Secret Wars: Battleworld #2 Review


The first Secret Wars: Battleworld brought us two stories, one featured The Punisher escaping Spider-Man, Ghost-Rider, Wolverine and Hulk and the other one about – well – about different versions of M.O.D.O.K. You can check out our review of it here!

Sadly, although Secret Wars: Battleworld #2 does contain Howard the Duck and Blade, as well as a cyborg General Ross, the entire issue is fairly devoid of anything relating a Spider-Man. However there’s still lots of fun to be had, especially in David F Walker, J.J. Kirby and Matt Milla’s opening ‘A Monster So Fowl’

Secret Wars Battleworld #2 2
Secret Wars Battleworld #2 2 /

I had actually forgotten that Blade was a comic book character until the opening page of this first story, that’s the problem when you’re brought up on Wesley Snipe’s cinematic portrayal, but this comic gets props for the reminder of Blade’s true origin alone!

We see a montage of Blade killing various nasty-looking vampires and end up with him battling a vampire version of Howard the Duck in New Quack City, or a white Count Duckula. Howard sees Blade trying to kill a duck and gets the wrong end of the stick. We then see the eagerly awaited face-off of the century between Howard and Blade until they both realise that Drakula (Count Duckula) is the real enemy. What follows in then the most anticipated team-up of the century as Blade and Howard work together to stop the vampire.

It’s an incredibly fun story throwing two very different characters together and making them click. Having the issue end with Howard lecturing Blade, a black man, about not buying into racial stereotypes is inspired, as is the duck version of Blade Deus-Ex-Machina that saves the day and slinks off into the night, presumably to find other duck-vampires to slay.

Secret Wars Battleworld #2 3
Secret Wars Battleworld #2 3 /

The next story takes place at Arcade’s Killiseum and features a cybernetic Thunderbolt Ross as Warmachine, a gladiator of the arena working for Taskmaster. We learn that Taskmaster wants Ross gone, but Arcade disagrees because he’s popular and the crowd want his narrative to finish (who killed Ross’ daughter). Captain America talks to Ross about hope and then Thunderbolt makes a stand at the Killiseum, taking down Taskmaster with him and angering God-Doom.

The second story is good. I get the feeling it’s slightly more relevant to Secret Wars as a whole than the first one was, with the multiple ‘Planet Hulk’ references,however that is a double-edged sword. In anthology books like this you either want the stories to be completely throwaway and unimportant or to clearly affect the main narrative in some way. With General Ross’s sacrifice and Arcade’s manouvering it’s unclear where this fits into the big picture and that confusion takes away from the story.

Secret Wars: Battleworld #2 is another inconsequential yet entertaining Secret Wars anthology book that brings you a fun light-hearted story and a darker, grittier tale just like the first in the issue. However it remains unclear exactly where (or if) the book fits into the larger jigsaw. Will Ross’s last stand, or Wolverine being posessed by Strange in the last issue be re-explored? Does any of it matter?

Next: Click here for all of our Spidey Secret Wars coverage so far

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