Secret Wars Rankings: The Imperfect Art

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The creation of the Gabbing Geek Secret Wars Power Rankings was definitely a team effort.  The blame for the majority of the actual rankings though, falls squarely with me.  I like making lists of stuff, as evident by my Spider-Man Chronology, but I hate ranking things.  So going through each and every Secret Wars issue and trying to give them a ranking was outside my usual comfort zone.  But that’s why I get paid the big bucks.

But like anything of this nature, opinions vary.  My tastes are different from others on the Gabbing Geek staff, and likely different from yours.  With that in mind, I asked Ryan and Tom to give me their opinions on the most overrated and underrated series on the list.  Find out what they had to say after the break.

Most overrated

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Years of Future Past

Tom:  You have it way too high for something so very, very bad.  “Years” is the worst thing a comic can be: boring. Most of the story seems to consist of one character or another giving some long speech about motives and morality and this and that, and I not only have very little grasp on the individuals making these speeches as people, but I really don’t care. The speeches slow down the story and probably make it so the whole comic can run more issues that it originally was meant to.

Jimmy:  Well, I don’t know how “high” it is…placing 38 out of 45.  It can’t really drop much further, but I can see 1872 and Hail Hydra passing it in time.  I can see your point though.  Ryan has the same issues with it being preachy.  I agree that the one page that was completely Colossus giving a speech was a bit much.  Like Ultimate End it seems to be getting worse with each issue.

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Civil War

Ryan:  It’s hard to judge because I haven’t read as many titles as Jimmy, but I wouldn’t put this in the top half of what I’ve read. Interesting premise but it has the worst logical problems of any of the series–and bear in mind these are series which mostly shrug their shoulders at reality and say “Because Doom is God now.” Even within that framework this one has a lot of problems–Jimmy and I can list half a dozen without breaking a Doomsweat.

Jimmy:  I will agree that there is a Doombucket load of logistical issues with how Civil War is set up.  And while I do find them frustrating, I guess they don’t bother me as much as you.  The concept is still intriguing, especially if it becomes more of a mystery and less of a Cap/Iron Man pissing match.  Maybe a bit high currently, but let’s see how things shake out with issue #3.

Most underratted

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Weirdworld

Tom: Jason Aaron knows how to do a good fantasy comic, and Weirdworld combines all that stuff with something that could have come out of a Robert E. Howard Conan novel.  “Weirdworld” was something I had no interest in, but it turned out to be quite good. Writer Jason Aaron has been doing the high-fantasy-in-a-comic work with Thor for a while, and he has a good touch with the world of magic and weirdness. I suspect if Marvel still had the rights to Conan and Red Sonja, we’d be seeing the two of them here instead of Arkon, but Arkon works just as well. Besides, it had a bunch of aquatic apes. You can’t beat aquatic apes for putting the weird in Weirdworld.

Jimmy:  Like you, Weirdworld held no interest for me when it was announced and I probably wouldn’t be reading it if not for this insane attempt to read all the Secret Wars tie-ins.  But I’m glad I did.  It has been a pleasant surprise.  I’m not familiar with Aaron’s work having never read Thor, but he does a great job here.  When I compiled my list of issues together, I was a little surprised that Weirdworld was ranked as low as it is.  Again, only two issues in, so it has time to move up and is definitely worth taking a shot on.

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Are we surprised this is the guy that writes Weirdworld?
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Runaways

Ryan:   All of the series take a particular angle or story within the event/zone in which they take place, but this one has been the closest to the original material while still being completely fresh. The feel of this book exactly mimics the feel of the original comic even while telling an almost completely different story. Should be much higher.

Jimmy:  I’m at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to Runaways as I’ve never read any issues before outside of some tie-ins to Civil War and Secret Invasion.  So the nailing of the tone I will have to take your word for.  I find the series “ok” so far, I just think it is more in your wheelhouse.  I do like their take on Winter Soldier and their dealing with the “teachbot”.

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Secret Wars Battleworld

Ryan: These are mostly fun short stories that don’t deserve to be near the bottom. BLADE THE DUCK!!!

Jimmy:  I’m just not digging much on this series or the very similar Secret Wars Journal.  While they have their moments (and the moments they do have are better in Journal) they are very hit and miss.  And I find when they miss, they miss bad.  There will always be a divide between us on this book as stories like the Wolverine one, you loved, and I hated.  We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.  At least you admitted in one of our editorial meetings that the last Silver Surfer focused issue was mostly awful.

Possibly underratted

age_of_ultron_vs_marvel_zombiesAge of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies

Ryan:  I’m willing to let the rating stand for now but this has a lot of upside potential as the first few issues have been really good and hint at some bigger story elements. I’m a fan of this series even though I haven’t read Age of Ultron or Marvel Zombies (easy enough to understand still).

Jimmy:  I like this book as well.  Like Weirdworld I’m surprised it isn’t ranked a bit higher.  I think it lost a little steam with the origin of our heroes which didn’t do much for me.  But I loved the twist at the end.  But the twist did bring up one of my frustrations with this whole crossover.

I know you love the whole disconnected/What If? feel to all the titles, but I really wish they would tie together more.  Maybe they will in time as the issues wrap up.  There is some pretty cool and interesting stuff going on in Siege and Infinity Gauntlet that really should have ramifications on the main series.  Similarly here.  The issue #2 twist should have ramifications across Battleworld, but there is no sign of it elsewhere…yet?

Coincidentally, Secret Wars writer and all around swell guy Jonathan Hickman has an interview posted today over at CBR that teases that Thors and Siege are pretty tightly tied into the main series.  There could be some more that tie in, but Infinity Gauntlet is more self-contained.  Boo-urns.

As an aside, I hated Age of Ultron.  but you should really give Marvel Zombies a try.  At the very least the first two mini-series written by Mr. Walking Dead himself: Robert Kirkman.  (They kind of go downhill after that.)

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