Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Twelve


Welcome back to the Battle Report! This week, Marvel moves nine of their tie-in books forward and launches one new one. Which of them hold to our recommendation list of the main series and the most entertaining or interconnected of the tie-ins?

X-Men ’92 #5 (Digital First)

What happened:  While Cassandra Nova tries to defeat Cyclops and Phoenix in the Mind Field, Psylocke manages to heal Professor Xavier and sneak into Nova’s psychic headquarters.

Was it good: Very good. This series doesn’t stop at being one of the most fun books of the summer – it sets humor and horror amid sparkling visuals. The digital version adds an extra layer of creativity in storytelling.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: Yes. Many of the mutant books are good this year, but this is one of the top two.

Marvel Zombies #2

What happened:  Elsa Bloodstone and Shut Up the orphan continue to battle through the zombies of the Deadlands, encountering undead versions of MODOK and Carnage.

Was it good:  Pick Of The Week for the second issue in a row.

Is it necessary: At this point, the zombies south of the Shield wall have shown up in Siege, Age Of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies, and a handful of panels in Secret Wars itself.

Should you buy it: Yes, this is the best of the summer’s zombie books.

Old Man Logan #3

What happened:  Logan fights Apocalypse in Age Of Apocalypse’s kingdom, then a confrontation with one of the Thors blasts him all the way to the tech-infected city of the Armor Wars mini. After a disagreement with Thor Marshal Rhodey, our wandering hero gets sent to the Deadlands to take on a few zombies.

Was it good:  Oh, yes. This book is delivering on the “wandering through Battleworld” setup that the summer crossover needed. The art is gorgeous, and the writing of each zone is consistent with the tie-in books we’ve seen there so far.

Is it necessary: Getting close to a yes – Old Man Logan is joining the Extraordinary X-Men flagship title in the fall as well as continuing his own book, and I’m not sure how much longer Logan’s adventure will stay out of the main Secret Wars series.

Should you buy it: Yes.


Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #1

What happened:  Star-Lord survived the last Incursion, and now he fronts a lounge act in the Quiet Room, singing Disney songs to distract him from how much he misses his fiancée. When the Age Of Apocalypse version of Kitty walks in to sell knives made from Longshot’s bones to Gambit, Peter loses it and starts a brawl to get to her. She finds out he’s an anomalous that threat to the theology of Doom and starts to hatch a plan.

Was it good:  This was amazing. I loved this book. Dark Kitty Prydes are kind of a cliché, but Humphries kept this version reined in, and Firmansyah’s art turned a dozen beloved characters into the vaguely Disney versions we need in a world where that company owns our favorite comic publisher.

Is it necessary: No, it does not appear so.

Should you buy it: Yes. I haven’t recommended any of the cosmic titles yet, and this is the clear victor. It has romance, humor, action, and a great display of the facets of Battleworld.


Weirdworld #2

What happened:  Arkon is trapped by the talking primates of Apelantis until he joins forces with a Crystal Warrior named Warbow and takes the fight to Morgan Le Fay.

Was it good:  Spectacular. Jason Aaron’s love of strange comic book concepts never comes before a strong story of this man’s mission, and Mike Del Mundo is delivering art that may be even better than his work on Elektra.

Is it necessary: No, Weirdworld is its own wacky little book.

Should you buy it: It’s not top-tier, but give it a serious look if you make any room in your budget.


E Is For Extinction #2

What happened:  Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Wolverine rescue Xorn from the U-Men’s headquarters and learn that Magneto’s X-Men have kept their powers broken by using a Phoenix Egg against them. The boys are all hot to rescue Jean Grey, but before they can do it, a hundred versions of Hank McCoy blast onto the scene.

Was it good:  No, but the first issue was almost unreadable, and this is just boring, so it’s improving. The art is still grotesque but a little bit more in line with the mainstream, and the story was more understandable.

Is it necessary: No. Well, I hope and pray no. But I think I’m right.

Should you buy it: Please don’t. Morrison’s run on New X-Men creatively revived the property, but it was a pretty ugly, miserable, incomprehensible wreck while it was happening, and this miniseries elects to continue the negative experience.


Future Imperfect #3

What happened:  Layla Miller helps the rebels break into the Maestro’s citadel only to find that Thunderbolt Ross doesn’t need to be rescued. He and the Maestro are plotting out how to get their oversized hands on the Destroyer armor and usurp Doom with it.

Was it good:  This series has gotten better with each issue, but this one is still a lot of words and pages for a slight story about characters I don’t really remember fondly.

Is it necessary: We know the Maestro will succeed in some fashion because he is overseeing the ongoing Contest Of Champions series this fall, but I don’t think this is going to be a necessary prerequisite.

Should you buy it: Only for fans of the original story.


Magneto #20 (Last Days)

What happened:  Magneto continues to collect ways to boost his power, knowing it will kill him but refusing to believe he can’t stop the Incursion with his own magnetic powers and badass personality.

Was it good:  It was. Cullen Bunn writes a powerful gravity to one of the Marvel Universe’s oldest villains and deftly works in threads from the entire series thus far.

Is it necessary: No. I’ll spoil it for you, the Incursion is going to happen exactly like we all saw eleven weeks ago.

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

Punisher #20 (Last Days)

What happened:  The Punisher fights a bunch of bad guys in Tikrit and is about to win when the Incursion happens on the final page and everything goes white.

Was it good:  It’s not good enough to make me want to go back and read this series, but I know what my friends were talking about when they loved the gritty realism of this volume.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: Just for Punisher fans, guys. Although we haven’t seen many versions of Frank Castle in the Battleworld minis, so maybe you can use this for your fix?

Loki #16 (Last Days)

What happened:  A bunch of dead Asgardians return from Valhalla to defeat Hela and Tyr, and Loki tells their story, and this magically preserves them so he can keep them outside of the universe when the last Incursion wipes everything away.

Was it good:  No. Of the three Last Days issues, it was the easiest to follow, but I can’t say I enjoyed any of it. No, wait, there was a bit where the gods put on sunglasses to look cool. That was fun. Not fun enough to justify a four-dollar book, but I have to give it this.

Is it necessary: No. It’s a big fight between a ton of Asgardians, and even though the connection is that Midgard is targeted for destruction to prevent it from being the locus of the Incursion, it is so obviously just a fight between good guys and bad guys.

Should you buy it: If you liked Loki up to this point, I get the impression this is a satisfying thematic ending. But as a guy who actively disliked the first arc of this book, I remain solid in my opinion.

So as of week twelve, here’s where the titles stack…

Essential Reading:

Still 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, Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde, 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 Is For Extinction, Planet Hulk, and any of the Last Days titles you weren’t already reading.


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