Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Eleven

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Welcome back to the Battle Report! Marvel has a lucky thirteen tie-ins for us this week. So far, Bam Smack Pow is recommending the reader on a budget pick up the main story in Secret Wars, then enriching with books that either show a bunch of the Warzones or the highest quality insular Battleworld books. There are a lot of great stories and teams out there, and we can help you pick the best.

Siege #1

What happened:  Abigail Brand defends the Shield wall from a bunch of giant zombie humanoid ants, then Kang pops in to offer a hand. She’s not really considering trusting him, but then a future version of Kang appears, foretelling the wall will fall in 20 days.

Was it good:  It was pretty good. I’d been waiting weeks to see what Kate Bishop and America Chavez were up to, but they only got one page. Brand is a good character, but the series is going to need to beef up the supporting cast.

Is it necessary: No, this doesn’t seem to tie too closely to the zombies and robots and bugs in titles like Marvel Zombies and Age Of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies.

Should you buy it: No.

Secret Wars Battleworld #3

What happened:  In the first story, a bunch of alternate versions of Wolverine fight each other for Mojo, and there’s a pacifist that looks ready to teach them the futility of violence, but they kill him. Next, Deadpool of 1872 uses Lockjaw to help him find Devil Dinosaur. Finally, a one-page story pits a bunch of versions of Ant-Man against each other until everyone’s accidentally squished by Scott Lang.

Was it good:  Not at all. Not in the slightest. If any of the above setups sound funny, that was a mistake. Everything is played for laughs, but the only joke that lands is a double-page spread of 28 versions of Wolverine, including a cute bulldog and a Phoenix version with a sash.

Is it necessary: Eww, no.

Should you buy it: No! Secret Wars Journal is the good anthology. Other issues of this book have been fine, but this is the kind of collective misfire that gives anthologies their bad reputation.

Korvac Saga #2

What happened:  Korvac’s wife is infected by a viral madness that reminds her that the world had stars before Doom remade it. This madness turns her into a Dr. Strange Mindless One, and Korvac’s Guardians and Wonder Man’s Avengers team up to kill her before they realize her identity. The teams are so shaken by this violence that they begin proposing heresy against Doom.

Was it good:  It was so good. This is going to be collected in trade with the last couple of issues of Guardians 3000, and it’s a natural extension of that great story.

Is it necessary: No, but it’s got some themes from other books, like heresy, creationism, and the idea that Battleworld has no stars.

Should you buy it: This is a good book for fans of Avengers or Marvel Cosmic, but it doesn’t make the cut for top-tier.

 

Where Monsters Dwell #3

What happened:  Clemmie and Karl are prisoners of a tribe of sexy ladies in jungle bikinis. Karl is struggling to find an escape, but Clemmie is thinking more about putting down roots.

Was it good:  Yes! Very funny, oozing with charm.

Is it necessary: No, the promise from the first issue that this crew may tour us through Battleworld has given way to an enjoyable pulp adventure largely confined to this island.

Should you buy it: No.

 

Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders #1

What happened:  Captain Britain (Dr. Faiza Hussain) uses Excalibur to break through a barrier between kingdoms on Battleworld, shaking the faith of the good-natured defenders of Yinsen City. Doom punishes their doubt by breaking down the wall that separates them from the warlike Mondo City.

Was it good:  Pick Of The Week good.

Is it necessary: No, but it’s a good example of the way citizens of Doom experience the Battleworld setup.

Should you buy it: Not top-tier, but worth it if you have some extra cash.

 

 

Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #2

What happened:  Captain Marvel and her crew try to keep their evil boss from catching them as they investigate James Rhodes’s challenges to the creation myth of Doomworld. Carol Danvers is convinced there’s something above the sky and that stars are more than just the designs on her costume.

Was it good:  Yes. Tension beyond measure, especially in a chess match between Carol and her director.

Is it necessary: It’s very well-connected. The theme of heresy present in several of the titles is nowhere as well-explored as here.

Should you buy it: Yes.

 

Guardians Of Knowhere #1

What happened:  Angela has a fight with Drax in a bar on Knowhere, trying to find the cosmic-upgrade Gamora and punish her for leaving her assigned territory. Gamora reveals that meeting Thanos has challenged her belief in a Doom.

Was it good:  It… No. I understand wanting to keep the Guardians of the Galaxy active during the summer, and Deodato draws some amazing fight scenes. But so many books have established that there is no outer space in Battleworld, no stars Doom did not make. If Abnett can write his space team on Earth, Bendis can do the same for his and not break a linewide rule. And I’m okay with flaunting minor rules as long as your book is awesome (such as Old Man Logan). But this book is not good enough for that.

Is it necessary: No. It doesn’t even fit.

Should you buy it: No. It’s not good. Send your space dollars to Korvac Saga and your Bendis dollars to Old Man Logan.

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

 

Hail Hydra #1

What happened:  Nomad, the biological son of Arnim Zola but adopted son of Steve Rogers, escaped an explosion in The Infinite Elevator and emerges in a New York founded by Hydra and run by a version of himself that was never adopted.

Was it good:  I’ve read it twice now and still have a tough time figuring out how they padded the pages to meet publishing requirements – Nomad wanders the city, confused, sees some violence, and meets the evil version of himself. I have never read Remender’s Nomad, and this introduction doesn’t convince me I’d like reading any more. If I just want dark violence, I can turn to Squadron Sinister.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: I think fans of Remender’s Captain America run will enjoy this continuation, but I doubt anyone else is going to get much out of it.

Inhumans: Attilan Rising #3

What happened:  While Karnak and the 1602 Matt Murdock lose their battle defending The Quiet Room from Medusa’s soldiers, the Inhuman queen herself defeats Black Bolt and his teammates on New Mars.

Was it good:  The action scenes flowed well, but the book is feeling pretty light.

Is it necessary: Less and less – Medusa’s service to Doom isn’t taking center stage anymore, and this hasn’t impacted the main book as much as it looked at the beginning.

Should you buy it: Yes, I’ve been recommending the series thus far, and the drop this week wasn’t enough to change that. But next issue needs to get a lot better.

Years Of Future Past #3

What happened:  Lockheed the dragon defends the underground mutant city from Sentinels, allowing Kitty and her family to escape. She reveals that Christina and Cameron are both her children, despite Cameron’s upbringing by Wolverine. The family takes shelter in Nightcrawler’s church, then walks into a trap set by Freedom Force.

Was it good:  It’s about as good as last issue, which was better than the first but still pretty slow and wordy. It’s not my cup of tea.

Is it necessary: No, it’s a standalone title.

Should you buy it: No, I am routing your X-dollars to X-Men ’92 and Inferno. This isn’t the worst X-book (that’s E For Extinction), but it’s second-worst.

Planet Hulk #3

What happened:  Devil Dinosaur fights a sea monster Hulk, then Gladiator Steve Rogers walks across Greenland some more while Bruce Banner makes vague soliloquies about gamma and man and base nature. Finally, a tribe of Hulks captures Rogers.

Was it good:  No. Last issue was boring, and this had more action, but the monologues just about killed me. In one panel, Rogers says, “I can make no sense of Green’s rubbish. Why must he speak—” I wish an editor had given that exact note.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: In no way do I recommend this book.

Armor Wars #3

What happened:  Thor Marshal Rhodes brings the fight to Wilson Fisk, Tony Stark attacks his brother, Arno, and Spyder-Man’s widow begins construction on a building-sized armor. Despite everyone wanting to find out what the late Peter Urich learned about the source of the infection crippling the city, no one learns diddly squat.

Was it good:  Nope. This is the best issue so far, and it’s still not very good. Action scenes help, but the mystery is not advancing, and the exposition monologues are painful.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: No, this book is not a good use of your time.

Silver Surfer #13 (Last Days)

What happened:  The Never Queen warns the Surfer that reality is about to get obliterated, so he and companion Dawn Greenwood escape out of reality to find that Eternity has been enslaved by Doom’s will.

Was it good:  Terrific. This had the flavor of the best tie-in books during Infinity War, when wacky godlike creatures would float around and have conferences around the edge of the main battle while Adam Warlock or Quasar would poke at their ankles.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: No. Well, you should, because Silver Surfer is an amazing title and this book honors the title as well as the crossover, but if you’re on a budget, I’d save my money for the good Battleworlds books.

So, by week eleven, the titles rank as follows:

Essential Reading:

Really, just Secret Wars. Well done, Marvel.

Recommended Tie-ins:

A-ForceCaptain Marvel And The Carol CorpsThorsSecret Wars Journal, Old Man Logan, X-Men ’92 (digital version), InfernoAmazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, and Marvel Zombies, with Inhumans: Attilan Rising on the bubble.

Good Books That Just Don’t Make Top-Tier:

Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders, Siege, Spider Island, Age Of Apocalypse, Runaways, Squadron Sinister, Civil War, Master Of Kung Fu, Ghost Racers, 1872, Spider-Verse, Secret Wars 2099, Giant-Size Little Marvel: AVX, M.O.D.O.K. Assassin, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars, X-Tinction Agenda, Red Skull, Ultimate End, Secret Wars: Battleworld, Korvac Saga, Where Monsters Dwell, Infinity Gauntlet, Age Of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies, X-Men ’92 (print version), 1602 Witch Hunter Angela, and Weirdworld

Books To Skip:

Guardians Of Knowhere, Hail Hydra, Armor Wars, Mrs. Deadpool And The Howling Commandos, Future Imperfect, Years Of Future Past, E For Extinction, Planet Hulk, and any of the Last Days titles you weren’t already reading.

 

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