Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Twenty-Two


Welcome back to the Battle Report! Next week, we see issue six of nine come out for the main series, so of course this week we finish five more miniseries and next week get the first issues of the post-Secret Wars universe. Timing had been so good for this event but… That said, a lot of this week’s output was great, and Bam Smack Pow is here to help you sort through it!

Inferno #5

What happened:  Colossus and his Soulsword lead the X-Men against his sister’s demon army, and he has to kill her to save his girlfriend, Domino. He, Domino, and Meltdown are done with this world and teleport to some other Warzone, screw Doom’s laws. In the aftermath, Madelyn Pryor uses Illyana’s corpse to become the new Darkchylde.

Was it good: It’s my Pick Of The Week.

Is it necessary: Uh uh. It’s just a really fun, self-aware love letter to one of the X-Men’s most memorable storylines.

Should you buy it: I still think the only required X-book this summer is the digital version of X-Men ’92, but this is a good next book to buy.


Ghost Racers #4

What happened:  Robbie Reyes goes back to the Killiseum to protect his little brother, and they organize the Spirits of Ignition to rebel against Arcade and become a Battleworld-spanning force for vengeance.

Was it good: Tons of pulpy fun, plus it had a fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus with a flaming skull head rising on a fighter jet. I want to read a whole series about this guy.

Is it necessary: No, the only other Ghost Racer we saw in the crossover was the G-Man from Inhumans: Attilan Rising, and this book isn’t necessary to process that.

Should you buy it: It’s a fun romp, but it’s hardly required.


M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #5

What happened:  The floating murder head finds out that Baron Mordo had been using him to lure Sheriff Strange to Killville and take his place in Doom’s cabinet. So M.O.D.O.K. reports him to the Thors and gets to become the Baron of Killville. And he gets a smile from his beloved Angela.

Was it good: It’s so cute to get the awkward nerd romance of the killer cyborg and his lethal lady.

Is it necessary: Nope. They don’t actually get Strange into Killville, and there are plenty of other places to see the Thors in action.

Should you buy it: It’s fun, but I think it stays in the Comedy-Books-I-Like-But-Don’t-Push-Too-Hard category.


E Is For Extinction #4

What happened:  Jean Grey rises from the dead, possessed by Cassandra Nova, and she and her team kill Cyclops and Emma Frost before Wolverine and Jean commit mutual suicide by hugging and stabbing each other.

Was it good: It was awful. The art is still provocatively ugly, and the writing is a series of blunt punches with the stacked deaths. You know how the X-Tinction Agenda delivered a playful body count but made sure each one served the greater story? This book is just lashing out.

Is it necessary: I will not read a comic publication that expects me to submit to this again.

Should you buy it: No. No no no no no. No.



Hail Hydra #3

What happened:  Nomad and his alternate reality sister, Ellie, try to raise a rebellion of democratic capitalists. They take the fight to Zola’s headquarters and fight their father, possessed by the bad guy. In the fight, Ellie is injured, and the cliffhanger has Nomad dangling from the top of a building while Hydra’s fascist Avengers close in.

Was it good: It’s terrible. Reading this book feels like walking on slimy mossy rocks barefoot in cold water. Most of the pages seem covered in word balloons spouting the kind of political and economic arguments only possible in an educated populace that could never exist in the always-and-forever-fascist world Remender created. The parts that showed through the words involved traumatized children attacking their father with a knife. I cannot defend this book.

Is it necessary: Please no. Please, please no.

Should you buy it: Not even as firewood.


X-Men ’92 #4 (Print version)

What happened:  Cassandra Nova and her brainwashed X-Men try to assassinate Baron Kelly, but Xavier pulls up Onslaught to fight her, and Psylocke, Cable, and Phoenix give Onslaught their psychic powers to help. Teamwork saves the day, but Nova escapes.

Was it good: The printed version of the battle misses a lot of the majesty of the digital, but it’s a fair recreation otherwise.

Is it necessary: Not really, but the series is getting its own ongoing title in December.

Should you buy it: Only if you didn’t get the digital. But I strongly recommend the digital.


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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