Onward into… SECRET WARS!
Secret Wars, if you’ve been under a rock, can be summed up thus (as it is before all of these issues): “The Multiverse Was Destroyed! The heroes of Earth-616 and Earth-1610 were powerless to save it! Now, all that remains… is Battleworld! A massive, patchwork planet composed of the fragments of worlds that no longer exist, maintained by the iron will of it god and master, Victor Von Doom! Each region is a domain unto itself!”
Planet Hulk #1 – Planet Hulk follows The Captain (Steve Rogers, looking a bit like He-man) and the Devil (Devil Dinosaur… looking badass,) champions of the Killiseum on the outskirts of Doomstadt. When the Captain puts a bold (but ultimately fruitless) plan into action to get info about his missing partner, Bucky. His actions lead him to “Greenland”—the domain of the Hulks, to track Bucky down and finish his assassination mission. I mean… that set-up. Its just a hell of a lot of fun. I’d say that is the mark of all of the Secret Wars stuff so far. It’s just a really fun concept and the writers are having a ton of fun with it. The art is great, and I’m looking forward to see where it goes next. The back-up story gives some insight into how this little chunk of Battleworld came to be, and must contribute to the (rather high) $4.99 cover price. It’s a fun little story, though part of me wouldn’t have minded the $1.00 back.
A-Force #1 – What seems like almost the entirety of female superheroes in the Marvel Universe are gathered together on the island of Arcadia, presided over by Baroness Jennifer Walters. A mission to defeat a big mutant shark goes awry, and ends with Doom’s draconian laws coming down heavily on one of the team. We’ve seen what happens to heroes when they are sent to “The Shield” in Secret Wars #2. It’s basically like sending someone to Castle Black in Game of Thrones. The character interactions are the star here. It’s an interesting pairing of characters, putting a spotlight on some heroes who haven’t gotten much of one lately. News is that A-Force may continue beyond Secret Wars, which I think could be interesting especially if it’s a mix of higher profile heroes and lesser known ones like here.
Master of Kung Fu #1 – Prepare for some martial arts action! It’s cool to see Shang-Chi get his own book for Secret Wars. The basic set-up, which looks to chart his rise from exiled drunk vagrant to reclaiming his greatness, is interesting. I liked learning more about the 13 different houses in this version of K’un L’un. Familiar Marvel characters are given a different look and feel in this world, and it’s fun to view the universe through this lens. Probably the most pleasant surprise of the bunch.
Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars – It’s Deadpool! In Secret Wars! But not the new one… it’s the old one! This title is about as nutty as you might expect, and I thought it was a hoot to see Deadpool bumble through the past event. I have no idea where it’s going, based on the last couple pages, but I’m there. Oh.. and… Howard the Duck! Yay!
Spider-verse #1 – I have no real idea what happened in the last Spider-verse event as I didn’t read it. But I’m a fan of Spider-Gwen, and there’s a lot of appeal of seeing all these different Spider-People come together. This is one of the title that starts making you wonder how Battleworld operates, exactly. It seems like quite a few people here have a sense that something is wrong about this new world, ruled by God-Doom. But is it just the people who had Spider-sense? Is it more widespread in Battleworld? Or is Gwen Stacy more sensitive to it because of the fact the chunk of Battelworld she’s on is clearly not from “her” universe? Hmmm…
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 – From what I can tell, Battleworld is an anthology title, covering stories that aren’t touched on elsewhere. The first story involves the Punisher, inhabited by the spirit of Doctor Strange, taking on an alternate Fantastic Four that longtime readers will recognize. Castle is highly effective with Strange’s powers, but the presence of Strange does raise some questions. I guess it means that more than one version of the same person can exist in Battleworld? It’ll be interesting to see if this is picked up elsewhere or just a little vignette aside to add texture to the larger story. The second story is sillier, featuring an army of MODOKs… which… I didn’t quite understand where all these different MODOKs were coming from. The multiverse is destroyed. I guess they were just drawn from all across Battleworld? Best not to think about it too much. It was kind of a fun story.