Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Seventeen


Welcome back to the Battle Report! Secret Wars enters its fifth month of publication this week. Let Bam Smack Pow help you sort through the twelve tie-ins this week to see which ones make the cut for the budget-conscious crossover reader!

Marvel Zombies #3

What happened:  Elsa rescues the androgynous orphan Shut Up from zombie Mystique but runs afoul of the animated corpse of her abusive father.

Was it good: Pick Of The Week good. It’s a much-needed representation of trauma in comics.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: Yes. There are many zombie books, but this is the best.


Old Man Logan #4

What happened:  Logan and She-Hulk team up to survive the zombies south of the Shield wall, then she Fastball-Specials him over the wall into Manhattan.

Was it good: Yes, the issue was light on plot but heavy on Sorrentino’s gorgeous artwork and a judicious application of Bendis’s best dialogue.

Is it necessary: There are now several books bouncing around different zones of Battleworld, but they haven’t seemed to have a huge effect on the parent titles.

Should you buy it: Yes. Old Man Logan is going to be a major presence in the X-Men after Secret Wars, and this book is among the top when it comes to quality.


Where Monsters Dwell #4

What happened:  The sexy Amazons strip Karl Kaufmann down to his Union Jack chest tattoo in preparation to castrate him, but he escapes and spends the rest of the issue naked as he tries to put together a plan to get out of this savage corner of Battleworld.

Was it good: It was so good. Ennis’s series has been loaded with dark humor, and Russ Braun’s art is sexy without feeling exploitative to either gender.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: This book is going into the comedy category, and as much as I’m enjoying it, I’m not recommending any of the comedy books to a reader who is just trying to read Secret Wars.


Hank Johnson, Agent Of Hydra #1

What happened:  A Hydra agent navigates the mundane world of school fundraisers and little league games and whether to call Human Resources if Viper grabs his butt.

Was it good: It was so funny, and Michael Walsh’s exquisite art style made me grieve the loss of his Secret Avengers run all over again.

Is it necessary: In no way is this necessary.

Should you buy it: If I didn’t recommend the stellar comedy one-shot, Howard The Human, last week, I can’t recommend this as a top-tier. But by Doom, if you want to sample the comedy stuff and can only afford one book, this is the one to get.



M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #4

What happened:  M.O.D.O.K. and Angela fight off Mindless Ones and fall a little bit in love as the killer floating head uncovers Baron Mordo’s conspiracy to take over Killville or maybe replace Stephen Strange as Doom’s Sheriff.

Was it good: Yes. It wasn’t as funny as previous issues, but it’s charming.

Is it necessary: No, though there’s a good scene at the beginning where Doom reflects on why his Battleworld contains Killville at all (keeping assassins around until he can use them as he sees fit).

Should you buy it: No.


Civil War #3

What happened:  Spider-Man’s team breaks into one of Tony Stark’s labs to steal resources from the corpse of the Kingpin, kept in animation by the monstrous sentient robot arms of Doctor Octopus (it’s gross and awesome), and She-Hulk fights Speedball in Captain America’s capital city before finding out that Black Panther might be behind the recent assassination attempt that has fanned the flames of the war.

Was it good: Yes. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original Civil War, but Charles Soule has pulled the good parts out and used them to tell a direct story with zombies and killer robots and political intrigue.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: Almost yes. It’s not top-tier, but it’s close.


Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #3

What happened:  The pilots of the Carol Corps rebel against their evil boss and escape. They’re determined to find out if there is truth to their heretical doubts about Doom and the nature of Battleworld.

Was it good: Yes. The teamwork and love these characters have for each other is wonderful, and their aerial battles won me over even though I generally glaze over in war scenes.

Is it necessary: No, but it’s one of the best of the books that address Doom’s defensive laws about belief in his deity.

Should you buy it: Yes, it’s really good enough to make the cut, and the religious aspects play very closely to several of the creation scenes we’re seeing in the main series.


E Is For Extinction #3

What happened:  Sublime has infected versions of Beast from across Battleworld, and all of the current and classic X-Men team up to fight him until a corrupt Jean Grey crawls out of the Phoenix Egg.

Was it good: No. No, it was not. X-Men ’92 took Cassandra Nova and rehabilitated her from being the worst part I remembered from Morrison’s run into a frightening villain I want to keep seeing. E Is For Extinction reminded me the only reason I hated Nova that much is that I completely forgot about Sublime. A sentient virus that links everyone into a hive-mind? It’s creative, it’s just not good. And the art is every bit as repellant as the art from the original Morrison relaunch. As I’ve said before, Morrison saved the X-Men in retrospect, but it was an awful slog to get through when it was happening, and this book pulls all the worst parts from the parent story.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: Please don’t.


X-Men ‘92 #3 (Print edition)

What happened:  This collects issues five and six of the digital comic, showing Cassandra Nova’s attempt to brainwash Cyclops and Jean Grey, then the fight between X-Force and the X-Men against Nova’s mutant team.

Was it good: It’s not as good as the digital version (in particular, a great animation of Storm’s lightning is lost), but it gets the job done, and this story has been the best X-book out this summer.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: You should go to and buy the digital version. But if you can only read this on paper, at least you can do this.


Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #4

What happened:  Deadpool totally hooked up with the Wasp on the original Battleworld, and when the Beyonder gave all the heroes their wishes, she wished for everyone to forget that he was even there.

Was it good: This issue was funny and clever, just like the whole series has been.

Is it necessary: Nope, it’s not even about this summer’s Secret Wars and makes plenty of jokes about that.

Should you buy it: Nope.


Magneto #21 (Last Days)

What happened:  Magneto puts everything he has into one final push against the Incursion, dying in the effort and failing, but people appreciate that he tried.

Was it good: Yes. It was so powerful, picking up threads from the whole series so far and flashing back to my favorite Magneto moments (like pulling Wolverine’s skeleton out through his skin).

Is it necessary: No, I think we all figured out in issue one of Secret Wars that the death of the universe happened.

Should you buy it: Only for fans of Magneto (the series or the character, both are freaking great).


Last Days Of Ant-Man #1

What happened:  A clairvoyant predicts the Incursion, and Ant-Man uses his last days to help a bunch of Golden Age heroes have one last adventure, then tries to get in touch with his daughter and hooks up with the new Beetle.

Was it good: It was so funny, a great fit with the Nick Spencer’s series thus far.

Is it necessary: No, it’s pretty light and doesn’t say a lot about the Incursion that started this whole crossover.

Should you buy it: Hmm. You should be buying Ant-Man. Half of the issues have been Picks Of The Week, it seems like, and the post-crossover relaunch looks like a lot of fun. But if you’re not going to read that series, I guess you can skip this one-shot.

(Check out the Bam Smack Pow review here!)


Spider-Woman #10 (Last Days)

What happened:  Black Widow recruits Spider-Woman to help with evacuating Manhattan, giving her a great speech about her awesome new costume and detective comic book are great and all, but Avengers have to do bigger things.

Was it good: This series has been wonderful, and this issue loses nothing by touching the summer crossover event.

Is it necessary: Nope. As far as Secret Wars is concerned, Spider-Woman was the co-pilot on one escape jet.

Should you buy it: No. But you should go read at least issues four through ten because the detective comic book is just terrific.


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, Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde, Ms. Marvel (Last Days), Marvel Zombies, and Inhumans: Attilan Rising.

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

Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders, Siege, Spider Island, 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, 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, Secret Wars: Secret Love (for two stories), Howard The Human, House Of M, Hank Johnson, Agent Of Hydra, 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, Age Of Apocalypse, Ultimate End, and any of the Last Days titles you weren’t already reading.


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