Secret Wars: On Mutants and Other Extinctions

Another week of Secret Wars tie-ins, another mutant-related mini-series premieres. E for Extinction is based on Grant Morrison's run, with similar art and writing, but I don't find Marvel's various mutant domains all that different from one another - just piles of super-powered people with varying trouble with racist homo sapiens (everything between humans exterminated to mutant concentration camps). Inferno, Old Man Logan, X-Men '92, X-tinction Agenda, Years of Future Past, and Runaways all trade on mutantmania, as will the yet-to-be-released Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde, The Age of Apocalypse, and House of M. Not to mention the X-Men's appearances in other books, which are fairly frequent.

Seems to me the letter X is still way too much of a cash cow for Marvel to actually downsize it post-Secret Wars no matter what their beef with FoX is, movie-wise. We've all heard they were going to plop the X-Men/mutants down on another planet, presumably to prevent them from showing up in other books (look for Wolverine and Deadpool to be the exceptions), but is that just one story arc, or is it a concerted effort to minimize their impact on the MU? It's hard to believe Marvel could keep printing as many mutant-related books all taking place on another planet, although I wouldn't put it past them either. It might help if this were another Earth (there's no reason to believe the remade MU won't be a multiverse; those filthy muties could be the new Ultimate line. Remember when they shunted the Avengers and FF to Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee's studios? Yeah, that wasn't a very good idea either. Because if they're downsizing the X-Men, no one's told the Secret Wars editors... or is this meant to be their last hurrah?

I'm actually much more worried about the series that are getting "Last Days" banners because not everyone is. In fact, I dare say no "high-profile" books are getting Last Days even if you'd expect readers would be interested in how the Guardians, the X-Men, and Spider-Man are handling the end of the world. So it really looks like these are all books on the chopping block. Time to wrap up your plotlines; these really are your "last days". In that lot is the Punisher, who I'm sure will turn up again - his series are stop and go already. I'm more surprised to see Ms. Marvel there, and I'm hoping writers were offered the chance to participate in the Crisis if they liked, because it really fits Kamala's coming of age story. Because isn't this book something of a hit? I'd be heartbroken to see it go. Also: Silver Surfer, Loki Agent of Asgard and even Black Widow. It seems wayyy to early to do away with Spider-Woman, Silk and Ant-Man as well, especially given the latter's impending movie feature. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers is all set to become a Defenders book, so that makes sense. Magneto is the only one there I don't see as either a surprise or a disappointment (though I did enjoy the early issues). Hopefully I'm wrong and these won't all go away, but it's damn suspcious.

Before we do Moments of the Week, let's do a quick critical survey of the week's books... Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies was just a series of splash pages, a quick read for you and a quick cash-in for Marvel. E for Extinction ages the classic X-Men and has fun at their expense, some nice chuckles, cool art. Infinity Gauntlet #2, a series I wasn't interested in at first has now become a must-read, featuring a whole family of Novas and really beautiful art. Korvac Saga deals with the mystery of the missing stars, but wasn't particularly memorable. MODOK Assassin #2 is still a pretty funny book, he falls in love with Angela in this one. Planet Hulk #2 has Devil Dinosaur and Captain America as He-Man, but it fails to inspire me, somehow. Where Monsters Dwell #2 brings more of the fun #1 did; it's Garth Ennis' Biplanes & Dinosaurs. Punisher and Black Widow have their Last Days, both odd characters to play this out with, street level heroes in a multiversal crisis. Loki's make much more sense and are epic.

So here they are, My 5 Favorite Moments of the Week (spoilers ahead):
5. No matter the universe, Cyclops is always the punching bag.
4. Odin's forces fight Hel's, and his warriors are dismayed to find themselves fighting for the other side after they die.
3. Ennis' Phantom Eagle is a coward on the best of days, but wouldn't YOU freak out if you found yourself swimming in giant alligator blood?
2. Nova wouldn't believe a dog could be a Nova. And then wouldn't believe the dog could do things. WRONG!
1. Verity's whole life story (the panel below is just one tiny sliver of it). You'd think telling us the secret origin of Loki's friend who can magically detect lies didn't really have anything to do with Secret Wars/Last Days - just, y'know, taking care of loose plot threads before it's too late - but it totally does. Loki is doing what the writer is, telling and saving stories before they can no longer be told!
Those were mine, what were yours? And what's your take on what the Marvel Universe might actually LOSE after this is all done?


SallyP said...

Loki was fabulous as always, and Where Monsters Dwell was simply a hoot and a half.


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