I must admit when I heard about Marvel’s latest summer event Secret Wars, I was skeptical. Here comes another game changer event in which the Marvel Universe will never be the same. We’ve heard this before. I’ve been there, done that, and lost my money. I figured I’d pass on the event and wait until the dust settled to see if Marvel’s claims were true. Yet I found myself caught up in the hype and ended up picking up the first two issues of the event. I’m glad I did.
It is clear that Marvel was not joking about ending their multi-verse dilemma. Issue 1 features an epic battle between the 1610 Ultimate Universe and the 616 Original Universes. There was no preamble to this conflict in this issue. All events leading up to Secret Wars is covered in the Avengers line of comics and the Free Comic Book Day supplemental issues. While I understand this can be repetitive, a single page could have been decided as an introduction. But that is a very minor compliant of mine. Both issues were well written. I particularly enjoyed the narrative style of Issue 1.
The first issue’s battle is as epic as epic gets. It became all or nothing for heroes and villains of both universes. It was chaos, and it felt like chaos. There was so much happening from panel to panel it was almost difficult to follow. Everyone was pulling out their aces in the hole. Cyclops decides hey let’s unleash the Phoenix Egg, it’s the end of the world anyways. Interestingly, he ends up surviving the melee. Hmmm. Meanwhile the Fantastic Four (or Future Foundation or whatever they are going by these days) are struggling to build an arc to survive the looming flood that is the collapsing of existence. But the best part of this issue was the villain’s party which was crashed by none other than The Punisher. A character like the Punisher can only go out in a blaze of glory. His one-liner is one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Another highlight was the Fastball special, Hulk style. As an Xmen fan, seeing that little throwback to a classic Xmen team move warmed my heart.
Issue #2 delved deeper into the new world created in the aftermath of destruction. The mythos of this new universe is worth noting. The Brain trust at Marvel spent so much time developing this new world for a reason. I’m curious as to which elements of the new mythos hangs around after Secret Wars end. There is now a Thor Corp who police battleworld. At first the idea seemed ridiculous; a troop of beings who have the might of the God of Thunder? However, it works in the context of this new world. The new fiefdom territories Doom has set up is intriguing. It will be interesting to see how the politics of the houses play into the outcome of this event. Also the wall (which is similar to the Game of Thrones wall) is an interesting plot device. Anytime there is a wall separating good from bad, something’s going to knock it down.
Secret Wars is obviously a tale of Dr. Doom. He had finally achieved greatness. But where can this character go from here. Could this event be Doom’s swansong? The maker is setting up to be quite an interesting villain for this new universe, can he be a replacement of sorts for Dr. Doom. I don’t know how I feel about that. However, Doom has essentially reached godhood, how can a character such as Doom grasp so much power, lose it, and still carry on. Sure Thanos had the Infinity Gaunlet at least once, lost it, and is still as dastardly as ever. But I can’t help but feel completeness to the Doom character’s story. He recreated the Marvel Universe in his image. I’m just speculating but I feel Doom is done after the heroes ultimately save the day in this Story Arc.
While the mythos of the new universe is explored in issue #2, we still do not know the whereabouts of the surviving heroes. Of course the twist at the end had something to do with that in this issue. We know the status quo of most of the villains we are familiar with. Even if they were not shown in a panel, they are probably ruling a kingdom somewhere. However, where have all the heroes gone.
Another lingering issue for me is the outcome of the event. Will any of this have any staying power. Will the events of Secret Wars matter in the end. Does everything just magically return to normal except a few characters from the Ultimate Universe hang around? Will any deaths actually mean anything? And possibly the most interesting question of all, is Battleworld truly the new Marvel Universe? I will ponder and speculate more as future issues are released. Meanwhile, tell me what you think. How do you feel about the event so far and what do you believe will ultimately happen? Comment below.