Couldn’t decide what book I wanted to talk about this week. So I’ll try to take on a gambit of this weeks Secret Wars books from Marvel in under 1200 words. So let’s get to it… (Note all digital codes are 1st come 1st served)
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1
Writer: Dan Slott Art: Adam Kubert
Remember when Joe Quesada wanted to revamp Spider-Man by turning him into a divorcee? Instead of having Peter and MJ go through some kind real problem which would see him hire Matt Murdock to take his wife to the cleaners; Quesada left it up to the devil, so to speak. Writer, Dan Slott is showing readers what could have been in Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. The opening of this limited series is tremendous. Peter Parker is the happy dad and husband he’s always wanted to be. We’ll finally see what it took to get him to go back on those famous words of his dear uncle Ben as he must choose between being a parent and defending a world with no heroes left in it. Plus we get the interior work of artist Adam Kubert. It may not be his best work but it’s solid visual storytelling.
If you pick and choose your Secret Wars tie-ins carefully, Renew Your Vows should definitely be on your shopping list.
Hell, give it a shot on me: Marvel.com/redeem (FMC5Z753JZKC)
Future Imperfect #1
Writer: Peter David Art: Greg Land
Since his debut in the original Future Imperfect, the Maestro had been one of Marvel’s most underdeveloped villains. As of late the publisher has attempted to remedy that by having creator and series writer, Peter David, use him in the 2099 universe. It’s also a bit of a no brainer to explore just how much of a tyrant this Banner gone mad could be in Secret Wars. This new Future Imperfect sees Maestro rule over the land of Dystopia, one of Battelworld’s most coveted kingdoms. The opening chapter sees Maestro cunningly hunt down the mutant insurgency plaguing his land. He’ll do battle with Ruby Summers. Who is Ruby Summers? You might remember her as the character we saw in the previews for the book who could easily be mistaken for a She-Hulk. Nope, her ruby-quartz skin makes her a child of Scott Summers and Emma Frost. By the final page you get the idea that we’re in for a lot of reimagined classic Hulk Vs battles. Future Imperfect features art from Greg Land. He’s one of those artist readers can tend to forget just how good he is till you see his work and this series is definitely his A-game.
While Future Imperfect isn’t vital to the overall enjoyment of Secret Wars, it is one of the more fun reads and sometimes that’s all the reason you need.
Giant Sized Little Marvel #1
Writer: Skottie Young Art: Skottie Young
Speaking of fun reads… they don’t come with any more slapstick entertainment value than the adorable Giant Sized Little Marvel #1. Somehow the God Doom sought fit to mash a daycare center into the patchwork of Battleworld. Also has anyone else figured out why Doom calls his planet “Battleworld” and not “Planet Doom”? Oh well. Skottie Young brings a continuation of the battle between the tiny Avengers and toddler X-Men. This time he’s included appearances by characters like M.O.D.O.K and Magik. None of the mistakes or controversies Marvel’s been a part of the last few years are wasted. Here they’re treated as cannon fodder for so many inside meta jokes. Pay particular attention to the last page when Cyclops and Captain America call “dibs” on the twins.
It’s cute, it’s probably the only part of Secret Wars you’ll be able to share with young children, but it has something for everyone.
Try it: FMC92ENG05XF
Armor Wars #1
Writer: James Robinson Art: Marcio Takara
If you caught the special Toy’s R Us exclusive Armor Wars 1/2 then you know how interesting this series is. Writer, James Robinson hyperbolizes the notion of a technological crutch. The kingdom known as Technopolis is ruled by a sober Tony Stark. What should be a utopia where everyone’s iPhone never runs out of battery is in fact among the most cursed on Battleworld. Citizens must wear armor just to stay alive. Armor Wars is built around mysteries. One surrounding the origins of the disease crippling the Technoplois population and the other about Peter Urich, the Spider-Man of this land. The art of Marcio Takara aims for a hybrid of manga and American comics, but it never quite balances the two styles right. Faces miss the mark on emotion and some of the design choices are lazy. While none of the tie-ins are vital to Secret Wars if you had to compartmentalize them; Armor Wars would be under the “closest to events” file.
Despite some art hiccups, Armor Wars earns a return to issue two in order to see if they can hook readers.
Here take it: FMCYX4XB3SXI
X-Tinction Agenda #1
Writer: Marc Guggenheim Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
This was one of the few Secret Wars announcements that made me cringe. Not because of the talent involved. This was one of my favorite X-Men crossovers of all time. The battle of the mutant internment camp known as Genosha was full of action and meaningful moments for almost all the characters involved, it was a damn near perfect X-event I wouldn’t want messed with. Marvel however doesn’t care about what I want so now it becomes a piece of Battleworld. To my surprise, it’s far from hogd**k. Marc Guggenheim tells a “what if” style story, which takes place after the X-teams usurped Cameron Hodge and sees Alex Summers stay on the island in order to help the mutant population. Since this is Marvel, the worst case scenario has to happen. Amidst a plague threatening to wipe out the remaining mutants on the island. Havok must lead a mission to kidnapp the only mutants who could potentially put an end to the sickness. The irony of having to do the very thing he fought to put a stop to on Genosha will see the depths of just how far Alex Summers will go to save the mutants under his care.
X-Tinction Agenda‘s connections to Secret Wars are loose which makes it an easy read to digest even if you aren’t following Secret Wars. The conflict is juicy and there’s a ton of potential for Jim Lee homages. If you’re waiting for the new Marvel U to happen before you go back into reading, this is a great stop along the way.
Years of Future Past #1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett Art: Mike Norton
Admittedly this was the book I was looking forward to the least. Had it not been for the 50% discount my local comic shop offered this book at, I probably would have skipped it. I enjoy Marguerite Bennet’s work, just not in these pages. Years of Future Past is another X “what if” that sees the daughter of Shadowcat and Colossus become mutant kind’s last hope. Magneto, Rachel Grey, and the Pryde family will battle Doom Sentinels and cross the forbidden boundaries of Battleworld to stave off the annihilation of their species. The imaginative take on this slice of the old Marvel universe works on a certain level, but has too many internal and external obstacles. YOFP is hindered by the fact that all the X-Books in Secret Wars have the same “stop mutant kind from going extinct” premise. There’s only so much of that readers can take. Combine awkward story pacing with some character dialog hiccups from Wolverine and it drops the book significantly on the must read Secret Wars list. Mike Norton’s art work is usually more solid than this. Here there’s some issues with faces I just can’t get around. Hopefully the series can fix some of its pacing and art issues before time runs out.
Secret Wars #3
Writer: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic
Despite the high fence around issue #1, Secret Wars as an event has been good. Damn good. Yes, Marvel probably ripped off Game of Thrones, but here they’ve put some unique twists on a world of characters they’ve over exposed to the point of stagnancy. In a way it gives Hickman a stage and an excuse to take more risks because there’s the “relaunch” button waiting at the end of the series. The moral here is if you make a mistake at work you can just yell RELAUNCH and everything will be okay. Issue three gets the story firmly out of the exposition phase and pushes it forward by brining in the elements we’ve known to still be part of this new Battleworld. Readers will find out what happened to the other life raft at the incursion and how Miles Morales comes into the fray. We also see the first cracks in the omnipotent armor of Doom. So far the series has been one of the best Doom stories Marvel’s ever published and if you’ve been weary about jumping on an event due to being lost; start with issue #2 and go from there.
As far as 2015 events go Marvel has already won with Secret Wars and they still have five remaining issues to stage huge fights with. It’s safe to say, if you’ve been thinking about picking up the new Secret Wars, go for it!
There you have it, and here you have codes for last week’s Secret Wars books. Happy June!
Italian Rising #1 FMCK5J9T0ESI
Secret Wars Journal #1 FMC9I47FFMDL
MODOK Assassin #1 FMCGIJDYAHC4
Where Monsters Dwell #1 FMC2IW43X8RK
Old Man Logan#1 FMC88GICWC51
Infinity Gauntlet #1 FMCHJ9ANFKMR
Inferno #1 FMCMU4MAR1Q5
Secret Wars 2099 #1 FMCGAW76V832
Not a digital reader? Are you in the continental US? First person to DM me @bouncingsoul217 will be sent a physical copy of every issue listed in this article and a bonus. Could be my banana peel, could be a print… care to take that gamble?