It has been a crazy week in Battleworld with thirteen Secret Wars titles released including sequels and tie-ins to some of the greatest and most controversial events in Marvel history. Costing around £40 for the entire bundle it’s easy to see why most people may be a little put off buying everything this week. However, your humble BearSleuth is on the case, I have bought everything Secret Wars and I here to lead you through the minefield that is Battleworld.
All pictures are screen shots from the Marvel Comics app [Accessed 10/07/2015].
1872 Issue One
1602 revolutionised the Marvel with a comparison to Elizabethan England that was both intelligent and historically accurate. 1872 just wants to have fun. This goes for a lot of Secret Wars comics and they seem to fall into one of two categories for me, the ones that work and the ones that don’t. Luckily 1872 works, it’s fast paced and funny with witty dialog through out and enough references to keep any Marvel fan hooked. I highly recommend this to anyone that has ever wanted to see Clint Eastwood in a Marvel film.
Age of Apocalypse Issue One
I have never read the original Age of Apocalypse series but from what I do know of it Issue One of the Secret Wars Tie-in is a fitting tribute. Characters from every corner of the X-Men Universe appear through out the book and, surprisingly, many die. The stakes are high and there is a general sense of a post-apocalyptic survival drama running through the piece. The reader follows Douglas Ramsey, a mutant with the ability to understand any form of communication, as he is dragged through the Age of Apocalypse, kicking and screaming. I highly recommend this to X-Men fans but if you have little interest in the mutant super heroes I would maybe save your money.
Amazing Spider-man Renew Your Vows Issue Two
Issue One blew me out of the water and Issue Two…well I wouldn’t say I disliked it but it was just slow. The first issue was choked full of action and I think I wanted a little more from this book. That being said, there is a nice build up as the world is introduced and we begin to see where the series is going and the issues Peter is going to facing. I think any fan of Dan Slott in particular will enjoy this book and I do encourage you still to buy it as I can promise we are building to a finale that is sure to be something special.
Civil War Issue One
By far the most anticipated release of the week, Civil War is a continuation of the original storyline set several years later. So the big question, is it good? Yes. For me at least, Charles Soule has written the perfect continuation of the Civil War storyline, with subtle references to event from both the original book and the tie-in series. The concept for the first issue is the a brilliant place for the events of the book to jump off from and the character designs throughout are pure perfection. Yu’s artwork is some of the best I have ever seen from the artist and bring the reading into the story in a way no other artist could. I recommend this to any fan of Marvel, be it in film or comics.
Ghost Racers Issue Two
I had a lot of problems with the first Issue of Ghost Racers and although I do ultimately like the series the second issue still feels a little weak to me. I think my main problem is the character of Robbie Reyes, he seems a little too nice to be a Ghost Rider. Johnny Blaze will always be my favourite Ghost Rider and I feel he worked a lot better because he always felt on the edge of madness whereas Reyes has this more heroic fatherly dynamic with his younger brother that I feel isn’t compatible with the character. If your a fan of the Reyes series or you want a darker version of wacky races give this one a go, but there is a lot better out there.
Inferno Issue Three
The X-Men are getting a lot of love in Secret Wars, perhaps because after it there’s going to be a lot less of them around. Inferno is quickly becoming one of my favourite Secret Wars books as it is telling a simple story very well, there are a lot of crazy concepts going on in the background so a simple storyline serves well to bring it all together. In this issue we get to see a war between mutants and demons and is sure to entertain any fans of the X-Men, I encourage anyone with a bit of spare money to pick this one up, especially if your a fan of storylines involving a clash between magic and science.
Master of Kung Fu Issue Three
This is another one of my favourite Secret Wars series. Imagine Karate Kid meets Marvel Super Heroes meets a bit of Masters of the Universe, sounds pretty awesome right? Well Issue Three some how takes all of that brilliance and builds upon it, we see the beginnings of the thirteen chamber tournament in what can only be described as a two page fighting montage that is sure blow any reader away. I find this series both inspiring and incredibly fun to read.
Runaways Issue Two
Runaways is a mediocre series for me, I have never really been a fan of the younger generation of super heroes, apart from maybe the Young Avengers. It always boils down to some form of teenage rebellion against the a corrupt political, or adult, system. I can see the appeal, and maybe if I was twelve I would buy into it, but for me this series just isn’t worth reading. If your a fan of teenage drama’s give it a go but I would choose almost anything else on this list over it.
Mrs Deadpool and The Howling Commandos Issue Two
My main problem with the first issue in this series was that I know very little about the storyline it’s based upon so I can’t give much of an opinion on whether it’s a fitting tribute but I can say it’s hilarious. The Deadpool brand of humour and action is all over this piece and really helps elevate it to a higher standard. I like a lot of the concepts, especially the Thors at the end of the book, and some of the one liners that the commandos spout are priceless. I highly recommend this piece to any Deadpool fans.
Spider Island Issue One
I was not a fan of the original Spider Island, I felt the ending was a little weak and in places it had a bit of a gimmicky feel but this time I really am on board. The idea of a hoard of zombie spider people is pretty interesting and putting Flash Thomson’s Venom in the centre of the action works really well for the issue. I can’t say the secondary story worked to well for me but I think that is due to personal preference as I’m not a big fan of alternate universes where Uncle Ben or Gwen are still alive. I really recommend this to fans of venom or zombie fuelled action movies.
Spider-verse Issue Three
I’m not entirely sure where this series is going but I like it, Issue Three is split in two halves; a fantastic battle and an exposition dump. Needless to say, my feelings about the book change from the first part to the second, but there is enough interesting dialog to make the exposition dump feeling engaging. The artwork in particular is worth mentioning as it has a clean cut look that manages to keep the piece feeling fresh and less cluttered than many other Secret Wars titles. I highly recommend this to fans of the alternate Spidermen and Women.
Marvel 2099 Issue Three
I think I am missing the appeal of this series a little bit, I have never found storylines set in the Marvel 2099 universe to be particularly engaging, mostly because I doubt the world will be that futuristic and interesting by 2099 but also because every character seems to be more like a tribute of a pre-existing Marvel character. The character designs are amazing in this issue and there are some very interesting ideas but there is little that got me really excited. Give it a try if your a fan of the setting, but if not I’d save your money.
Squadron Sinister Issue Two
Just. Don’t. Touch. It. Squadron Sinister is a Justice League rip off from start to finish and it has so little depth that I find it hard to believe Marvel put it print. It’s building up to Nighthawk v Hyperion: Dawn of Supreme and I just cannot get into it. I’m sad to be ending on such a low note but if there is one series you can avoid it’s this one and the fact that Squadron Supreme is getting it’s own post-Secret Wars series makes me so angry and want to vomit (of course that could just be the character designs).
Phew…I got through it all. Well that’s all this week folks but check back on Monday for another Grr(aphic) Mondays and tonnes more great content!