This week saw the release of Ultimate End #5, the second to last Secret Wars book. Now we just have to wait a month for the four month delayed finale to get the anticlimactic details on how Doom was defeated and everything basically returned to normal. Where All-New, All-Different seems to equal “we got Miles now and Wolverine is back (kinda)”.
Click through as I cover the fifth and final issues of the following books: Ultimate End #5, Planet Hulk #5, Secret Wars 2099 #5, Armor Wars #5, Spider-Verse #5, Inhumans: Attilan Rising #5, Inferno #5 and A-Force #5 .
As usual there are spoilers, so take care, especially with Ultimate End which is only days old. The others have been out a while.
Be sure to check out our latest Secret Wars Power Rankings, which also features links to the other parts of my read through.
Ultimate End #5
I guess because he appears on almost every cover (regular and alternate) of this series, I never noticed that Miles Morales never appears until the end of issue 4. And when he did appear, I wrote about it previously thinking that he had been there all along and how it didn’t make any sense because Miles was on the life raft and survived the incursions, etc.
Which apparently was incorrect. This IS that Miles Morales from the original 1610 universe that survived the incursions. He’s come to the Manhattan domain to recruit the “616” and 1610 survivors (and Old Man Logan because Bendis and reasons). I put the 616 in quotes because I still don’t believe this is the actual 616 remnants. Or it was meant to be, but Bendis dropped the ball. Having Miles show up this way makes all kinds of sense…but what about Spider-Man? Or Cyclops? Two others that survived in the life raft from the 616. So instead of it not making sense with three of them there, it might actually make even less sense with only two of them and not Miles. Or it just points out a huge continuity flaw in this story. Or as I said, it simply isn’t the 616. At the end of the day, I guess no one cares. And this collection of heroes hasn’t shown up in the main Secret Wars book yet, so maybe there will be multiple Spider-Man’s there and this will all make sense, but I doubt it.
Anywho, to what happens in this issue…not much. We’ve been teased for 4 issues about a big “616”/1610 throw down with the Punisher about to kill all of them, and it looked like it was finally about to happen at the end of last issue. But Miles shows up and covers everyone in webs, and then they all just chat for the rest of the issue. Seriously.
Miles tells them all about Doom and Battleworld and they go through the 5 stages of grief and ultimately (see what I did there) decide to go with Miles to fight Doom. Then it follows in the footsteps of some other series and we get a “hint” of a battle and then a fade to white and then presto chango it is the new Marvel Universe. And the biggest takeaway is that Miles mom is alive again.
Some other stuff does happen: the Thors show up and kill the Punisher, Beta Ray Thor is alive which makes no sense and get ready for page after page of the same headshots as everyone has their say and then fade to white. It’s rather odd.
I can’t see this being a satisfying conclusion to fans of the Ultimate Universe, of which I’m not outside of Spider-Man. I still think Marvel should have let Galactus eat the Ultimate Earth in Cataclysm. What a ballsy memorable move that would have been, not this lame limp to the finish.
Planet Hulk #5
This book started an unfortunate trend of strong series finishing very poorly.
For four issues Steve Rogers has traveled to the Mud Kingdom to rescue Bucky…who was apparently dead all along and Rogers was set up by Doom to take out the Red King. Which works perfectly as in his rage Rogers kills the Red Hulk in like 10 seconds by chopping off his head with his shield.
Rogers then learns that his companion Doc Green knew all along that Bucky was already dead. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Rogers is out of his mind with grief and just killed a Hulk. If I’m Doc Green and I’m confessing to knowing Bucky was dead all along, I better protect myself. What better way to do this than to…revert to human form? Um, what? Oh, and reveal that you are also a Hulk version of Steve Rogers. That is sure to make him feel better and not instantly but his battle axe through your chest. Or not.
Bucky dead. Red King dead. Doc Green dead. Nothing left to do but ride off into the sunset on the back of your red Tyrannosaurus rex.
Secret Wars 2099 #5
The Defenders made their big escape from Alchemax last issue with the help of Captain America and Hercules. You’d think Miguel Stone would have hunting them down at the top of his To Do list…but all that changes when Martin Hargood unleashes his magical powers to place atop the Alchemax building…a giant squid. Yup.
Stone forgives the Defenders and his defectors and the teams join up to take the giant magical squid down. They manage to stop him when Namor brings along some creature from the depths of the sea that has no fear (what the giant squid feeds on) and tosses him to the ground…which somehow causes an explosion. Right. And then Dr. Strange cleans up the mess and sends the squid back where he came from.
Meanwhile, Miguel learns that it was his father that sent the hitman after Captain America. Miguel promptly throws him out the window of the skyscraper.
For their help, Miguel tells The Defenders that they will not be hunted, but to stay out of the Avengers way and they will stay out of theirs.
Armor Wars #5
Armor Wars was another series that was awesome for four issues and then soiled the bed in the last issue.
You could argue that issue five is action packed, but there is so much talking as evil Tony Stark falls into the whole cliched “super villain explaining everything to the hero” schtick. Basically anyone that discovered anything that was a threat to him or his borther Arno was put to death. But now that Lila Rhodes and Kiri Oshiro know the truth and have giant suits of armor, they take Stark and Arno down.
We then get a couple of pages of epilogue and are introduced to the new Baron (Kiri) and Thor (Lila) of Technopolis. Blech.
But don’t just take my word for it, here is what Ryan thought of this issue (stolen from a previous Secret Wars Power Rankings post):
Ryan: This pains me to write (mostly because I didn’t do so last week) but let’s just get this out there: the last issue of Armor Wars wasn’t good. It switched tone from the previous issues, abandoned what made the series interesting to read in exchange for a ton of nonsensical action, and then it ended with a couple pages of forced exposition to tell us everything that happened after (some of which we could care less about). I don’t know what happened to this series to have it end so poorly, but I think it deserves to drop out of the overall top 10 for bellyflopping in the last issue.
Need an easy explanation on how Peter Parker is alive when Norman Osborn killed him with his bare hands? Sure, Norman actually killed Peter’s clone Ben Reilly who took over for him when he retired.
As you can imagine, a powerless Peter Parker doesn’t put up much of a fight against Osborn and his army of glider villains. Seeing Kraven, Scorpion and Sandman on goblin gliders just isn’t right.
Back at Ozcorp (not a typo), the Web Warriors (as they will come to be known in the new Marvel U) are battling a Thor who has come for the Siege Perilous that Norman Osborn has hidden away as he hopes to overthrow Doom. The WW’s aren’t having much luck until Electro, who was “grounded” last issue and didn’t go with Osborn, attempts to fry the Siege Perilous. It isn’t destroyed, but makes a hell of a mess when it explodes.
Norman returns “home” with Parker in shackles (why not just kill him?) and decides it is time to try the Siege Perilous out. Norman quickly finds he is gaining the power to challenge God-Doom…until Spider-Ham rescues Parker and then Parker uses the unconscious Thor’s hand to disrupt the machine and fry Osborn’s brain. And with Osborn, the most powerful man in the city exposed as a corrupt megalomaniac, the team knows they must stay together and help the people of the city.
Inhumans: Attilan Rising #5
Unlike Planet Hulk and Armor Wars, Inhumans manages to keep up the quality of the first four issues and finish strongly. It does make you question the extent of Doom’s powers though, and you wonder how anyone could ever be a threat to him?
The details aren’t overly important, we just need to know that at the end of the day Black Bolt is exposed to the Terrigen Mists and gains his usual powers and accidentally kills Medusa not knowing what said powers are and then attacks Doom.
What happens next is the interesting part:
The same result as last time? And with that, Doom snaps his fingers and we loop back to the beginning of the series, except this time Black Bolt is the leader of the Inhumans and Medusa tends bar and is the leader of the rebellion. How many times has Doom allowed this to happen and then snapped his fingers and rewrote history at a whim? How is that not something that could be useful against Reed Richards, Black Panther, et al as they attempt to take Doom down in the main series?
Having defeated the wave of demons in the sewers below Manhattan, Mr. Sinister and the X-Men form an alliance to take out Darkchild. The X-Men and Sinister’s Boom Boom clones will hold off the remaining demons while Colossus destroys his sister with his soul sword.
Madelyne Pyor does not care much about the alliance, she just wants Sinister dead for convoluted cloning X-Men reasons. She telepathically takes control of Boom Boom version 1.0 and blows Sinister to pieces. The dragon formally known as Nightcrawler then takes care of the clones.
It is then that the demons attack and as planned the X-Men (minus Sinister and his clones) keep the demons at bay while Colossus confronts and with great reluctance kills the creature that formally was his sister.
In epilogue, never happy with enough power, Madelyne Pyor absorbs the escaping hellfire from Illya Rasputin’s corpse and becomes the new Darkchild. Here anyway…she looks like the plain old Goblin Queen over in the main Secret Wars book.
It’s A-Force and the female Thors who Loki manipulated last issue, versus the Marvel Zombies. (Those guys sure get around.) It’s girl power against flesh eaters until Singularity causes a “cyclone” of some kind and pulls all the zombies up into the sky where she says “Goodbye” and then blows them and herself to oblivion. Loki is shipped off by the Thors to The Shield and A-Force begins the clean up of Acadia.
Off in space somewhere there is a little girl filled with stars that opens her eyes and smiles.