Monday Morning Secret Wars 10: So Much Comics


All right, let’s get a couple of review out there! (It’s more fun when I’m behind, right? Right?) Warning: I think I gave out more Thumbs Down than normal.

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1

I suspect that when picking up his Secret Wars assignments, Robinson said to Marvel management. “You know, I’m kind of tired of doing all the Golden Age stuff I’m known for. I need a change. Can you give me the goofiest concept you’ve got?”

And thus Ultron vs. Zombies. Even then, he can’t help showing off his knowledge of old comics. He knows the difference between different Ultron versions, which should make my podcast partner happy. There’s also a Timely region of Battleworld. Timely, of course, is the former name of Marvel. And Steve Pugh is on art, which makes me so happy. I met Steve once- he has the nicest handshake of any man on the planet, and he’s a fantastic artist.

As for the plot…it’s got a new version of Hank Pym that I dig, and there’s a neat surprise at the end, so why spoil it?

OK, that's funny.
OK, that’s funny.

Verdict: THUMBS UP

Armor Wars #2

Here’s a quick hint to how I grade these. The first issue of these series has to show that the particular Battleworld concept is worth reading. The second issue has to show that the creative team is taking full advantage of the concept.

Armor Wars is basically a one-note joke- let’s put all your favorite heroes in cool armor! But it’s a good joke, and Robinson adds just enough gravitas to make it succeed. A murder mystery can be a tough device to pull off in a superhero comic (unless you’re Alan Moore writing Watchmen). but it’s effective here because we really don’t know the background of the characters enough to pre-judge who the murderer is.

I’m a bit surprised how well Marcio Takara’s art is working for this book. With a concept like Armor Wars, you’d expect an artist to use sleek, curvy lines. Takara goes the other war- chunky figures with splotchy blacks that might have been inked with a Sharpie. But it works, because this isn’t a sexy robot story. It’s a horror story, how humanity can take technology too far. It’s dystopia all the way.

How To Draw Horror 101.
How To Draw Horror 101.

Verdict: THUMBS UP

Black Widow #19

So this is as close to a Red Skies book as Secret Wars has had. Supposedly, this is one of the Last Days Of books that shows how the heroes cope as the Marvel Universe ends…but we only get one page of that. Instead, it’s a story of Black Widow’s past set in Cuba. I felt like I was missing some details in the issues that came before it, so I don’t feel qualified to grade it. It didn’t thrill me for what it was, but it’s not fair to give it a Thumbs Down when I haven’t read the other stories, so…


Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9

I LOVED this issue. Simple and effective concept: How do the Mighty Avengers spend their final minutes on Marvel-616? Doing hero stuff.

Forget Secret Wars #1- this is the real Last Minutes of the Marvel Universe. Every hero takes on the Incursion from the Ultimate Universe. Obama speaks to America, asking us all to believe in the heroes. Monica has to ask herself if she can go through with killing everyone in the Ultimate Universe to save Marvel-616. Every hero goes out fighting- heck, every human on earth goes out fighting. It’s a fantastic end to the Marvel Universe, and is a must read for Secret Wars fans. (And Marvel announced today that the series is continuing post-SW as the Ultimates, and I’m so happy to hear we’re getting more Al Ewing!)

Ultimates! Ultimates are next!
Ultimates! Ultimates are next!

Verdict: THUMBS UP

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2

Nope, still not laughing. Sorry. If you love Secret Wars in-jokes…well, I’m still not sure you’ll like this book. Blegh.

This joke is so bad, it wouldn't have made it on the Pat Sajak show. And half of you don't know what that is.
This joke is so bad, it wouldn’t have made it on the Pat Sajak show. And half of you don’t know what that is.


E is for Extinction #1

The high concept: Take Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, add a twist to take out Xavier (and do it in two panels for maximum impact), and show what it’d be like in a few years if the concept played out. Add in an artist doing his best Frank Quitely impression, and stir.

Hey- it works! Granted, it wouldn’t work if Chris Burnham didn’t understand the source material so well, and if Ramon Villalobos didn’t do a damn good job of aping Quitely. It doesn’t hurt that the original material were fantastic comics, as good as anything in the X-Men line since Claremont and Byrne’s heyday (and maybe better). Burnham’s on fire here, adding extra snark whenever necessary (hint: always) and laying down tons of plot lines in this issue.

By the way: forget Old Man Logan. I want Old, Busted Healing Factor, Cool Jacket Logan in post-Secret Wars. Please?

That is the best haircut Magneto's ever had.
That is the best haircut Magneto’s ever had.

Verdict: THUMBS UP

Infinity Gauntlet #2

Oof. What happened here? Everything that worked in the first issue falls apart in the second issue. Bickering parents, multiple Thanoses (Thanosii?), a Guardians of the Galaxy pairing that’s evil…there’s no charm, nothing likeable, nothing that pulls you in to the story. And no, that includes Nova Dog. Sorry, this one just lost me.

And your little dog, too.
And your little dog, too.


Korvac Saga #1

This is what happens when you try to read all the Secret Wars comics.
This is what happens when you try to read all the Secret Wars comics.

On the podcast, Glenn and I both talked about how we both didn’t care for the original Korvac Saga in Avengers 167-177. This version isn’t much better, despite the best efforts of Dan Abnett and Otto Schmidt. As much fun as the original Guardians can be, it’s not fun to read neutered versions who don’t know about stars because of Doom’s machinations as creator of everything. There’s also quite a bit of fake sci-fi speak (“Holy Flark!” and “weaponized meme”), and the fight scene runs incredibly long to little consequence. It’s a book that tries to be of consequence but fails.

Also, I don’t like Michael Korvac. And why is Simon Williams dressed like Captain Marvel? Did they need to refresh a trademark or something?


Loki: Agent of Asgard #15

Why Al Ewing Is A Genius- Reason #102

In the middle of a fight between Asgardia and Hel at the end of the Marvel Universe, Ewing works in the origin story of Verity Willis, a girl who swallows a magic ring as a baby and thus can always tell when people are lying to her. He uses a story element from an old Walt Simonson Thor to pull this off. In the process, he makes Verity as interesting a character as there is in the Marvel U. Seriously, I would pay good money for a Verity Willis comic book post-Secret Wars.

And this doesn’t hurt either:


Verdict: THUMBS UP

Okay, that’s nine books down, another ten to go. See you later in the week!

Say Something!