Secret Wars Catch-Up LiveBlog!

I was doing pretty well with Marvel's Secret Wars event, not only reading each week's offerings, but also talking about them on this here blog. And then I started losing in my eternal struggle with time, and I started getting late, and even later, and now I'm a full two months behind! So here's the attempt. I am (delayed) live-blogging this thing. Just reading as many comics as I can until I can't no more. I'll have started Saturday morning; this'll be posted Monday. We'll see how far I get.

X-Men '92 #2-5: The digital-only series that, despite being co-written by one of my original blogging idols Chris Sims, was about an era of the X-Men I frankly hated, so it was to be the one Secret Wars tie-in I wasn't reading. Gave it another shot, and I'm loving its fun references to the previous era's X-Men as well! The army of Wolverines, Jubilee thinking Dazzler's look is dated, the X-Babies, even a joke about Cable and Bishop's guns made me smile. Aw man, does this mean I have even more SW comics to read?!
Silver Surfer #13-14: I love Silver-Surfer-as-Doctor-Who, and wish it weren't on its "Last Days". I mean, "space-French"? That's hilarious. And while it'd be great if the Surfer and Dawn really were responsible for bringing the Marvel Universe back into existence, I think there's very little chance of that. Their failure will break my heart.

Age of Apocalypse #2: Remedial. There are too many series in Secret Wars that are about mutants fighting, and this is probably the worst of them. The ACTUAL era of the X-Men I loathe.

Siege #2: Still doing those panoramas with guest artists, but none really that distinctive. What is Nick Fury WEARING?!

Red Skull #2: Mad Red Skull drinking shots of Sentinel coolant. And HE'S gonna bring down Doom?

Ms. Marvel #17: Meets her idol Captain Marvel. As always, good stuff - the cat scene got me - and I love the details on this page:
Infinity Gauntlet #3: The Nova Family is one of the best things to come out of Secret Wars. I wish there were a place for them after this.

Guardians of Knowhere #2: A cosmic assassin who talks like you and me half the time? Must be Bendis.

Amazing Spider-Man - Renew Your Vows #3: Like in all family meetings, the kid's vote doesn't seem to count.

Spider-Island #2:
The way the heroes are freed with the Marvel Universe's canon of transformative origins is very clever. Best line comes from a Lizard-serumed Hulk:
Civil War #2: When Captain America references the Invasion of Normandy, what exactly does he and the other denizens of Battleworld think that means? One of the weird kinks of Doom's re-reality... And if Tony Stark is looking for who's been "playing" them, I think the answer is Mark Millar. Obviously, he's not involved in this series except that he devil-spawned the source material. Naked Stark and She-Hulk in bed delivering exposition is such a Mark Millary thing...

Giant-Sized Little Marvel - AvX #3: I think we all knew deep down that being an Avenger was more fun than being an X-Man. Less angst, for one thing. Also, dig the Pacific Rim reference!
Ultimate End #4: We're idling here. BENNDISSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Future Imperfect #4: I know a comic that features a Hulk/Thing conflict shouldn't surprise me with the mount of punching involved, but there sure is a lot of punching involved.

Years of Future Past #4: Probably my favorite Secret Wars X-book, but it feels real penultimate here. Cameron Pryde's plan is total bollocks.

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #2: The New Mutdroids sure is a clunky porte-manteaux - makes me think of Amalgam Comics. Wait, the Doomenheim Museum? Haha.
Secret Wars #5: As we learn about how Doom managed to "save" the Multiverse, it turns out Molecule Man is part of the equation. I'm glad, because he's as synonymous with the original Secret Wars (and SWII too) as Doom is. Hickman does seem to have a good handle on the source material... I'm surprised we haven't see Szaji yet.

Secret Wars 2099 #4:
Captain America in any reality is pretty much awesome.

Secret Wars - Battleworld #4: The Silver Surfer, getting food for Galactus on Battleworld. I love James Stokoe's stuff.
A-Force #3: A comic I want to like so much more, especially if it's going to spawn a post-Secret Wars all-female Avengers team. It's just a little too much fighting and not enough character moments to make me care.

Korvac Saga #3: Korvac is the kind of powerful character that, in another reality, would have recreated the universe in Doom's place--ah, that's where it's going. Right.

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #3: Ha! The 5-second rule as it relates to severed arms!

Planet Hulk #4: Not the "shocking penultimate cliffhanger" I was expecting. Now I just really want to know who's the Hulk that's been helping Steve "He-Man" Rogers. WHO WAS HE BEFORE GAMMA?!

Master of Kung Fu #4: The first of these minis to wrap (it's 4 issues, the others are mostly 5), and it was, to my mind, the best. A great homage to kung fu movies and traditions, with a neat superheroic spin on the moves themselves. Marvel's attempts at Shang-Chi in the past few years have been hit (Spider-Island) and miss (his recent mini), but this - THIS - is how you do it. And I love how they tied Elektra's colors to Shang-Chi's.
Ghost Racers #3: Geez, Francesco Francavilla sure did a lot of covers for Secret Wars... As for the interior, they gave a gorilla ghost rider who drives a tiny locomotive, and my complaint is that we don't see enough of the locomotive.

1872 #2: The town of Timely might as well be Hell's Kitchen. It makes so much use of Daredevil characters that I'm surprised Steve Rogers is the protago--OMG! SHOCKER! I DON'T KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING ANYMORE! NO SPOILERS!

Spider-Verse #4:
Spider-Ham is a bit thick, isn't he?

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2: THIS is what A-Force should be more like. Faiza is so badass and inspirational. This She-Hulk rocks it. And hey, they fight Judge Dredd, essentially. Hold on. IS THIS ALREADY OVER?! DAMN IT!

Runaways #3: Great art, fun characters, and in Runaways style, we visit several domains, including the cowboy one. What's a "swamp mech" doing in Weirdworld though? I mean, Warworld is more about unicorn drakars made of lava, you know?
Weirdworld #3: Still very weird to me that Crystal and all the toys are in this, because I keep forgetting they really are Marvel properties. Arkon's a fine Conan stand-in, but it was about time they brought in Skull the Slayer. And yet, his appearance hasn't satiated me. Ooh, the next issue should be good-to-awesome. And ahhh, no swamp mechs, but there is a hippopotamus with a gun on its back:
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #3: Hm. I'm surprised at how quickly I got invested in the Human Torch I and Radiance's pregnancy.

Armor Wars #4: Always was one of the weaker SW series. The solution to the murder mystery is meh. The art and colors are muddy where they should be sharp and clean. But I do like the Kingpin's pangs of humility; that's a good moment.

Secret Wars Journal #4: These shorts are slim trifles. It requires some suspension of disbelief because someone actually wants to break Northstar out of prison.

Inferno #4: The X-series I'm most invested in, and it springs a surprisingly charming and cool Mister Sinister on us. And I was trashing that character all to hell just last night. Huh. Geez Cyclops, it was a good pep talk until you threw Jean under the bus. Also, I want a series that stars just Longshot and the demon car who keeps following him around.
Loki - Agent of Asgard #17: From the non-crossover with Silver Surfer to the last awesome page, provides a metatextual grace note that painfully reminds me how all my favorite Marvel series are getting the axe. There better be a "Next" for a heroic Loki in the All-New, Probably-Not-That-Different MU.

House of M #1: Really?! ANOTHER mutant-centric mini-series? I mean, Hopeless writes some good jokes, mostly for Hawkeye, and a Genosha-Atlantis war sounds like it could be fun (battle-whales!), but there are just too many permutations of the oppressor/oppressed human/mutant idea in Secret Wars already.


Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #3:
The cars or bikes were really buzzing outside when I was reading the dogfight sequence. Try to read this near a highway for the full effect.

Marvel Zombies #3: Daddy issues all over the place.

Magneto #21: Meh. Magneto's "Last Days" are filled with self-pity and whining. The weakest of the main range's tie-ins, to be sure.

Hank Johnson - Agent of Hydra #1: Very fun look at a henchperson's life, treating Hydra like it's any old 9-to-5 job. Cool Agent of SHIELD rifs, AIM-holes haha, the Hydra death-wreaths, having Viper as a boss... All the problems you'd expect from that grind.
Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars #4: A sweet ending, though by this point the jokes are stale.

E Is For Extinction #3: Keeps its faux-Morrison story afloat.

Old Man Logan #4: The wandering's not really aimless since it should get Logan into 616 in time for the reboot, but it feels like it. Good thing for Sorrentino's art. It's the star of the book.

Civil War #3: Well, they got out of that cliffhanger a little to easily.

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #3: Oh, this was only three issues? Okay. Well, I didn't think the jokes particularly well. Too silly and yet, not enough. Who knew Thor(s) was such a stickler for spelling though.

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #4: This particular finale had me scared because Hank Pym has "screw-up" in his DNA, but that's a good kind of anxiety. Won't spoil it for you. I WILL spoil James Robinson's throwaway reveal of who Timely's Thor is, because it's brilliant:
House of M #2: Feels like they're just throwing random stuff at Magneto's monarchy - Deathlok armies, human rebels, presumptuous scions, Atlantis... a well-known dragon. I do like the Quicksilver/Namor alliance though, even if it is kinda just based on pointy ears and attitude.

Age of Apocalypse #3: Where terrible villains go to die (or not die, as the case may be).

Hail Hydra #2: That is one ugly version of Hank Pym! Oh, he has a tiny Ultron with him!

Spider-Island #3: Ah so the Queen isn't dumb either.

Squadron Sinister #3: Absolutely no one's trustworthy in the Squadron. Feels like I'm reading Crime Syndicate stuff or - ha! - Identity Crisis (just kidding - I would never read Identity Crisis). Hope you're not particular fans of the New Universe, by the way. Hey, you know who hasn't shown up and should? Nightmask. Or was I his only fan?

Future Imperfect #5: New exhibit!
This is the first 5-issue mini I've seen brought to term in Secret Wars. I guess I somehow never thought Maestro would get to fight Dr. Doom...

M.O.D.O.K. Assassin #4: Hm, Doom is showing up in a lot of these later chapters. No idea if it relates to anything in the core book because that thing is so late, it's pretty clear the whole event will crash and burn on that basis when the universe reboots and all the new books refer, i.e. SPOIL, a story that should already have been published. Cripes, just put a terrible but quick artist on it, and let the main guy finish it at his pace for the fancy-shmancy trade paperback. Anyone ever thought of that solution? Now what was I saying? Oh yes, relationship to the core series. Well, Dr. Strange is at Doom's side here, so I guess no relation. This is all before Secret Wars #5.

Amazing Spider-Man - Renew Your Vows #5: "Annie, no!" Great mantra, and well used. Lots of shiny lines in this, but then, it's Dan Slott on Spider-Man, whatever the reality.

Ok,well, I've reached the end of my rope, and I'm only two-thirds done. So I'll attempt to complete it NEXT weekend. Phew.


SallyP said...

The one about someone actually wanting to break Northstar out of prison made me laugh and laugh.

Dang it, I am missing Loki terribly however. That story was just... epic.

Siskoid said...

Despite there being two writers involved, everything from Journey Into Mystery through the end of Agent of Asgard has been just sublime.

SallyP said...

Two really fabulous writers... not to mention equally fabulous artists.

Andrew said...

The original Secret Wars had it absolutely right regarding how Everything was Changed Forever and Nothing will Ever be THE SAME AGAIN! by putting those changes right up front and center in each regular series issue that came out the same time as #1. Since things were already "spoiled," it didn't matter how late the series got because the fun was in watching how it all happened.

Did the original SW run late at all?

Siskoid said...

Nope. Jim Shooter was very strict about this kind of thing and imposed policies like lots of fill-in artists at the ready, variable inkers and monochrome color washes over background art across the entire Marvel line. You can be sure the book he wrote himself wasn't going to be late.


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