Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Nine


Welcome back to the Battle Report! Marvel is up to nine books including the main title, and next week will see this number jump to fourteen. Stick with us, and we can help you pick the books you need to follow the story and get the best of the tie-in work.

Secret Wars #4

What happened:  Sheriff Strange explains to the heroic refugees from the last Incursion that Doom is actually really good at being God for Battleworld, then leads them to a site where Thanos’s band of villains have caught Doom’s attention in a fight with the Thors. Doom kills Cyclops, and Strange scatters everyone else to the winds for their own protection. For this transgression, Doom maybe kills Strange (it’s hard to tell – he just kind of disappears in a puff of purple smoke).

Was it good:  Yes! The Battleworld setup the last couple issues has been fantastic, and changing to a more action-oriented issue is a fun development from that foundation.

Is it necessary: Yes, this is the main series you should be reading.

Should you buy it: Yes.

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

A-Force #2

What happened:  As She-Hulk and her team (primarily Sister Grimm, Dazzler, Medusa, and Captain Marvel) investigate the tragedy of last issue, they learn that portals are opening between the kingdoms of Battleworld, and this may be connected to the Captain Universe that just landed on Arcadia. After saving everyone from a wayward Sentinel, She-Hulk jumps through a portal to a Manhattan wasteland.

Was it good:  Yes, it was almost Pick Of The Week.

Is it necessary: Not integral to the main storyline, but it’s one of the best examples of the Doom law against crossing borders, and Marvel will be continuing this series after the Wars are over.

Should you buy it: Oh, yes.

X-Tinction Agenda #2

What happened:  Havok and Wolfsbane lead a team of Genoshan mutants to X-City to fight a ton of X-Men and kidnap their healer, Triage, to stop the plague on mutants. As a twist ending, evil cyborg Cameron Hodge begins manipulating their efforts to kill the entire mutant race.

Was it good:  Very good. The battle calls to mind the exciting invasion that kicked off the original X-Tinction Agenda crossover.

Is it necessary: No, it had looked like it would connect to other mutant kingdoms on Battleworld, but it’s actually self-contained.

Should you buy it: If you can only buy one X-book for the crossover, buy the digital version of X-Men ’92. If you can buy two, add Inferno. If you can spare the money for a third, yes, X-Tinction Agenda is a great read.


Giant-Size Little Marvel: AVX #2

What happened:  The child versions of the X-Men and Avengers just can’t get along! After the rousing chaos of a dodgeball war, the teams retreat to their respective tree forts to figure out a way to attract the new kids in town (a pair of twins named Zachary and Zoe, not the Maximoff twins as I had guessed last time).

Was it good:  So good! This series has humor and wit and energy aplenty. Of the humor books, it’s probably my favorite.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No, if you are streamlining your purchases, I’m not recommending any of the humor books.


Red Skull #1

What happened:  Crossbones kidnaps Magneto, Electro, Moonstone, Lady Deathstrike, Jack O’Lantern, and Winter Soldier, and he sends them into the zombie-filled Deadlands to secure proof that the Red Skull is dead. This ought to put down the anti-Doom rebellions that look to him as a figurehead. Unfortunately, the mission goes kablooey right away, and with the twist ending, we get the impression the rest of this miniseries may have very little to do with the team and its mission.

Was it good:  Yes. It was dark and surprising and a compelling read.

Is it necessary: No, this is the first I’ve seen of a Red Skull rebellion, so it’s unlikely to affect any major part of the main story.

Should you buy it: No, if you want a zombie book (and the zombies are showing up all over the place, so I recommend at least one), get Spurrier’s Marvel Zombies. But if you want two zombie books, yes, grab this.


Ultimate End #3

What happened:  The two versions of the Hulk (Marvel-616 and Ultimate Hulk) argue with each other, then the two versions of the Punisher argue with each other. There are many words.

Was it good:  Well, I like Bendis dialogue, but the story seems to be making less sense. How did the Punisher get here? Are these the 616 heroes, and I should just ignore the continuity around the final Incursion? Are these events happening on Battleworld, and they represent a couple of salvaged pieces after the Incursion?

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No. The fact that it’s falling apart after a good start really does make it a cruelly fitting tribute to the Ultimate Universe, but that’s not the part I’d want to remember.

Secret Wars Journal #3

What happened:  In the first story, Wolverine Noir investigates the murder of Iron Man Noir, leading to evidence that someone crept in from the Age Of Apocalypse. In the second, Doc Samson is losing faith in his crusade to calm the rageful Hulks of Greenland until young Peter Parker helps him find his inspiration.

Was it good:  Amazing. Both stories were engaging in their own right but could also work well to sell a miniseries of each.

Is it necessary: No, probably not.

Should you buy it: I don’t think so. If you’re up for an anthology book, this is the one to get before Battleworld, but since the stories don’t build on each other, you can probably pick and choose which issues of both titles you want.


Years Of Future Past #2

What happened:  The mutants head to the Morlock tunnels to talk strategy but end up defending against an invasion of Sentinels. Meanwhile, Rachel Summers rescues Storm from forced service as the battery for the Sentinel army, and the pair head off to join our main team.

Was it good:  I didn’t enjoy the first issue, but this was much better. Still pretty slow, and the art doesn’t distinguish the characters enough, but the book is improving.

Is it necessary: No, it’s contained to its own kingdom.

Should you buy it: No, there are better X-books this summer.

Future Imperfect #2

What happened:  Maestro fights the Thing, but in this universe, that means Thunderbolt Ross from a botched attempt to fly into space. On the side of the resistance, Janis and Ruby Summers are joined by Layla Miller.

Was it good:  Like with Years Of Future Past, the first issue of Future Imperfect didn’t grab me, and this issue is much better but still feels slight.

Is it necessary: Maestro has been announced as a major part of the Contest Of Champions ongoing after the Wars, but I doubt this is a prerequisite to that.

Should you buy it: I don’t recommend it, no.


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