Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Twenty-One


Welcome back to the Battle Report! More titles are finishing up as we begin our sixth month of battle. Find out which ones merit your discerning comic dollar!

X-Tinction Agenda #4

What happened:  Havok’s Genoshans and Rachel Grey’s X-Men fight each other until they team up to defeat Cameron Hodge. The battle costs the lives of Rictor, Bombshell, Havok, and Wolfsbane, but it leads to the resurrection of Warlock and Grey’s commitment to caring for the mutants of Genosha.

Was it good: It was Pick Of The Week.

Is it necessary: Nope, all the story you need is in there, and it’s not bothering your main Secret Wars story.

Should you buy it: I have sent X-Men fans to X-Men ’92, but I hold that Inferno and X-Tinction Agenda would make excellent additions if a budget allows.


Inhumans: Attilan Rising #5

What happened:  Medusa and Black Bolt overcome their differences and fall in love as they take the fight to Doom, but once that happens, Doom is shown watching and musing, “The same result as last time.” He snaps his fingers, and readers are back at the beginning of the story, only this time, Medusa is the one leading the resistance from the speakeasy and Black Bolt is Doom’s regent in New Attilan.

Was it good: Oh, yes. The idea that Doom can undo and restart realities is well within his limits as God of Battleworld, and we haven’t gotten to see him use this power yet. It was a great surprise.

Is it necessary: Nope. I don’t think Doom’s going to use this power in the main book.

Should you buy it: Yes. Despite a saggy middle, this was a great example of a Secret Wars tie-in book.


Weirdworld #4

What happened:  Arkon and Skull have to stop trying to kill each other because they’re in a swamp full of Man-Things (the plant monster, not the penis), and Jennifer Kale invites them to join her rebellion against Baroness Morgan Le Fay. Arkon has been plagued with visions of his homeworld, Polemachus, hanging upside down, so he declines her offer to keep the search for his city. He runs to the cliff at the edge of Weirdworld, and he is so upset that he prepares to kill himself, but the camera pans out and we see that Polemachus is the underside of the floating island of Weirdworld.

Was it good: Oh, yes. The Del Mundo paintings are gorgeous on every page, and Jason Aaron is telling this incredible story of a tough barbarian king who is incrementally losing his faith. It’s terrific. Apart from nobody getting the joke of Man-Things being slang for…

Is it necessary: Weirdworld will continue in the Marvel Universe in some form. It’s getting its own title, and the Black Knight series will be set there. But we don’t yet know if it’s the same Weirdworld we’re getting in this mini.

Should you buy it: It’s a little too niche to make it into my Everyone-Buy-It list, but Man-Thing, it’s close.


Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps #4

What happened:  Carol and her Banshee pilots fight a group of Thors including Kit, the sweet young girl from the first volume of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run. The women care about one another, and Kit betrays her Thors so Carol and the others can fly up to the sky and see if there’s an outer space. The reader doesn’t get to see what they see, but Captain Marvel appears pretty impressed with the view.

Was it good: It was amazing. The characters are nuanced and compelling, the fight scenes (both in airplanes and with fists on the ground) are beautifully choreographed, and the last narration box is DeConnick’s way of saying goodbye (this is her last issue of Captain Marvel): “She knows, deep in her heart, she knows… If death waits on the other side of this adventure, she’ll die as she lived… …A Banshee. And Hell yes, it was worth it. Every breath was worth it.”

Is it necessary: No, but it is the best book for exploring the heresy and creationism bias seen in many of the other miniseries.

Should you buy it: Yes. Really, this is one of the best books out for the event, it’s the best part of DeConnick’s highly-praised run on the title, it’s a marvel.



Runaways #4

What happened:  The Runaways come back to the Doom Institute For Gifted Youths to tell all the students that they’re being manipulated into killing each other. Hall Monitor Bucky Barnes helps them escape the security Doombots and recruit more Runaways, then kills himself in front of Headmistress Valeria Von Doom to teach her a lesson, and she agrees to let the Runaways go.

Was it good: Yes! The suicide at the end seems a little extreme, but the teen romance (both heterosexual and homosexual) is joyful and brave.

Is it necessary: No, again, if Doom has this huge murder school, why has there been no graduate mentioned in any of the six hundred other books of Secret Wars?

Should you buy it: It’s a good read, and I love some good queer representation, but if you’re saving money, this one is probably a pass.


1872 #3

What happened:  The Wild West versions of Bruce Banner and Black Widow head to Kingpin’s dam to blow it up with glowing green liquid, but they’re caught, and Bruce is forced to drink it all. Carol Danvers leads a women’s suffrage march down Main Street, drawing the attention of Fisk’s enforcers, and Red Wolf and a steampunk Iron Man step in to take out the bad guys.

Was it good: You guys, I am not a fan of Westerns but am blown away by how exciting this series is. The tone, the creative twists on Marvel characters, it kind of makes me want to read Jonah Hex or something.

Is it necessary: Nope, the characters aren’t visible outside of this title, but Red Wolf as a character will be a Nathan Edmondson solo book when the Wars are over, and his Black Widow and Punisher work mean you should keep that on your Radar.

Should you buy it: Tempting, but no, not quite into the top tier.


Years Of Future Past #5

What happened:  In order to stop her brother’s plans for mutant genocide, Chrissie has to kill Cameron and rescue the loathsome President Kelly. The humans storm the mutant stronghold anyway, and the as the last hundred mutants alive prepare for one last stand, Kitty Pryde makes eye contact with a stray tiger that has gotten into their building.

Was it good: Umm, I want to say yes. I do. I love the X-Men, and Marguerite Bennett is writing the Hell out of Angela in 1602, and I love that this world has stray tigers running around the city because the zoo got destroyed back in the day. But it’s pretty boring, unnecessarily wordy, and the ambiguous ending is unsatisfying.

Is it necessary: No, apart from supplying Sentinels to A-Force, this is an insulated Warzone.

Should you buy it: I do not recommend this book. Which makes me sad.



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.


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