Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Twenty


Welcome back to the Battle Report! Five months in, and more miniseries are reaching their end. Find out which ones merit your discerning comic dollar!

House Of M #3

What happened:  Quicksilver and Namor storm Magneto’s castle. The human resistance fighters take him into hiding, but Quicksilver uses this to tell the world that the king is dead, and he’s the new king, and humans are pretty much screwed.

Was it good: The action and intrigue made it Pick Of The Week.

Is it necessary: Nope, stands alone well.

Should you buy it: You should. It is as good as X-Men ’92, and I recommend X-Men fans budget for both titles this summer.


Spider-Island #4

What happened:  While Stegron the Dinosaur Man leads a distraction, Venom and the monster-modified versions of the Avengers take the fight to the Spider Queen. While they debate about lethal solutions, she evolves into this giant scary monster.

Was it good: Yep. It’s not as good as Renew Your Vows, but it’s tense, exciting, and it delivers great horror elements without slogging through grim muck.

Is it necessary: Nope.

Should you buy it: If Spider-Man fans have money left over from my recommended tier of books, this would make a great bonus title to pick up.


Secret Wars Journal #5

What happened:  In the first story, Night Nurse is allowed to travel between kingdoms of Battleworld to treat the ill, but a contagion outbreak in 1872 may be the end of her. In the second story, Mill-E The Model Citizen is a public relations Doombot employing adorably futile tactics to get citizens to convert to Doom worship.

Was it good: Yes. The first story was serious and affecting, and the second one was hilarious without losing sympathy for poor Mill-E.

Is it necessary: Nope, but it would be stinkin’ awesome to see Mill-E in the background of more of these crossover issues.

Should you buy it: Of the anthology titles (Secret Wars Battleworld, Secret Love, Secret Wars Journal), this title has had the most consistent quality. But the issues all stand alone, and I doubt this particular one needs to make it to your short list. I am going to move the title down a tier and encourage readers to buy the issues that stand out to them.


Infinity Gauntlet #4

What happened:  The Nova Corps and the Guardians Of The Galaxy fight Adam Warlock and his version of the Imperial Guard for control of the Soul Gem, and Thanos takes advantage of this to betray the team and steal the Infinity Gauntlet. He only has one gem left before completing the set and winning this whole miniseries.

Was it good: Yep! The series has been great at subverting its own narrative, changing primary narrators and shifting from a family survival drama to a cosmic action story without ever hitting a false note.

Is it necessary: No, this Thanos is not related to the one running through Doom’s plans in the main book.

Should you buy it: It’s just too far to the fringe for anyone but cosmic fans to get their money’s worth. But it might convert you to cosmic fandom, so keep it in mind.



Spider-Verse #5

What happened:  The Web Warriors trick Norman Osborn into using some broken technology, and it scrambles his brains. The group decides to stay together and fight crime.

Was it good: Umm … I like these characters. And I like how creative the artist is, especially when he did Avengers AI, but his blocky, static style is not a good fit for the lithe agility we need from Spider characters. And the book had been set up with these folks as amnesiac, but it’s done without anyone getting memories back. That feels like a let-down.

Is it necessary: A similar team will be protecting the multiverse in this fall’s Web Warriors title, but there’s no proof that it’s actually continuing out of this story. Also, in Mrs. Deadpool, Shikla was executed for killing her kingdom’s evil Baron, but in this book, they kill theirs and beat up a Thor with no consequences. So it feels even more inconsequential.

Should you buy it: Enough issues were good that I am keeping it out of the Do Not Buy list … but it’s at the bottom of the next level up.


Age Of Apocalypse #4

What happened:  The virus destroying mutants is revealed as Dr. Nemesis’s plot to absorb a ton of extra powers. Fighting the virus kills Apocalypse, Magneto, and Wild Child, and it’s up to Cyclops, Havok, Wolverine, and the mysterious Burner to take Nemesis out next issue.

Was it good: No, and that breaks my heart. I love Fabian Nicieza and the “Age Of Apocalypse” in general, but this book hasn’t been about the themes of that crossover, and this feels more like a throwaway issue of Exiles than a great summer tie-in. On the plus side, Doug Ramsey’s irritating narration has gone by the wayside, as has his role in this book despite him being the God Doomed Messiah of the first two issues.

Is it necessary: I hope not.

Should you buy it: No, you shouldn’t.


Guardians Of Knowhere #4

What happened:  A powerful female Kree warrior fights Gamora and Angela, but Drax and Rocket Raccoon and Mantis helps them defeat her. At the end, Peter Quill shows up, and this might be the one from before the Incursion that showed up in the main series and Star-Lord And Kitty Pryde.

Was it good: You know how last issue was actually pretty good and suggested the series was improving? False alarm. The bad guy never gets a name and isn’t even as interesting as the awful Yodat from the last couple issues. That said, the Deodato artwork is again gorgeous.

Is it necessary: The last page threatens “To Be Concluded In … Secret Wars & Guardians Of The Galaxy #1!” But until I see frank evidence that you needed to read this, I’m not convinced it’s relevant.

Should you buy it: Please don’t. Please demand better from your comic book publisher.


Armor Wars #5

What happened:  Revealed as the big villain, Tony Stark fights the building-sized armor driven by the women whose families he’s murdered. They win, Doom deposes Tony as Baron and promotes the women to Baron and Thor positions.

Was it good: Last issue was a fun reveal with evil Tony. This issue was his cackling monologue about “I’m evil because I’m evil because I’m evil,” and it was hard to follow but maybe just because it was too boring to inspire reading the next sentences.

Is it necessary: Nope. The three pages of this world in Old Man Logan were better than all five issues of this snoozer.

Should you buy it: There are cheaper ways to hurt yourself.


Essential Reading:

Really, just Secret Wars. Well done, Marvel.

Recommended Tie-ins:

A-ForceAmazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Captain Marvel And The Carol CorpsHouse Of M, InfernoInhumans: Attilan Rising, Marvel Zombies, Old Man Logan, Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde, ThorsX-Men ’92 (digital version), and Ms. Marvel or Silk (Last Days).

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

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

Books to Skip:

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

Follow the Battle Reports here!

More from Bam Smack Pow