Is the violence getting to me? I know the planet is called Battleworld, but there is a sameness to some of the books created for Secret Wards, very similar conflicts playing out in different domains. Perhaps it's the (I don't want to say unavoidable, but definitely predictable) abundance of X and Spider books, three of each this week, but more where that came from. Age of Apocalypse is yet another variation on mutants vs. mutants vs humans, which we already have plenty of. Civil War, while not mutant-based has the very same feeling. Squadron Sinister is about one domain attacking an annexing the surrounding domains. The Spider-books are really all variations on an absent Peter Parker Spider-Man - he hides but needs to return in Renew Your Vows, he's a mystery to the Spider-Men of Spider-Verse, and he's dead in the new Spider-Island (which imagines a New York where they couldn't cure the spider-plague, with Flash Thompson Venom as the hero).
One thing a lot of the "never-ending war" books have in common is that they're unfolding "what ifs" taking place in some version of "the worst timeline". I much prefer it when Secret Wars takes the "Elseworlds" route and reinvents the Marvel universe in some other genre. This week, the event adds 1872, a brilliant western starring Steve Rogers as the sheriff of the town of Timely, controlled by land baron Wilson Fisk. In Secret Wars 2099, Peter David continues his cool future Avengers story. Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos fires on all pistons as a horror comedy. Ghost Racers continues its dynamic anime racing adventure, while Master of Kung Fu is pure Shaw Bros. goodness. And for all my moaning, two of the X-books really do try to give us something different despite their mutant-on-mutant violence - Inferno is more sword & sorcery than supers, and Runaways has a neat high school confidential atmosphere, even if it does get a bit Battle Royale in its second chapter.
A strong week for Marvel, I'd say, with the big winner being 1872, and Age of Apocalypse the still readable loser. Before getting into some favorite moments, I want to apologize to the makers of Giant-Size Little Marvel - AvX, which came out last week, something I failed to notice, or else a couple of ITS moments would have found their way in the Favorites list. If I can redress the error here, there's a funny bathroom joke, but I'll go with this creepy moment because it took me a second to recognize what was happening.
So what are My 5 Favorite Moments of the Week? Let's see... and watch out, there WILL be spoilers:
5. It's Cloppering Time! There are a lot of good jokes in Howling Commandos, I'm not sure I can explain why this is my favorite. Probably just the diabetic centaur action.