Secret Wars Battle Report, Week Twenty-Five


Welcome back to the Battle Report! Three more miniseries bite the dust this week, and a new one-shot pads out Marvel’s offerings. Which ones come out winners, and which one came to the War unarmed?

Weirdworld #5

What happened:  Arkon opts out of committing suicide at the last second, and when Morgan Le Fay shows up to finish him off, he finds his home city of Polemachus attached to the underside of Weirdworld, so he joins Jennifer Kale’s army of weirdos and is about to win the battle when Battleworld explodes, and Weirdworld is reconstituted in the Bermuda Triangle of the new Marvel Universe.

Was it good: Wow. This title has embraced being strange, but this issue ties all the wacky characters together into a team I want to follow. Arkon’s nobility is inspiring, and Del Mundo’s art is a series of pages suitable for framing.

Is it necessary: No, it embraces being a fringe title. That said, it’s told readers the most about the end of Secret Wars (though it’s not a surprise that the world ends and the books we have been reading for the past three weeks happen), and future Marvel titles Weirdworld and Black Knight will take place there.

Should you buy it: It’s fringe enough to keep it off my top-tier recommendations list, but please keep it in mind.


1872 #4

What happened:  Black Widow saves Bruce Banner from the villainous Simon Williams, then executes the Kingpin to save all of the Western town of Timely. Carol Danvers then institutes a new government including female and Native American representatives, and Ben Urich starts noticing some weird goings-on related to the gamma explosion that took out Kingpin’s river dam.

Was it good: It was. I haven’t enjoyed the Western genre very much in the past, but this was full of action, honor, and courage.

Is it necessary: It’s not. We’ve seen a couple glimpses of it in other titles, and Red Wolf will get his own ongoing this winter, but we still don’t know if the Red Wolf in this history series is the one in the present-day book.

Should you buy it: Western fans are probably already reading it. If you’re curious, I think you’ll like it, but there’s not much of a Western market in modern Marvel, so it’s a safe one to cut out of your shopping list.


Agents Of Atlas #1

What happened:  In Baron Zemo’s Metropolitia territory, Jimmy Woo’s Atlas Foundation works to free the oppressed workers from the SHIELD agents who enforce the regime. When Woo goes missing, Gorilla-Man, Namora, Marvel Boy, M-11, and Venus storm Zemo’s castle to rescue him.

Was it good: I was shocked, but yes. I have never really enjoyed this quirky, fifties-style team that’s toured the fringes of the Marvel Universe, but this one-shot got the action and humor going and left before I got to roll my eyes. Good fit for a one-shot.

Is it necessary: No, it’s not.

Should you buy it: No, if you want a short story, there have been about ten other one-shots or anthology issues in this crossover.


Age Of Apocalypse #5

What happened:  Burner is revealed to be lost Summers brother Adam X, the X-Treme, during the final battle against the omnipowerful Dr. Nemesis. Jean Grey is able to use her immense Phoenix power to turn off everybody’s mutant gene and defeat Nemesis, but doing so involves Emma Frost giving herself a lobotomy and stitching her brain into Jean’s.

Was it good: No. No, not at all. This miniseries has one of the most beloved source materials for X-Men fans, dozens of issues rich with character design and plot intrigue, but the delivery in 2015 hinged on Nemesis, a character who wasn’t around then and wasn’t especially interesting in the book. The first issues were dull explorations of Doug Ramsey’s mutant ability to state the obvious and follow standard social cues, and they turned out to have almost nothing to do with the back half. The Phoenix-ex-machina didn’t work very well in the E Is For Extinction mini, and turning off all the mutations just summons memories of the carnage of M-Day, so it doesn’t work as the happy ending the narrator suggests. The brain surgery felt like frivolous gore, out of taste and tone with the original books or the current crossover.

Is it necessary: No.

Should you buy it: Don’t. And it breaks my heart because I generally love Fabian Nicieza, and because I love the X-Men, and because I love the Age Of Apocalypse. But you owe it to all of the above to pretend this never happened.



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