Secret (Funny Book) Wars

Some people are believe the Marvel Universe is in trouble because this Secret Wars stuff is going to hurt the brand. I'm not one of those people and I'll tell you why. First, I don't think it'll be much of a "reset". Mostly, the reason I've been enjoying Marvel more than DC as a shared universe over the past 3 years is that the MU hasn't stuck to a single house style. It's provided variety, and most importantly, comedy. The New 52 seemed ashamed of the "comic" in "comic book", but if the Marvel Studios movies have proven anything, it's the humor is an important part of the winning formula.

And I don't think that's going to change at Marvel. The Secret Wars even itself is full of humor. With the month's "fifth Wednesday", releases were down, but the Secret Wars bounty has comedy in spades. 1602 Witch Hunter Angela has a snarky sense of humor, in no small part thanks to the introduction of Elizabethan Guardians of the Galaxy. MODOK: Assassin continues its will they/no of course they won't romance between the big killer head and another version of Angela; it's rip-roaring fun. And Deadpool's Secret Wars, an amusing take-down of the original series, which is actually quite smart to catch new readers up. In this issue, Doom aborbs the Beyonder's power for the first time, the inspiration for this whole blamed event. Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies isn't a comedy per se, but it's got a high-concept ridiculousness you can enjoy on that level. Don't worry, it's not all laughs. Thors provides a deadly serious cop drama, and features a good funeral for a friend scene. And then there's (the Last Days of) Black Widow, ending that series with a poignant and telling flashback to her Red Room days. Like I said, it's the variety that's kept me reading.

There'll always be "serious" superhero comics, the grim and gritty ones, the horrific ones, but I think it's important to keep a balance. I, for one, don't see the term "Funny Books" as a pejorative, and I look forward to Howard the Duck, Ms. Marvel, and hopefully plenty of others (Howling Commandos can't be serious, can it?) in October.

Small week, so going to keep it down to my 3 Favorite Moments of the Week (spoilers ahead)...

3. Beta Ray Bill's funeral. Odin delivers a great eulogy (not shown).
2. The secret origin if the Venom symbiote. Brilliant!
1. From this page to the end - a series of moments, sorry for cheating - in which Natasha scorches the earth at the end of a Cuban mission, and how it relates to her "last days" as an Avenger.
I talked up the comedy, then chose mostly dramatic moments? Yes, that's how you make them stand out. When it's wall to wall dismemberment and angst, you don't see these as well. You need the light to bring the darkness into sharp relief.


Jonathan Linneman said...

I really agree on the "house style" thoughts. Geoff Johns' fingerprints were all over the New 52. I tried to pay attention in 2011 to see if the reboot was a reason for me to start following some new series. It wasn't. Pretty soon a friend started reading the Marvel Now! FF series and I realized that Marvel just gets it more right now. It's a shame cuz I've always been a DC guy, and their heroes are so iconic that they could handle some humor and experimentation without damaging the image. It seems like DC needs an excuse like Batman '66 to have fun with their heroes.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine