin Quire, and Basilisk. Classic team Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Cyclops head to the U-Men to restore their weakened power sets, and they find Xorn chained up in U-Men headquarters.

Was it good: No. It has all the feel of the beginning of the Morrison X-Men run, with strange science and hideous character art. I have grown to very much respect what Morrison did for the X-Men, but I remember hating the changes when I read them at the time, and I feel the same disgust now. Maybe I’ll like it in a few months, but this book did not work for me because of how well it accomplished the objective of telling the next part of the Grant Morrison story.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No. If you miss the Morrison run, give it a shot, but there are so many better X-books out there this summer.

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #2

What happened:  Angela from the Thors has crashed on Killville, and she tries to kill M.O.D.O.K. because he’s so scary, but he has fallen instantly in love with her, and she grows to respect that and stop hitting him. In the background, The Shroud, The Kingpin, and The Viper set up a team of assassins to take the pair down.

Was it good: It was so funny and over the top. Killville as a Battleworld works so well for this series and for the short story in Battle Journal a few weeks ago. I hope Marvel keeps this dark comedy playset after the War is over.

Is it necessary: No, a floating head and an angel in violent love is not a key piece to understanding Doom’s plan.

Should you buy it: No, I have had to hold back from recommending the comedy books.

Planet Hulk #2

What happened:  Steve Rogers, the Doc Green Hulk, and Devil Dinosaur team up to cross Greenland but get attacked by the violent plants and animals of the region. I have read it a few times now, and the plot is not more complicated than that.

Was it good: It was better than the first book, but I can’t shake that Marvel wants $3.99 for a book where pretty much nothing happens. Where Monsters Dwell is light on plot but heavy on style; the comedy books are generally a ton of fun. This book feels like when your friend is telling you about his trip to the dentist and realizes it won’t be a good story but is too far in to stop talking.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No.

Age Of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1

What happened:  Below the Shield wall, the zombies of the Deadlands and the Ultron robots of Perfection fight each other and kill Doom’s criminals in the crossfire. In the first half, Tigra narrowly escapes a bunch of zombies, and in the second, the 1872 Hank Pym lands in Perfection and meets Wonder Man, the Vision, and the World War II android Human Torch.

Was it good: Yes. It’s not as much fun as Hopeless’s Marvel Zombies, but it’s much more engaging and coherent than Robinson’s Armor Wars.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No, if you need a zombie fix, try Hopeless’s title.X-Men ’92 #1

What happened:  The first two digital editions are collected in print – the X-Men from the 90’s cartoon investigate Cassandra Nova’s rehabilitation center and find out that she’s the Shadow Queen, a blend of Apocalypse’s cloning experiments and the Shadow King’s psychic villainy.

Was it good: Yes. The story is terrific. Print readers will miss some of the animation from the digital version, and some panels (such as Jubilee standing in front of a neon “Jubilee Wins!” sign) are gone, and the layouts are very repetitive. But it’s a great book.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No. I want you to buy the digital versions. They’re better. But if you absolutely must, this is a fine stand-in.

Black Widow#19 (Last Days)

What happened:  For one page, Natasha says that if the world is ending (never mentioning an Incursion), she may as well work hard to save people and make up for her past. For the rest of the book, we explore a mission she had in Cuba back in the day that may have led to her having to murder a beloved Red Room classmate.

Was it good: Yes, Edmondson’s spy stories have consistently nailed it, and Noto’s art is as gorgeous as it ever was.

Is it necessary: Marvel has a lot of nerve branding this just-fine Black Widow story as related at all to Secret Wars. And the Last Days tie-ins are notoriously thin.

Should you buy it: Only if you’re reading her title already.

Punisher #19 (Last Days)

What happened:  Punisher walks out of the massacre we saw in Secret Wars #1. Two pages later, we forget about all of that and watch him on a mission in the Middle East.

Was it good: Yes, I liked the gritty action and kind of wish I had been reading more of this book.

Is it necessary: We got two pages of relevance to the main book, which is more than we had in Black Widow, but no, this is not really a tie-in book.

Should you buy it: Again, only buy Last Days books if you were already reading the book.

Loki#15 (Last Days)

What happened:  Odin and Freyja lead the armies of Asgard against Old King Loki and the World-Serpent while a younger female Loki hears the origin story of Verity Willis.

Was itgood: No. I didn’t like the first arc of this book, I didn’t like the first Last Days tie-in of this book, and I don’t like this issue. Ewing is a great writer, but I don’t connect to his stories on this title.  

Is it necessary: I cannot find word one about Incursions, Secret Wars, Doom, cosmic change…

Should you buy it: No.

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