This week has been insane when it comes to Marvel Secret Wars releases. A whole bunch of new series have debuted and there have been a lot of fantastic continuations that have taken stories in new directions which seemed impossible. But to buy them all you’d have to have enough gold to fill the halls of Asgard, so which Marvel Secret Wars comics should you read this week?
All images are screenshots taken from the Marvel Comics app [Accessed 17/07/2015]
Armour Wars Issue Three
Maybe I am just not a big enough Ironman fan to really get this series. I understand that it’s tying together a lot of themes from the Armour Wars event (with some of the more recent Iron man stories involving Arno Stark) but it just can’t seem to hook me. The writing seems to either over or under-explain at points, there is a lot of telling instead of showing and the new character ideas bore me. Armour Wars is one of the weakest Secret Wars titles in my opinion and, unless you’re a die-hard Ironman fan, I cannot recommend it.
Battleworld Issue Three
Tell a bunch of comic book writers to just go crazy and this is the result. Two amazing vignettes from Battleworld. A battle between every single Wolverine ever and a cowboy version of Deadpool tracking down a Tyrannosaurus Rex through the desert. Throughout both pieces there is a strong sense of style and structure that allows the concepts to shine through. I highly recommend the Battleworld series as a whole and this contribution is no different.
Captain Britain And The Mighty Defenders Issue One
The Secret Wars gave writers the opportunity to play around with some ‘what if?’ realities and the one presented here is perhaps the most thought provoking. What if Tony Stark had died in that cave when he was captured by terrorists and his cell mate had escaped? What if Ho Yinsen had lived? This opens up a whole new Marvel Universe where Iron Man is a peaceful and wise old man instead of a brash futurist. The only thing that holds this piece back is the frankly basic art style throughout the piece that feels a little too light on composition. I recommend this to most Marvel fans, especially those who were fans of Yinsen in Iron Man.
Captain Marvel And The Carol Corps Issue Two
A World War Two air base filled with strong female characters who want to go into space to challenge the work of God. On paper it sounds very interesting, in practice it seems to be moving a little too slow. There was a lot of setting up in the first issue and there’s still a lot of setting up going on. I’m sure there will be a fantastic payoff eventually but I’m starting to get bored waiting for something to happen. I recommend this to fans of a post-war setting but there are a lot better pieces out there at the moment.
Guardians Of Knowhere Issue One
The visuals in this book blew me away, I simply could not believe how amazingly beautiful and well crafted the artwork felt on each page. The story is pretty good as well by the way, but it’s the art that really sells it. There is an establishing shot early on that is a reference to that bit in Guardians of the Galaxy when they first enter Knowhere and I ended up studying it for a solid ten minutes looking at all the tiny details. I also have to mention that there are more than just the movie Guardians in this book, which isn’t a necessity for a good story but it’s nice to see some of the lesser known characters getting their moments to shine. I highly recommend this to any and all Guardians fans.
Hail Hydra Issue One
I’m not sure this is going to make much sense to most people. Recently Steve Rogers passed his Captain America title to Falcon, this was due to him losing the super soldier serum and because he was suffering from emotional trauma after essentially going into a reverse version of Narnia controlled by Nazi scientist Dr. Zola. In the alternate reality, Steve found a child who he raised as his own. Zola stole the child and brainwashed him. In Hail Hydra we see what would have happened if Zola hadn’t succeeded in his attempt to brainwash the child. The issue is fast paced and has a nice alternate history vibe running throughout it. If you’re not familiar with the Captain America storyline it might not be the best buy but I can promise that even then it is a lot of fun.
Inhumans Attilan Rising Issue Three
This series keeps getting better and better as the fight between Black Bolts resistance and Medusa’s government forces intensifies. There is a lot of fun thing going on here, with odd characters from other parts of Battleworld jumping in every couple of panels. The appearance of 1602 Daredevil has been the most exciting and interesting from the very start of the series. The story is striking a nice pace with a lot of action and intrigue running throughout. I would highly recommend this to fans of the main Secret Wars storyline.
Korvac Saga Issue Two
I didn’t read the Korvac Saga, it was a little before my time I’m afraid and I haven’t really been able to get my hands on a collected editor yet. That being said, from what I do know about it, this series is a fantastic homage. It’s only lightly connected to the original title and is instead playing with the themes of Lovecraftian horror and the fears of being alone in the universe. There is a lot of political intrigue, action and shadowy horror in the piece that make it a wonder to behold. Classic Avengers fans and Secret Wars fans alike will get a kick out of this book.
Planet Hulk Issue Three
One of the breakout books from Secret Wars, Planet Hulk is a simple, well structured juggernaut. It has a feeling about it akin to Mad Max: Fury Road, where it’s both incredibly simple and yet, in its stylistic choices, elegant. There’s little more to say about this book except that I highly recommend it and if it’s not already in your collection it belongs there now.
Siege Issue One
There are few words I can use to really sum up Siege, it is the perfect Secret Wars combination of interesting ideas and heartfelt story lines. It’s nice to see the focus around Abigail Brand who is a personal favourite of mine. The piece is written like a classic war journal as we see Brand go through her day to day business defending the rest of Battleworld from a horde of zombies, aliens and killer robots. The art style changes to really play up each scenes emotional heart to its maximum in a way that is only possible in the comic book genre. I highly recommend this to any fans of the main Secret Wars series.
Where Monsters Dwell Issue Three
I’m really enjoying this series, it’s been a brilliant call back to the early origins of Marvel comics with a modern twist. In this issue a society ran by a script matriarchy is introduced and we see how a classic comic book action hero deals with not being top dog anymore. The female lead of the series is hilarious and her surprise reveal in this issue challenges the classical male hero nicely. The artwork has always had that great classical feel about it that is a great touch. I have recommended this from the start and I still do, go buy this book.
Years Of Future Past Issue Three
Each issue of this series has been consistently good, not great, but still solid. Playing with perhaps the most interesting aspect of the original Days of Future Past storyline, Years of Future Past feels like a fitting continuation of the story arc. The artwork throughout works hard to continue a similar aesthetic to the original run and as a fan that gives it a lot of brownie points from me. If the series has a weakness it’s that it can be a little heavy on exposition at points but that’s more of a necessity of the story it is trying to tell, than a fault of the writing. I highly recommend this to fans of the the classic nineties X-Men series as well as the original Days of Future Past run.
…And that’s it folks. Looks like next week won’t be such a marathon, thank doom! Check back here on Monday for a new Grr(aphic) Mondays and follow BearSleuth on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about how you can find yourself on the site!