Secret Wars Battle Report – Week Thirty-One


With all of the miniseries over except Ultimate End, the eighth issue of Secret Wars coming out next week, and the final issue pushed back to January, the thirty-first week of the event is a quiet space, but Nathan Edmondson’s Red Wolf series picks up exactly where the 1872 tie-in left off, so readers are given a few more hints about the end of Battleworld.

At this point, Weirdworld and Thors have shown us that the Secret Wars are going to end with everything blinking away in a  flash, and then an Earth forming that is pretty much the main 616 universe we’ve been reading since the 60s with a few exceptions. Miles Morales from the Ultimate Universe is in New York now and adventuring with the All-New Avengers, Weirdworld is a space in the Bermuda Triangle where the Black Knight is raising a little kingdom all his own, the evil Ultimate Reed Richards is poking around in New Avengers, and there is a Contest Of Champions going on in a pocket of leftover chunks from the Battleworld explosion. Captain America: Sam Wilson tells us that people remember that something went down in New York eight months ago with some Incursions, but it’s unclear how much people remember of Battleworld itself. Old Man Logan has continued from the classic Millar storyline through the Bendis miniseries and into Lemire’s Extraordinary X-Men and his own solo title. So as of week thirty-one, the new Red Wolf book may be the first ongoing appearance of a character in the version created for Secret Wars but continuing in the Marvel Universe proper.

Most of the book takes place in 1872, picking up where the miniseries left off. Red Wolf is a Native American who became sheriff of Timely after Steve Rogers was murdered by corrupt town officials like Kingpin Wilson Fisk. The super-hero elements like Tony Stark’s steampunk metal suit or Bruce Banner’s glowing green footprints aren’t on display, but the classic Western tale of a sheriff building up credibility by stomping on insubordinate townspeople has a few comic Easter Eggs, like young Alex helping Red Wolf figure out what’s “wreaking Havoc” outside town and telling stories about how his pop once saw a wolverine “with claws like steel.” The investigation goes to Hell when a high-tech time traveler loses control of his machinery in a fight and hits Red Wolf with a white bolt of temporal energy. On the final page, Red Wolf is bleeding on pavement when a teenage boy snaps a shot with an iPhone and snorts, “Bro, I’m totally gonna tweet this.”

It’s a good comic, if a little bland. The Western genre hasn’t been popular for years, and Edmondson’s experience with solo action titles like Black Widow and Punisher help keep this interesting, but the crossover miniseries was fun for all of the superhero analogues and this book just feels disconnected without them. The last page is a good hook, though, and readers can look forward to a Captain America type of Man Out Of Time story. We don’t know yet if Red Wolf has been bounced out of a surviving Battleworld Warzone or moved forward in the timeline of the post-Wars universe. I hope the book becomes an exploration of the Battleworld multiverse instead of the typical timeline adventures, but I trust Edmondson to ramp up the excitement now that we are back in his wheelhouse of tense modern weaponry.

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