Secret Wars: The Slipping Grip of Doom

A strong week, not least of which because Devil Dinosaur appears in TWO books, but before we get to that, I'd like to note how impressed I am with the editorial end of Secret Wars. At first, I was a little mystified by the release schedule. That, somehow, new titles are still being released (four new #1s just this week), and the way these books are essentially monthly, but might be biweekly on what appeared to be a whim... But it really feels like Editorial tracked where the core book would be on any given month, and at least attempted to release the tie-in books - otherwise free of any continuity - so as to fit the big picture.

This month, for example, Secret Wars #4 came out. In that issue, the survivors of 616, including the #Official Reed Richards confronted God-Doom for the first time, and we got a sense that the latter's grip wasn't as tight as he liked to pretend. He did create Battlewold, but he wasn't omniscient or omnipotent. That has filtered through the tie-ins. Not that anyone knows about Reed and Doom, but the stories timed to come out this month have more than their fair share of Doom heresy. She-Hulk/Thor in Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders (a good book for Judge Dredd fans as well, check it out) keeps warning people that she should be punishing their heretical comments, but everyone is haunted by dreams, or rather, memories of the 616 Marvel Universe (that Doom actually takes a hand in their punishment shows he's not yet powerless or completely distracted). In Carol Corps, heresy leads the heroes to go to space. In Korvac Saga, people who remember the real universe go mad and turn into monsters. In Guardians of Knowhere, Gamora seems to know things she shouldn't. If Doom has cast a spell on his citizens, it seems to be breaking apart. And even in books not so concerned with heresy, rebellion is in the air. The mutants of Years of Future Past think nothing of destroying Doom-bot Sentinels, and there are revolts and attempted coups in Armor Wars, Attilan Rising, Siege and Hail Hydra.

Had these issues come out earlier in the event, I'm not saying they wouldn't have worked, but they might have undermined Doom's power in the core series. We might have asked "have these writers not been told what Jonathan Hickman is doing with the core series, or are they in open contempt?" Those were concerns I had with DC's Convergence. Not to say Secret Wars doesn't have books that seems to fly in the face of its own continuity - Garth Ennis on Where Monsters Dwell keeps referencing countries and history that no longer exist, and I'm never entirely sure if short stories in Battleworld actually happened - but the set-up is much more flexible, so even these make it work. Editorially more consistent while simultaneously offering a whole lot of variety. I'm still sold.

Now for my Top 5 Moments of the Week, and while there are spoilers ahead, I've made an effort to avoid naming any ker-pow moment on any given issue's last page (even though Defenders' and Silver Surfer #13's certainly deserved a spot - check them out for yourselves):

5. James Stokoe's two-page spread in Siege #1. Nice idea to have guest artists do the "flashback" spreads in this book, and this one's a real eye-popper.
4. Tony and Arno Stark, brothers in Armor Wars, share a particularly brotherly moment after they fight.
3. Devil Dinosaur vs. Lockjaw (ridden by cowboy Deadpool)? I'M NOT MADE OF STONE!
2. The Phantom Eagle wants a trial by combat and gets it. BWAH-HA-HA!
1. In the utopian domain of Yinsen City, She-Hulk is the assigned Thor. Why does she only carry a small gavel?

What were YOUR ker-pow moments this week? And how long do you think Doom can keep any kind of control on the world he created?


SallyP said...

You have to admire Doom in a roundabout sort of way. He never wins, except in the short run, but darn it, he never lets his terrible track record stop him from trying.

Siskoid said...

Or from smack talking everyone.

Best smack talker in comics. Maybe all of fiction.

irenicObserver said...

The hulked out Wolverine on that cover speaks to me.
I'm conceiving an entire au around that.


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