There’s been quite a few short stories during these last few months of Secret Wars. I’ve liked a handful of them, but a lot of them have missed the mark badly. (Ryan would beg to differ, but we all know what Ryan’s like.)
I’ve already looked at Secret Wars Battleworld 1 and 2 and Secret Wars Journal Parts 1-3 in some detail. After the cut I will finish those series with Secret Wars Battleworld #3, Secret Wars Battleworld #4, Secret Wars Journal #4 and Secret Wars Journal #5. As well, I’ll also look at the equally unimpressive Secret Wars Secret Love #1.
Secret Wars Power Rankings
Tom’s Road To Secret Wars: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7.
Other parts of this series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Secret Wars Secret Love #1
First up, in the Inferno domain it’s Daredevil vs Typhoid Mary. That makes sense. But in reality, Mary is a disguised Mephisto. Ok, throw sense out the window. It’s not looking good for DD until Karen Page shows up and sepeartes Mephisto’s head from his neck and “kills” him. As the final Inferno approaches, Matt and Karen decide to make out. Love.
Story two…ok, let’s talk about that cover. First, the cover gives the impression through the two worlds in the background and Kamala’s thought balloon that this takes place during the incursion of the 616 and 1610 Earth’s and hence prior to Secret Wars. It isn’t, the story is squarely based in the Killiseum where the Ghost Racers race on Battleworld. Two, that Kamala thought balloon…seems she is pretty distraught about never telling Robbie (Reyes, Ghost Rider for those not in the know) how she feels about it. Well guess what, she doesn’t feel anything for him besides friendship. The story is a Ms. Marvel/Ghost Rider team-up that features a conclusion that results in a hearty handshake. (If we even care about continuity here, this story takes place before the Ghost Racers mini series.)
So while that cover lied about the pre-incursion story for Kamala and Robbie, story three does take place pre-Secret Wars. (Possibly. Some may argue that this does take place on an unknown domain of Battleworld.) On some alternate Earth, Danny “Iron Fist” Rand and Misty Knight are having relationship troubles. The two go on an awkward date…until a dinosaur shows up and the team up begins. It’s the oldest cliche in the book. Having trouble with your significant other? Fight side by side with them against a T-Rex and by the end of the day you’ll be snuggling and watching Bruce Lee movies.
The next story takes place on Battleworld as we have an appearance of the Thor Corps and references to God Doom. Squirrel Girl (who I’m told is popular) wins a date with a Thor. What starts as a rave in Asgard ends with SG, a shirtless Thor and a chariot ride across the Rainbow Bridge courtesy of two giant squirrels. Ok…
Next, another alternate Earth story that may or may not occur on Battleworld. I know I lot of people have fallen in love with this little bug version of the Marvel universe and the relationship between Wasp and Ant-Man, but this is all just too syrupy for me.
Secret Wars Battleworld #3
The first story this issue is teased on the cover. It features a peaceful Wolverine who refuses to fight no matter what every alternate reality version of Logan throws at him. This is one of those stories that I hated and Ryan loved that really threw our appreciation for this title out of wack.
Story two takes place in the Valley Of Flame. A rather huge domain on Battleworld that has really gotten no run elsewhere. Here we find another Deadpool (and people complain he’s not around much on Battleworld…) and his quest to ride the great beast known as Devil Dinosaur. A fun story, but nothing really memorable.
And third, but not least, or maybe least, hey I don’t care, a one page story called World War Ant. It’s Ant-Man as played by
Michael Douglas Hank Pym versus Eric O’Grady Ant-Man. Actually a whole bunch of Ant-people show up to fight and eventually get stepped on accidentally by…Scott Lang? I’m not sure. who cares.
Secret Wars Battleworld #4
Silver Surfer is in the spotlight in the two stories this issue. The first, takes place in Egyptia and it’s an ancient Epytian Silver Surfer and Juggernaut versus Fin Fang Foom. The monster defeated, Juggy takes its teeth for some reason and Surfer takes the meat back to…a Galactus of some sort that is stuck in the ground but still starving. But Galactus could not wait for Surfer to return and has killed all the locals including Surfers love, Shalla-Bal. Angering Surfer to the point that he finally does what he’s been waiting 50 years to do and kills Galactus.
For the second story we head to the domain of Dystopia, where the Maestro rules and Peter David pens all tales. Long story short, Maestro has the Surfer’s board, gifted to him by Doom, and the Surfer wants it back. There is a brief skirmish, but once the board is retrieved the Surfer is off again.
What’s interesting here is that Surfer and Maestro appear to know each other from the old Defenders days…but also Surfer seems to head off to the 2099 domain (also written by David) at the end of the story. I’m not sure that any of that makes sense, but at least an effort was made to weave this into the fabric of Battleworld.
Secret Wars Journal #4
Was there really a need for two anthology books (not couting the one shot Secret Love)? Could a single title not have been created that either came out more frequently or added some extra pages to cover these short stories? I’m not sure if there is supposed to be a divide between the more (ironically) Battleworld-centric tales of Journal and the more scatterbrained approach of Battleworld.
The first story starts atop The Shield where the Punisher from Egpytia and Iron Fist from Apocalypse’s domain have spotted an Ultron on the North Side. i.e. the side that The Shield is supposed to keep the likes of Ultron out of. When investigating where it came from, the Shield guards find the Mole Man from Technoloplis. He’s been tunneling under the Shield and bringing back Ultrons to reprogam to do his bidding. Yeah, nothing can go wrong there. When the Ultrons sense the Punisher and Iron First they rise up and attack and are eventually all destroyed.
Story two focuses on Kyle Jinadu and Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock in the Sentinel Territories featured in Years of Future Past. Pyslocke has been hiding behind a pyschic projection that she died and has taken up a new life in a very mutant version of the witness relocation program. Jinadu has come to Psylocke for help in breaking into a prison camp to free his husband Northstar. Pyslocke refuses. She has a new life now and is safe in her “human” guise. She sends Jinadu on his way. But once an X-Man, always an X-Man, and leaving her new life behind Pyslocke eventually joins the prison break-in and sacrifices herself to buy time to allow Jinadu and Northstar to escape.
Secret Wars Journal #5
While Journal had it’s ups and downs, it did feature some good stories and was actually decently ranked in the Secret Wars Power Rankings for a while there. But then this issue came along and it crashed and burned. I know the purpose of a lot of these stories is to focus on characters that might not get exposure in their own books, but what demand is there for Night Nurse or Millie The Model? Props to Marvel for trying something new and pulling them out of obscurity, but they just aren’t iconic enough like Madame Xanadu, to go carry a book on their own.
Not to mention the two stories are absolutely horrible. The Millie story at least invokes a few laughs as she travels around Battleworld trying to drum up support for God-Doom.