Monday Morning Secret Wars 1: We Know So Much More Than We Understand

“Here we are folks
The dream we all dream of
Boy versus girl in the World Series of Love
Tell me, have U got the look?”

Apparently, there are no gifs from "U Got The Look" on the Internet. Best I could do on short notice, folks.
Apparently, there are no gifs from “U Got The Look” on the Internet. Best I could do on short notice, folks.

Why am I starting a Secret Wars review with a Prince lyric? Well, WHY NOT? It makes as much sense as anything else.

Secret Wars is here! The big clash between the Marvel-616 (that’s all the comics you’ve been reading forever) and the Ultimate Marvel Universe (don’t worry, you haven’t read them since Ultimatum, so the only thing you need to really know is Ulty Peter Parker is dead and replaced by Miles Morales, and Ultimate Reed Richards is EVIL AS ALL HELL). They’re gonna remake the whole thing, and you’re going to buy EVERY ISSUE (and I’m going to read every issue and write about it, even as I’m suffering from some awful back pain which has no relation to Thanos or the Molecule Man).

So when you kick off a first issue of something that changes everything, you should play by the rules, right? After all, I’m only going to believe that this is going to kick off the big changes if you’ve followed the rules that you set down, right?

Well, apparently, this isn’t a big thing at Marvel. For example. this opening quote from 616 Reed Richards:

“We know so much more than we understand. But we know so little.”

OK so far. That’s a good pondering Reed quote. I’m down with you so far.

“Many believe the white light you see when you die is the supercharged electric whimper of a desperate and dying brain. Synaptic death.

“But it’s not. That brilliant, blinding light is God…”

Wow. Reed Richards believes in God. OK, that makes sense–

This is from Fantastic Four  AU, from 2013. Written by Matt Fraction.
This is from Fantastic Four AU, from 2013. Written by Matt Fraction.

Now, you can argue this quote is kinda fake, because in various FF stories, Reed’s been to both Heaven and Hell. But there is a pretty big gap when Reed’s telling Valeria and Franklin one thing and then telling us all something else.

But to be fair, that’s a little gap of logic. It’s not like, say, Ultimate Nick Fury, the best there is at what he does (which is saving the world), would trust the fate of his Universe in Ultimate EVIL Reed Richards, right?

Oh. Um. OK.
Oh. Um. OK.

Out of curiosity, what did Ben Grimm think of this?

"Pal, get me a bromo. This is gonna be a long day at the office."
“Pal, get me a bromo. This is gonna be a long day at the office.”

By the way, am I allowed to assume that from the cover, Captain Marvel is going to have a big role in this series? Because she’s right in the center of the blast on issue 1:

Either that, or "I think I will take a nice nap. STRETCCCCCH!"
Either that, or “I think I will take a nice nap. STRETCCCCCH!”

Can you tell I did not like the cover of this issue? Let me say it out loud- this was not a good cover for your super-big summer crossover, Marvel. It’s dull with bad figure posturing. Let’s do better next time, shall we?

So Ultimate Samuel L. Jackson sends every flying helicarrier, the sky looks like dreaming out Star Blazers after too many anchovy pizzas, and the 616 heroes decide to get in the gang against the Ultimates-

Well, not really the Ultimates. See, if you read the Ultimates when Mark Millar was doing them, or even Jeph Loeb (hey, don’t throw up over here), you remember the Ultimates as Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Wasp, and Giant-Man, right? Yeah, well, we don’t have most of them any more. Thor is stuck in exile with 616-Galactus, Captain America was killed when he smashed a fighter jet into Galactus’s face (not a bad way to go), the Wasp was eaten by the Blob (now THAT was a bad way to go), and Giant-Man blew himself up saving New York. So, who do we get to fight for the Ultimate Universe in this story?

  • Ultimate Nick Fury (dumb as a box of rocks, don’t forget)
  • Ultimate Reed Richards (EVIL)
  • The CITY (written by Stevie Wonder)
  • Ultimate Iron Man (still drunk)
  • The Children of Tomorrow (was that also written by Stevie Wonder? It SOUNDS like it was written by Stevie Wonder, doesn’t it?)
  • Ultimate Jean Grey (yes, in a universe where all the good heroes died, JEAN GREY IS ALIVE)
  • Ultimate Cloak and Dagger (oh God, can’t stop laughing)
  • Kitty Pryde (who got dumped by Ultimate Peter Parker for either Ultimate Mary Jane or Gwen, mind you)
  • Ultimate Wolverine (who is not Logan, mind you, because Jeph Loeb killed him- this is the Son of Wolverine story you never wanted to see)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (who shows up and climbs into the CITY, so that’s all for him this issue)
  • Ultimate Hawkeye (who’s probably the best of the lot, as he’s the one who says, “Trust Evil Reed? Have you lost your mind?” But who listens to Hawkeye…)

There’s also The Cabal! Granted, the Cabal is a group of Bad Asses- Thanos, Terrax, Namor, and a couple other world-beaters. But all they do is posture and talk to Ultimate Reed Richards, so yawn.

If you read between the lines, you can kinda tell that Hickman realizes that he has not been given the prime Ultimate characters to work with, but rather the hodge-podge mish-mash after a few too many crossovers and deaths.

This is code for "Yeah, I know, the Ultimate Comics line is due for a bullet to the head."
This is code for “Yeah, I know, the Ultimate Comics line is due for a bullet to the head.”

So, big fight scene, Punisher gets his wet dream of killing all the baddies, the Earths collide anyway, and then we’re given one more thing to believe that really can’t be believed:

This is a lot funnier when you imagine Reed saying this like Anakin in Episode 3.

Reed watches his family die.

His family: Ben, Johnny, Sue, Valeria, Franklin…

Wait, Valeria and Franklin? I’m calling a foul here, because when Hickman was writing the Fantastic Four, he had the future versions of Valeria and Franklin as cast members. So either they can’t be dead, or Secret Wars destroys all sorts of stuff, and we’re never seeing the FF again.]

Yeah, I’m not buying it. And there’s my problem- I’m going into Secret Wars #2 (coming out this week) not buying into the story that the writer’s telling me, and really not sure what the point of 616-vs-Ultimate was, since there wasn’t much left of the Ultimate U anyway.

But at least we got this:

See? Glenn WAS right.
See? Glenn WAS right.

There was one other Secret Wars book this week- the Secret Wars Prelude. It collects a bunch of back issues that in all honesty will make you more frustrated that you didn’t read every Marvel comic over the last four years. It’ll help, but only a bit.

See you next Monday for more Monday Morning Secret Wars!