Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Eighteen


Welcome back to the Battle Report! As the main series barrels through its second half, more of the tie-in miniseries are seeing their final issues. Find out which ones merit your discerning comic dollar!

Thors #3

What happened:  Chris Hemsworth Thor interrogates Loki about the murders of Jane Foster and Donald Blake, and the trickster god puts him on the track of a mass grave in the zombie Deadlands where a fellow officer turns on him.

Was it good: Pick Of The Week good. This is the best Thor book in years.

Is it necessary: No, but the Thors are in everything.

Should you buy it: Yes. Even if you’re not buying the main series. But come on, buy the main series.


Star-Lord And Kitty Pryde #3

What happened:  Star-Lord and Kitty escape Gambit’s trap, and Kitty kisses him.

Was it good: Oh, yes. This was a quick, three-issue miniseries with so much heart and charm and romance. I haven’t recommended any pure humor books as top-tier, and this book is the funniest of my recommendations.

Is it necessary: No, it doesn’t go world-hopping as much as the first issue suggested.

Should you buy it: Yes. Really, this is a twelve-dollar investment in love.


X-Men ’92 #8

What happened:  Xavier and his telepathic teammates defeat the Shadow King, Jubilee’s skill at laser tag helps her shoot the giant Sentinel to pieces, and the brainwashed X-Men come back to their senses.

Was it good: Oh, yes. This series was fun from top to bottom, even making Pick Of The Week once, and I am so thrilled to see the caption that it will return after Secret Wars.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: This book has been the one I direct X-fans to if they only buy one title this summer. The digital version is significantly better than the print, so check it out on


Spider-Island #3

What happened:  Venom and his team rescue Peter Parker and a few of his female supporting characters, but this leads the Spider-Queen’s forces to their base and costs Tony Stark his life.

Was it good: It was. This book has been creepy and serious without being monotonous. It’s an action-horror, but it’s a celebration of this genre and brings the heroic tone we associate with Spider-titles.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: If you have extra cash after Renew Your Vows, sure, but it’s not a must-have.



House Of M #2

What happened:  The Scarlet Witch’s twins try to fight for social change, and she attacks Wolverine’s agents to defend them. Death Locket leads a team of human heroes to infiltrate Magneto’s base, but they end up releasing Fin Fang Foom at the exact minute that Namor and Quicksilver bring the forces of Atlantis to destroy the mutant empire.

Was it good: Wow. The past two issues have shown as much action as the original eight-part miniseries event, and the humor zings.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: You know, I am going to say yes. The first issue was almost there, and this one was even better. Yes. It’s got an appeal for X-Men fans, but there are also tons of Avengers from the original book.


Squadron Sinister #3

What happened:  Nighthawk manipulates pretty much everybody, leading to the deaths of Paste Pot Pete, The Whizzer, Yankee Clipper from The Lost Generation, Spitfire, Starbrand, and Hazzard. And maybe Doctor Spectrum.

Was it good: Yes. It’s violent and dark, but it’s building on two issues of a brewing storm, and these murders are done in a deliberate linearity instead of the gleeful chaos of a child smashing his action figures together.

Is it necessary: No. The word about the post-Wars Squadron is that it won’t be these characters.

Should you buy it: I’d advise waiting on this one.


Age Of Ultron Vs. Marvel Zombies #4

What happened:  1872 Hank Pym makes a machine to stop the cyborg zombies, but it requires the sacrifice of the Vision and Wonder Man.

Was it good: Yes, it was. The sacrifice was appropriately heroic and even a little surprising.

Is it necessary: No, Ultron isn’t whining about this over in Siege or anything.

Should you buy it: Not before you get Marvel Zombies. But long before you pick up Armor Wars.


Age Of Apocalypse #3

What happened:  Magneto’s team learns that the humans have made a mutant-killing virus, and Apocalypse wants that virus to go out and cull the weak anyway.

Was it good: It was a little easier to follow than last issue, with fewer side stories, but it’s still pretty much a mess.

Is it necessary: Nope, this Warzone is represented fine by appearances in Star-Lord And Kitty Pryde and Old Man Logan.

Should you buy it: Nope. Not a good idea.


Hail Hydra #2

What happened:  Nomad finds himself amidst horrifically disfigured heroes hiding from Hydra, but Venom and some possessed women called Vipers bust in and slaughter everyone except Nomad and his sister. Oh, and Venom saves Steve Rogers for some kind of torture.

Was it good: Nope. Know how I mentioned Squadron Supreme and Spider-Island doing darkness and horror with a sense of purpose or tone that make it better? This is a grim snuff film. I feel sick for reading it.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: Please do not suggest to Marvel that more books like this should be published.


Future Imperfect #5

What happened:  Maestro makes it to the Destroyer, guarded by an ancient Rick Jones. He uses the Destroyer to beat Doom, but it turns out to be a trap – in real life, he’s standing in front of the relic caught in an eternal hallucination, happy but frozen.

Was it good: Umm, it was the best issue of this series. I really enjoyed the abandon of the battle between the Maestro and Doom. But the characters we followed the first dull issues share a couple panels in this one, so why did we tread water with them?

Is it necessary: Umm, the only possible importance to broader continuity was that Maestro will be running the Contest Of Champions series this fall. But this version of the Maestro is defeated, so I don’t even think this book matters to that one.

Should you buy it: No, take the money you want Peter David to have and buy an extra copy of Secret Wars 2099.

(Bam Smack Pow’s David Goodman hated it more than I did!)


Silk #7 (Last Days)

What happened:  On the day the world is ending, Silk gets a lead on her missing brother. As she races across the city to find him, she stops to save people from the chaos and riots because she is awesome, and that’s what heroes do. On the last page, she finds her brother and hugs him as the world disappears around them and there is something in my eye.

Was it good: I am getting a tear typing the recap up. It is good.

Is it necessary: Okay, no, the Last Days tie-ins can be summed up as “People hoped the world wouldn’t end, but it did.”

Should you buy it: I routed you to Ms. Marvel last month, and I do not regret this. That book pulled the heroism and pain of having responsibility in an unwinnable situation, and I do not regret that recommendation. But if you can only afford a single issue, this book gets almost as much, and Kamala Khan’s story will take a couple books. So I am going to say you can pick Silk or Ms. Marvel, but to get a feel for the texture of the first issue of Secret Wars, readers should be following one of these.


Silver Surfer #14 (Last Days)

What happened:  The Surfer and Dawn are convinced to remake the universe in the wake of the Incursion. Anything they imagine will come to life, so Dawn works on Earth while Norrin puts together the fantastic planets they’ve visited. But as they do these tasks, cracks are beginning to show in the created world.

Was it good: Oh, man, this book is always terrific. The wish-fulfillment trap is creepy as heck, and Allred’s art is a thrill.

Is it necessary: Not to Secret Wars. They are not actually building the post-Wars Marvel Universe.

Should you buy it: Only if you want a good comic that is good. But not if you are really only looking for the best Secret Wars story this summer. I can respect that.


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 or Silk(Last Days), Marvel Zombies, House Of M, 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, 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.


Follow the Battle Reports here!

More from Bam Smack Pow