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Title: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on May 06, 2015, 07:41:22 PM
(The old Secret Wars thread was somehow already a mess despite only having seven posts, between the spam bot and Whedon thing in the title).

Secret Wars #1 dropped today and #0 was available for Free Comic Book Day this last Saturday. That scheduling in and of itself is worth discussing for a moment. Having read both, #1 continues directly from the events in the final issues of Avengers and New Avengers with zero attempt at a recap for people jumping in without reading any of the buildup. #0 has about a good a recap as you can expect for Hickman's kitchen sink approach to storytelling. It doesn't mention the convoluted Doom/Molecule Man/Beyonders stuff at all, which is probably for the best because they had already devoted the entirety of New Avengers #33 to that plot thread and the result is a case study in how far Hickman can get up his own ass.

My issue with the scheduling is that without any sort of recap in #1, #0 is helpful for people jumping in with Secret Wars #1 without reading the preceding Avengers books. However from my admittedly limited searching, #0 doesn't seem to be available digitally, meaning people actually had to physically go to a comic book shop (online retailers were likely giving FCBD stuff away with orders also) to get a copy on Saturday, and then go back again a few days later to get #1 (or buy that digitally at least). There are any number of ways around the inconvenience I suppose, but it seems like a missed opportunity to not offer #0 for free online.

As far as my thoughts on #1 go, it wasn't horrible and it accomplishes what it needed to with the destruction of the MU and the Ultimate Universe. Most of it is taken up with a battle scene with forces from the two universes fighting each other, but the story doesn't even make a pretense of the outcome mattering. Also having not read much of Hickman's stuff, I had to look up Manifold because he becomes important to the plot at one point, only to find that Hickman at some point decided to make a character that is just a younger and more powerful version of Gateway (but it's totally not just ripping off old ideas because Gateway trained this guy so it's like a legacy character and not Hickman just creating new characters for the sake of it).

Actually, the more that I think about it this issue kinda sucked, from the random Punisher appearance to Cyclops (with the Phoenix Force back in him) and his monologue to nobody in particular that starts with "Listen to me... you can't kill an idea." which has absolutely no connection to anything that's going on in the story at the moment. When I say it's not horrible, I guess that's because the situation in the last few pages makes for a decent setup for what is to follow even though the rest of the issue felt like pointless filler, which is bad considering this is only the first issue and it already feels like there's a lot of padding. Also, if you're going to close out both these Universes with a big fight scene, the one we got here was incredibly underwhelming and failed to capture any real sense of  the scale involved beyond "here are a couple panels of giant ships".

Anyhow, I'm only really following this event because I'm interested in some of the odd books they've got coming out during it.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on May 06, 2015, 08:02:25 PM
Did they ever explain the Ark and where it was supposed to go after all the universes went poof.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on May 06, 2015, 08:21:56 PM
From the stuff I've read, I haven't seen any explanation as to what they're expecting to exist after everything collapses, but the ship itself is a large focus of both #0 and #1.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on May 06, 2015, 10:33:59 PM
In long form, the New Avengers story that lead to it is actually kind of compelling. This I'm not so sure of.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: CmdrSlack on May 06, 2015, 10:48:42 PM
Just finished reading this. It was a shit follow up to what I'd read before it: Guardians Team Up with Rocket and Cosmo and Groot with the Pet Avengers.

No on to Tails of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It will most assuredly be more fun.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Teleku on May 10, 2015, 01:48:18 PM
I still can't get my head around this.  Why did they feel the need to merge the universes?  Seems like only bad things can come from this, and I'm not sure how they are going to explain everything.  Are they really going to replace spider man with miles morales?  Wtf is going to happen to actual Spider-Man, just write him out of existance?

What exactly is suppose to exist after all this?

Just seems like another silly event where they are going to have to retron everything back within a few years.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on May 10, 2015, 02:02:05 PM
Well, since it's apparently the brainchild of Johnathan Hickman and the end result of all the shit he's been writing on Avengers the last few years, they had to do something big. I'm still about 6-7 months behind because of reading on Marvel Unlimited, but damn if the whole New Avengers/Illuminati incursion shit isn't basically requiring they reboot the entire Avengers/Fantastic Four line because of how far afield of baseline Marvel reality they are going.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on May 10, 2015, 03:59:04 PM
I still can't get my head around this.  Why did they feel the need to merge the universes?  Seems like only bad things can come from this, and I'm not sure how they are going to explain everything.  Are they really going to replace spider man with miles morales?  Wtf is going to happen to actual Spider-Man, just write him out of existance?

What exactly is suppose to exist after all this?

Just seems like another silly event where they are going to have to retron everything back within a few years.

They aren't going to write Peter Parker out of existence. Solicitations for Amazing Spider-man: Renew Your Vows #1 show Peter on the cover with MJ and a daughter. What they'd probably like us to believe is that maybe they'll set Miles up as the active Spider-man and One More Day and the baby stuff from the Clone Saga will be undone allowing Peter to settle down with a family and probably act as a mentor to Miles. That seems like the obvious speculation though and I'm guessing whatever happens won't be that clean cut.

The event itself is very much modeled on Age of Apocalypse, in that you've got most of the books being temporarily replaced by alternate reality stuff. A lot of the books they have planned during the event look like a lot of fun. I'm guessing what ends up coming out of it looks a lot like the regular MU with a few things pulled in from other Universes.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on May 10, 2015, 04:23:22 PM
The entire event is just a big excuse to make a bunch of 'What if' books and to save a handful of character from the Ultimate's universe, as that is going away due to poor sales or whatever. It's really not any more complicated then that. They'll smooth over some characters that were excessively convoluted and contradictory, bring in some alt versions that garner popularity and then return to a recognizable status quo.

Almost all of the in story reasoning is basically entirely bullshit straight out of their collective asses. It's the inevitable outcome of in-house writers trying to 'one up' each other in terms of scope and scale.

-I'll Destroy the City!
-I'll Destroy the Earth!
-I'll Destroy the Galaxy!
-I'll Destroy the UNIVERSE!!
-I'll Destroy ALL THE UNIVERSES!!!!

And all of it at the expense of proper characterization, so it's all  :oh_i_see: :why_so_serious: :uhrr:


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Teleku on May 10, 2015, 05:09:57 PM
Ah, ok.  I was given the impression this was like DC's crisis, where they finally decided to reset everything and start from scratch (sort off), destroying all realities and creating one new one.

If it's them just killing off the abomination the Ultimate Universe has become and trying to salvage some of the characters they made in it (I have a nasty feeling Samual L Jackson will make his way to the main world for obvious reasons), then fine.  Though I'm an old stubborn asshole and still think Miles Morales is bullshit.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on May 10, 2015, 06:23:15 PM
Sam Jackson's Nick Fury is already in the 616 Marvel Universe as the formerly hidden bastard son of the real Nick Fury, and Phil Coulsen is his main buddy.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on May 11, 2015, 12:37:32 AM
Ah, ok.  I was given the impression this was like DC's crisis, where they finally decided to reset everything and start from scratch (sort off), destroying all realities and creating one new one.

If it's them just killing off the abomination the Ultimate Universe has become and trying to salvage some of the characters they made in it (I have a nasty feeling Samual L Jackson will make his way to the main world for obvious reasons), then fine.  Though I'm an old stubborn asshole and still think Miles Morales is bullshit.   :awesome_for_real:


They COULD do that in theory, but it looks more like a streamlining or whatever. Just a big thing to let writers and editors 'fix' things with one big blanket excuse, instead of making 5000 individual deals with the devil or whatever.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on May 14, 2015, 12:14:20 AM
Issue #2 is out today, and as many people suspected would have made for a much better first issue of the series than what we got. At the start of this issue Battleworld is in full swing, and we get introduced to a small chunk of it via the Thors who act as the police force for much of Battleworld, as well as a couple other scenes that hint as to how this world was created. If not for the hype in the buildup to this event or the fact that the 616 universe was "destroyed" this would feel just like any other alternate reality story Marvel has done like House of M or Age of Apocalypse.

For this issue at least Hickman has seemed to reign in some of his more annoying habits, like making things needlessly complicated or creating as many new characters as he can. Less surprising is that Esad Ribic's art continues to be strong. He's firmly in his element in this issue given his time spent on Thor: God of Thunder. With Battleworld established I expect this series to rapidly descend back into incoherent Hickman storytelling, but we start getting the tie-in books next week, a few of which I'm interested in checking out.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on May 21, 2015, 06:49:00 AM
Read through the first issues of A-Force, Master of Kung Fu, Planet Hulk, Spider-verse, and Secret Wars: Battleworld. Skipped over Ultimate End and the Deadpool book. Battleworld is a bit of a throwaway book with a couple of random, albeit slightly entertaining stories. To it's credit, the M.O.D.O.K. story that makes up the second half of the issue has the baby M.O.D.O.K. from Nextwave in it which is a bit of a plus. The first story is an odd one about a Dr. Strange possessed Punisher fighting a slightly demonic version of the "New" FF (Hulk, Spider-man, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider). The other books are surprisingly solid.

Spider-verse of course benefits from following the recent storyline in the Spider-man books, although at the outset of this book none of the characters remember any of that or each other. In fact, their memories are a bit hazy in general (as are their spider-senses) and Spider Gwen in particular is a tad fuzzy on how she's around even though Gwen Stacy has clearly been killed by the Green Goblin. Overall not a bad read although it's a little odd that neither Slott nor Spider Gwen writer Jason Latour are writing this.

The remaining three books are much more self-contained. Due to the nature of the comic book industry and the fact that retailers (and by extension customers pre-ordering books) have to put their orders in three months in advance and need to have at least some sliver of information as to what they should buy, Marvel has already slowly been letting information out about post-Secret Wars books. In particular, they stated that A-Force, as well as Squadron Sinister, and Weirdworld, would continue on in some fashion past the end of Secret Wars. A-Force as it stands in this first issue is an all female team made up of seemingly dozens of members and led by She-Hulk. There's not a whole lot of back-story here yet as a good chunk of the issue involves an action sequence which leads to one of the members accidentally breaking one of Doom's main rules of Battleworld. The rest of the issue deals with the ramifications of that. Decent start so far even though they haven't established the premise of why the team is all female.

Master of Kung Fu is a solid martial arts story. Haden Blackman is an odd choice of writers for Marvel as he apparently spent a long time writing Star Wars comics for Dark Horse as well as doing writing on a lot of SW video games including Galaxies and Force Unleashed (he also wrote a lot of issues of Batwoman for DC). Nothing too surprising in this issue, but if you want to read a Marvel martial arts book featuring alternate universe versions of people like Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, Fu Manchu, and... Callisto and Caliban for some reason, this will certainly do.

Planet Hulk features a Gladiator Steve Rogers, with his fighting partner Devil Dinosaur getting sent off by Doom to a land populated by Hulks. That should tell you whether or not you want to read this.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: CmdrSlack on May 21, 2015, 08:51:19 PM
Fuck. Forgot to get A Force yesterday. But I spent almost $100 on old Daredevil comics (like back when they were 12 cents) that were in pretty good condition (like 12-18 bucks each). Hopefully they're not out of it on Saturday.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on July 21, 2015, 11:10:41 AM
Well, holy shit, a big company crossover thing that's actually good. Like, really good. The first issue of the main crossover book stunk, but since then it's been flying high. Most of the associated books are also really fun.

It's also changing my view of Hickman's FF and Avengers work. He really does seem to have been building up to this.

I think this is the first time I've felt invested in a comic-book event since DC One Million.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: jgsugden on July 27, 2015, 05:56:30 PM
I am shocked to see positive reviews of this event.  It sounds like a trainwreck - sort of like taking one bite of your 50 favorite meals and gluing them together.  It just boggles my mind that this could actually work.  I have not bought a comic book from Marvel or DC for a few decades... but you're making me curious.   


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on September 09, 2015, 06:40:52 PM
A lot of the minis are wrapping up, with a few not finishing up until October, and the post-Secret Wars relaunches begin to roll out next month as well. Due to delays as well as being extended by one issue however, the main Secret Wars book won't be wrapping up until December. I'm not particularly worried about spoilers since due to the nature of the industry we've had a flood of information for months about the post-SW MU and the relaunched books are supposed to take places months after the end of SW. These delays and lack of planning aren't particularly surprising in any way, but it once again highlights the lack of professionalism in how the industry is run.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Raguel on September 14, 2015, 12:42:56 PM
I am shocked to see positive reviews of this event.  It sounds like a trainwreck - sort of like taking one bite of your 50 favorite meals and gluing them together.  It just boggles my mind that this could actually work.  I have not bought a comic book from Marvel or DC for a few decades... but you're making me curious.   



If it makes you feel better I think it stinks. Hickman has a child's understanding of infinity, the only characters he writes consistently well are Richards and Doom, his portrayal  of Steve Rogers and Thanos feels me with murderous rage, he shows the least interesting bits of the story and "tells" the most interesting parts in flashbacks


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on September 14, 2015, 02:39:59 PM
Steve Rogers isn't even in Secret Wars as his "true" Marvel self, though. He's a bunch of echoes spread across Battleworld. Thanos is both himself and various "echoes", but the real Thanos has only just shown up in the main book. (Though he looks to be playing a crucial role in the upcoming, delayed #6).  I don't think Hickman has actually written Rogers since the event began, just in the books that preceded it. (There, I agree with you: in the pre-SW books that I'm catching up on now via Marvel Unlimited, Marvel can't seem to decide if Steve is a tough-minded pragmatist who will make hard but fair and moral decisions or a crazy idealist. Hickman in particular wrote Rogers almost as a guy with an almost-unhinged obsession with the Illuminati, reminding me a bit of Batman after the reveals of Identity Crisis over at DC.)

Thanos seems fine to me in the Cabal subplot before Secret Wars--there's one or two lines of dialogue that make very clear that he's biding his time, waiting for the chance to extinguish the multiverse and give Death her final gift. Since the members of the Cabal that just think they're ruthlessly preserving their prime reality (Namor, the Black Swan, and maybe Maximus and Terrax) wouldn't approve of killing all of reality, Thanos isn't about to say so.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Raguel on September 14, 2015, 04:29:23 PM
Thanos seems fine to me in the Cabal subplot before Secret Wars--there's one or two lines of dialogue that make very clear that he's biding his time, waiting for the chance to extinguish the multiverse and give Death her final gift. Since the members of the Cabal that just think they're ruthlessly preserving their prime reality (Namor, the Black Swan, and maybe Maximus and Terrax) wouldn't approve of killing all of reality, Thanos isn't about to say so.

I concede the CA point,I'm  just going to hold it against Hickman forever.

As far as Thanos goes Hickman is way off base. Thanos isn't giving Death anything she wasn't going to get, and from someone else to boot. Up to the issue I stopped reading Thanos was content  playing  the pawn in a game he didn't even understand. Thanos should have been looking at the big picture just like Doom was.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on September 14, 2015, 04:42:59 PM
To be fair, Thanos should have never been a part of the Cabal in the first place unless he'd been the one forming it. He doesn't play second bannana to anyone especially not a traitorous former Avenger. Of course, the idea of Namor forming the Cabal in the first place was even more idiotic.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on September 14, 2015, 06:57:16 PM
Thanos got returned to being a (somewhat motiveless) big bad for the Infinity series largely because the MCU is trying to sell him on the need. I don't think he's had any meaningful motive since they moved him back into the Big Bad slot after he "died" in the Cancerverse. I don't think they've even tried to give him a motive. We'll see what happens in next week's Secret Wars.

I liked the Namor and Black Panther hate each other subplotting but I agree that Namor forming the Cabal was kind of dumb. But I don't think it's at all inconsistent to have Thanos act like a second banana. Nobody who knows the character would say that, in fact. He's not at all the egomaniac that Doom is, or perhaps more to the point, is only that way *after* he gains ultimate power and self-sabotages. One of his most striking early appearances involved pretending to be Adam Warlock's friend and partner so he could siphon Warlock's soul gem. More recently, he served as second banana to Annihilus for reasons that are still somewhat unclear. For a giant purple-faced monster with god-like power, he has a long history of being a subtle schemer and strategically humbling himself when it suits his agenda.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Raguel on September 14, 2015, 09:30:55 PM
When he plays second banana it's usually because he has an ulterior motive. For example Death told him to study Annihilus because he was allegedly a better servant to Death. When Thanos discovers Anni's true plans he's outraged (imo out of jealousy, which is why I hate Hickman's version who is all too happy letting someone else get Death hot and bothered) and immediately turns on him. I'm not sure which  Magus story you're referring to but iirc in the original the Magus is Thanos' opposite (the avatar of life) but he was more powerful than Thanos, so Thanos tricks Adam into destroying the Magus). In the latest Thanos comics, including the one before Annihilation, it's been established that Thanos respects Adam and thinks of him as a friend.

Thanks also has moments when he plays the hero because he's nuts.



Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on September 14, 2015, 10:04:36 PM
Um, I am remembering a really different Annihilation apparently, where Thanos is still working with Annihilius when Drax bursts in and kills him. Didn't all the Death-told-him come later? And didn't we have (imho, much better) characterization work in Giffen's earlier story where Death meets Thanos at the Kyln and tells him, "Stop trying to kill everything you want to love me, death is something I get anyway."

Thanos allied himself to Warlock in one of his earliest appearances (basically his post-Cosmic Cube story arc) and did so partly out of fear of the Magus--but he says himself that Warlock is as much a champion of life as his alter ego might be.

This is the problem with the character--he's all over the fucking map, has almost no consistent characterization or motives, and every time someone makes some headway in trying to develop him, Jim Starlin comes in and says , "Everytihng everybody else did with my precious character is a lie" without doing anything else himself beyond returning him to where he started. So I don't see how I can fault Hickman for not getting him right, considering that there isn't any consistent "right". If "right" is "Demigod in love with Death" that's not in and of itself terribly interesting, and is barely differentiated from his model, Darkseid.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Raguel on September 14, 2015, 11:05:39 PM
The Kyln story  sort of leads into Annihilation. Starlin started a Thanos series but Giffen finished it. Before Drax kills  him Thanos gets Moondragon to read Annihilus' mind. Thanos is actually in the process of freeing Galactus when Drax shows up. (I remembered all that and can't find my keys or cell  :grin: ).

The point I'm trying to make is that the Thanos I know would have beaten Doom to the Beyonders instead of being their bitch.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on September 15, 2015, 09:52:10 AM
Again, I'm not so sure. "The End" isn't in continuity, but combine it with the Kyln series, the storyline where Thanos fights Hunger and Annihilation, and I think you could suggest that Thanos is kind of off the "seeking ultimate power" motivation, that he's learned that's not what he's about, even if he's still in love with Death. (This is leaving aside the recent attempt to rationalize his love for Death by suggesting that he might be insane and hallucinating about her.)  In Infinity, he's less about ultimate power, and more about killing any surviving children of his (perhaps because Death has set this as a precondition of their continued connection)--he's bit less cosmic, more unpredictable.

I kind of took this to be why Thanos is skeptical about Doom's claim to godhood in the most recent Secret Wars issue--he think that if Doom really were God, he wouldn't have the same frailities and obsessions any longer. Thanos and Reed Richards can both tell very quickly that Doom is still very much himself and quite mortal in his psychology and outlook (and Dr. Strange pretty much confirms that in the final conversation that he and Doom have). Which would explain a lot about Battleworld, too, and why it's so fragile and vulnerable to subversion--because it depends on Doom and on the Molecule Man, and if Doom loses his concentration or sense of balance, it all falls apart.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: jgsugden on September 15, 2015, 12:47:10 PM
So maybe they made such a mess of things before Secret Wars that the crazy crazy in Secret Wars doesn't seem so bad?


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on September 15, 2015, 01:36:49 PM
Well, that's almost what they're celebrating with all the minis: how messy and crazy Marvel's continuity has become over the years. Just before they wipe the slate somewhat clean and try to start again. It looks like they're filching selectively from alternative realities etc. for some of the elements they like best, since (for example) the Logan of the new Marvel Universe is going to be Old Man Logan. Also looks like they're going to be sensible about "who remembers what": I think most of the MU characters will remember at least something of the 616 continuity as it was, just as I think Miles Morales will remember that he originally came from another reality. (I'm being hopeful here: the biggest mistake DC made with Crisis on Infinite Earths was the muddle about who remembered what, and about trying to make everything fit as they kept rebooting. Hawkman is the best/worst example of that.)


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on September 15, 2015, 03:03:28 PM
The mainline 'plot' to Secret Wars is still utter shit that throws characterization away to forward the 'story', which is going to leave roughly no one satisfied with it's ending and most folks are going to go 'that's it?'. It's going to be the underwhelming of a century.


The real gems are all the little side books of the various what-if universes. Some are serious, some are goofy as shit, some are in between... but there is at least one book for everyone in this mess.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Raguel on September 15, 2015, 06:12:18 PM
I liked the Peter David books and a few others.

@Khakdun I didn't mean to suggest that Thanos (since Annihilation) is interested in gaining power. I'm saying he wouldn't sit back and watch someone else get that power, or destroy the multiverse. Also Infinity was also  by Hickman so that's just more proof Hickman sux. :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on September 15, 2015, 08:48:31 PM
Honestly, I like the main plot to Secret Wars. It's essentially a character piece for all the sturm und drang around it. Doom finally proved it: he's actually better than Reed Richards. He saved reality when Richards could only survive. But what if he has the power to restore what was? Where people wouldn't be dependent upon him  to keep reality intact? What if he had the power to be the kind of God who let people live without needing God to save them? Would he be that great? That much of a man?

The answer, hanging in the balance, very likely, is no. He's proved he's better than another man...but he's not better than All Men (and Women). And that's what you have to be to be God. I think that's where that's going, and I hope Doom is allowed to remember it all as he falls, like Lucifer, back down to being Just Another Man. To have had the chance to prove it--to be better than anyone. No one in your way. And--to have been good enough to save everything but not good enough to be better. You put out the fire, you killed the robber--but you weren't Good. Adds a lot of density to Doom as a character--even if the Fantastic Four don't appear in the new Marvel Universe much. Nothing worse than a man who had a chance, without obstacles, to prove that what he's always believed about himself is true, and fails to prove it.



Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Mattemeo on October 10, 2015, 03:15:06 PM
The entire event both confuses the everliving shit out of me and leaves me cold equally; however there's a few side-titles I'm interested in that I'm hoping will get collected.

Weirdworld looks amazing; Jason Aaron getting his Robert E. Howard on and Mike Del Mundo in full on Frazetta-mode? Fuck YES. I want this shit OVERSIZED, Marvel.

E is for Extinction - New X-men is one of my all time favourite comics runs and a What If? version of the first arc intruigues me.

A-Force has a character cast and a premise I find really interesting but I don't know how much I'll end up resenting the fact that it's tied to Secret Wars. Good creative team, though.

Either way I have to seriously wonder how or even if they're going to collect some of this stuff together - there's thousands of pages of this shit. I don't think they'll fit it all into one 'Secret Wars Companion' omnibus...


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on October 10, 2015, 07:34:30 PM
They will put each side series into it's own trade collection probably.

They are apparently selling very well.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on October 10, 2015, 08:02:37 PM
Weirdworld is very fascinating. I've also liked Siege a lot.

The main storyline continues to be surprisingly compelling and it makes me like Hickman's FF work a lot more retrospectively--I'm actually convinced that he's had this story in mind for 8-10 years. There's a lot of noise and bustle around it, but at its heart, the main arc is:

a) a very intimate exploration of Dr. Doom's entire character arc in Marvel to date, and a revelation of just how lonely he's been all along;
b) a strange but kind of moving celebration of the centrality of the Fantastic Four to Marvel's line even as the series prepares (I think) to sideline them for a good bit

There's also a kind of fun redoing of the first Secret Wars that makes it look better than it actually was--and a kind of sense that maybe this is what all the cosmic-level stuff at Marvel was always about (e.g., that superpowered humans at the end of the day were being groomed by cosmic beings like the Celestials as weapons against the Beyonders, and that this is also what stuff like the Infinity Gauntlet was about--backdoors built for hacking the work of gods).


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on October 11, 2015, 04:57:42 AM
The first post-SW books launched on Wednesday including:

All New, All Different Point One - This is an anthology issue using Contest of Champions (the new book not the old mini) as a framing story to introduce 6 of the books getting launched between now and January. It's perfectly ok with the main problem being that it introduces Contest of Champions a lot better than Contest of Champions #1 did which also released this week.

Contest of Champions #1 - The book takes place on the remains of Battleworld, with the Collector pulling together heroes and villains from the reestablished multiverse using the help of the Maestro to pick his team. This team must defeat the team picked by the Collector's opponent. The opponent might be Grandmaster but they don't say outright. The stakes are ill-defined save that all if all five members of a player's team are defeated, the player dies. The rules are also unclear, and don't seem to be explained to the heroes and villains who find themselves suddenly teleported into the middle of a fight either. Basically this book is a mess, and as I said above, what little I understand of the book's plot wasn't even established in this issue. There's no page at the beginning to summarize the premise, but they take the time to do a page at the end talking about the original Contest of Champions, mentioning the mobile game, and then explaining that some characters from this series will end up getting added to the mobile game. This just ends up feeling like a bad marketing tie-in.

Avengers #0 - Another anthology book, this one uses the Squadron Supreme as it's framing device and introduces the five Avengers books that will be launching (Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, New Avengers, A-Force, and Ultimates). Perfectly ok stuff.

Dr. Strange #1 - Never been a fan of Bachalo's art, although it's not entirely out of place in a book like this. Actually found myself liking this one a quite a bit though. Reminds me of some of the post-Midnight Sons Dr. Strange stuff from the 90's like when Warren Ellis stepped in to do a revamp which Marvel promptly canned three issues in.

Invincible Iron Man #1 - Started off a bit flat for me with the reveal of the new suit. The art is really good in places, but the issue is a bit dialogue heavy. Flipped back to the front to see who wrote it. Oh, Bendis, that explains it. Not too bad for a Bendis book but not something I'm particularly interested in reading more issues of.

Amazing Spider-man #1 - Dan Slott is still here writing Spider-man and this largely feels like a continuation of his run. Peter finally seems to be taking advantage of having his own company (this happened during Superior Spider-man for those who haven't been following). Much like Superior Spider-man he's got new gear for fighting villains including a new Spider-mobile and different web cartridges he can call up which have different effects (one shoots out electrified wires for instance). This is done under the cover of Spider-man being referred to as Peter Parker's bodyguard (prompting a reporter to ask if doesn't just make him a poor man's Tony Stark), with things additional being covered up by the Prowler occasionally acting as Spider-man when Peter and Spider-man need to be seen at the same time. It's a different status quo for Spider-man and Slott has shown that he can run with those for a couple years and keep it interesting. He's also starting to pick up some plot threads regarding Otto in this issue which I'm looking forward to.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on October 11, 2015, 02:10:03 PM
Still on the fence about Dr. Strange. The internal "voice" doesn't seem quite right, but I appreciate the attempt to do some reboot on Strange's magic and the magic of the Marvel Universe. I also was reminded of the Midnight Sons Dr. Strange, which I rather liked even before Ellis (the arc about Salome).

I made the mistake of picking up Iron Man and had the exact same reaction--read through it, was like, "Man, I didn't like that dialogue or characterization", and then yeah, noticed it was Bendis. Also there was some really badly done panel layouts that made it ultra-confusing to read in spots.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on October 11, 2015, 03:06:27 PM
I tend to be a little more forgiving with Dr. Strange's characterization because I think getting an interesting tone for the book is more important. I'd actually like some more bizarre takes on Strange himself, rather than typical Strange who is often just written like a regular superhero who just happens to use magic. I get what you mean though. Especially with references to Strange nailing tons of women, and having read Spider-man this week also, it felt a bit like every hero is trying to be like Tony Stark in some respect right now.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on November 02, 2015, 08:35:21 AM
The first issue of this finally came to Unlimited (though I had to search the Internet for a torrent of the Free-but-hey-let's-not-release-this-digitally-anywhere #0) and I read it. #0 does do a decent job of recapping where we are, though it gives us none of the Beyonder stuff, meaning all we know if you haven't been following New Avengers is that incursions are happening, but not why. None of the Doom stuff - which I take it is also pretty goddamn important. #1 was a big chaotic mess of fighting for no good reason.

One thing this clusterfuck has made me do is go back and start reading Ultimate Fantastic Four to try to figure out why Ultimate Reed Richards has become a 1000-year old megalomaniac villain. I'm about halfway through the first series and I can't say it's all that great.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 02, 2015, 10:34:27 AM
I think Ultimate Fantastic Four was the weakest of the major reboots--it never really had a good moment, let alone the great stuff in Ultimate Spider-Man. I just don't think they sorted out the question, "What stories do we want to tell about these guys that we never could in the main MU?"


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on November 12, 2015, 04:47:06 AM
Issue #7 of Secret Wars is an absolute mess. Hope you read (and remember what happened in) the right tie-in books to have it make any sense. Also even if you did read them, there's no stakes to the big battle scene that makes up this issue because it's acknowledged as just being a diversion, and there isn't a single important character involved. I can't be bothered to give a shit about the normal versions of Apocalypse, Sinister, or the Goblin Queen let alone alternate versions of them, and Maestro's appearance flat out contradicts the end of Future Imperfect (it could be another Maestro but then it's even harder to care).

I probably read about 90% of the Secret War minis and even I find this issue jarring. That part of the reason for the delays and the extra issue is because Hickman decided this conflict couldn't fit into just one issue pretty much confirms for me that the last couple issues of this are going to be a train wreck. Shame since for a while there in the middle the story wasn't too bad.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 12, 2015, 06:19:15 AM
Haven't read it yet but this is too bad. I guess this is where it's hard to sustain a good story in the middle of these things no matter what.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on November 12, 2015, 06:34:19 AM
There was never a good story is the problem. It likes to tell me it's a good story, but that doesn't make it true.

It might have been a interesting idea or concept, but its execution and delivery were at BEST mediocre. A bullet list of 'cool ideas' shoved onto paper is not in of itself a epic saga. Endless escalation does not make a compelling story. Ignoring characterization in order to push forward 'the plot' doesn't make a good story. The plot itself is nothing but endless holes and loose threads and yet more threads being added with little to not payout or even discovery.

My reaction to the main line book of the entire MU's destruction and rebirth shouldn't be "oh, this is still going on?"  :oh_i_see:



The side books were fun and entertaining though, and it's a decent (if clumsy) plot device to rearrange the universe and all that. The mainline book just needs to be fucking over sooner rather then later, I've utterly run out of fucks to give about it and I had very few to begin with.



Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on November 12, 2015, 07:37:31 AM
I liked Age of Apocalypse. At their best, I find that alternate reality stories are like playing with action figures as a kid. Characters who are normally heroes can be villains, villains can be heroes, characters can die, characters that are dead in the normal reality can still be alive, and even through there aren't usually any real long term ramifications, if you look at the story as a self-contained thing, it can be good in its own right. Secret Wars as a Doom focused AoA story wasn't bad and there have been some really good tie-in books in this event, but once Hickman got past the setup he hasn't seemed to have much idea what to do with the story.

I didn't follow most of the Avengers lead up to Secret Wars but the bits I've read and the important stuff reiterated in SW in a lot of ways make Doom the hero (of sorts). Everything was fucked, and the only reason anything survived was because of him. He might not be the greatest ruler, and it's pretty creepy of him to make Reed's wife and kids his own instead, but overall he seems to be doing what he can with a less than ideal situation. There's rumblings some of the tie-ins that Doom is a tyrant but they don't really get much into what he does that's so horrible aside from just being an authority figure, which is why Hickman needs to have him kill Strange. That's the Black Goliath moment of SW. In Civil War the pro-reg logically made a lot more sense than the anti-reg side so they needed to manufacture reasons why we should sympathize with side that was pushing for unrestricted vigilante justice. To that end they had the pro-reg side cook up a Thor clone which murdered Black Goliath. Thematically it had nothing to do with argument between the two sides, it was just there because the pro-reg side couldn't be seen as the right one. Likewise in SW they aren't confident in their abilities to address Doom's control of what's left of reality on any sort of moral or philosophical level so they have him murder the closest thing he has to a friend as that sort of blinding "This guy is the villain!" sign.

Even that wouldn't be a complete deal breaker though, but the main problem is that the story has become jumbled and incoherent in the most recent issues. If you're just reading the main series, going from issue #6 to #7 feels like there's chapters missing. The dramatic reveal on the first couple pages is the identity of the Prophet. Now this is a character who wasn't really even mentioned until an issue or two ago and didn't feature particularly prominently. Now he's got an army more or less at Doom's doorstep although he himself is taken our fairly quickly. Then we have an army of Mr. Sinisters and a version of Captain Marvel who switch sides in the middle of battle and attack the Goblin Queen. Goblin Queen asks why and Sinister tellers her that betrayal is Captain Marvel's schtick but that doesn't have any context for people who are just reading SW. Whose side are any of them on and why does it matter? No fucking idea. I think it might have been partly covered in the Inferno mini, but that was so bad and forgettable I honestly couldn't tell you even though I read it. Apocalypse and Holocaust show up and attack Sinister. Again there's no clear explanation of who is fighting for what. From dialogue a few pages later it sounds like Apocalypse is fighting on Doom's side. The Thors show up and turn against Doom because of stuff that happens in the Thors mini. Then Maestro shows up with a bunch of Hulks. Once again, I have no idea whose side they're own and who they're fighting because when the Hulks land on the ground and attack, there's nobody else in the panel with them (there's a Hulk literally swinging at nothing in the last panel of the sequence).

The last bit is Black Panther and Namor. Black Panther breaches the Shield wall to let the dead through (an act which is diminished a bit because we've seen the wall breached three or four times in the various mini's already) and then they somehow convince the zombies to fight against Doom. It's implied that Black Panther is using some sort of mind control on them, possibly through the Infinity Gauntlet he picked up last issue but which is only supposed to work where Doom's castle is. There's some talk about Black Panther being the King of the Dead, but of course I have no clue if this refers to some plot thread from some other book, or possibly something in the Avengers stuff leading up to SW. I've read every issue of SW before this and as I said, a lot of the tie-ins and even I had trouble following a lot of what was going on in this issue. For someone picking up a TPB down the line, it's going to be indecipherable.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 12, 2015, 09:00:17 AM
Wow, that does sound like a mess. The Shield wall was breached in Siege (which I enjoyed) in rather dramatic fashion (and at the end of #6) so to do it again is Who Cares?

I think in an odd way that I would have rather the main story stay small and intimate in its fashion: a character study of Doom and Reed Richards and their relationship. That's what I was liking in the series so far. Doom is a guy who has several times in his career actually gotten his wish and ruled the world and he's never been satisfied with it. In one case, he had everyone breath in a gas that made them obedient to his will and he got bored with it and let Magneto and the Beast overturn it. What Doom has typically said is that the world is not enough--that he has to keep going, getting more power. That's a sign of someone who has a hole at the heart of his being, an absence, that he can't face or even acknowledge.

So with the first 5 issues and in the run up to Secret Wars, I thought Hickman did a pretty good job of saying: here is a guy who has at last come to the end of keeping going and getting more power. He has all the power there is, but it's only a power to keep shit together. It's the power of responsibility. And what does Doom do first with that power? Take what Reed Richards acquired through being responsible and caring: a family. I thought that was what was nice about Doom's inability to heal his own face: he knows he hasn't earned any of this through the hard work of being a responsible, caring adult. He got it through the equivalent of a magic wand. And he likes having it. That's a great story hook: he sees what it's like to *be* Reed Richards. To have men fight for you because they want to, to have a wife love you because she admires you, to have gifted children look up to you because you're responsible to them, to have Stephen Strange be your friend and comrade-at-arms because he respects your strength and decisiveness, to have good people literally worship you because you kept the world alive and keep it alive even still.

The thing I liked so far was that not only was all that going on, you could see Hickman planting the seed that Doom was basically terrified of the future--he was finding it hard to look ahead to an eternal life of keeping all of reality safe and intact and yet was terrified to do anything that might make reality once again independent. Scared of being God Doom, scared of not being God Doom (and thus not being a husband and father). No wonder he was looking for Reed Richards: in a funny way, who can save Doom from that impossible dilemma but the furious efforts of his worst enemy to change the status quo? I still hope before the end that Reed Richards and Doom have a reckoning that isn't the usual punchathon but is actually a conversation that changes the status quo between them.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on November 12, 2015, 11:28:54 AM
I haven't read past Secret Wars #1 because nothing's on Unlimited yet, but as for Black Panther being King of the Dead - I know a lot of times in New Avengers, he communed with the previous Black Panthers/Kings of Wakanda who were ghosts in the City of the Dead in Wakanda. Though how that elevates him to king of all the dead - Hickman? During his time on Avengers/New Avengers, he did a whole lot of shit where he'd just have someone show up with an entirely new status quo (like Cannonball and Smasher's baby and Sunspot owning AIM), then have a different (better) writer come in and do a flash back story to explain it in a different book (this is what the last half of Avengers World was).


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 12, 2015, 04:11:37 PM
Yeah, this is what Hickman largely did with the Black Panther in the last four years of stories in New Avengers combined with some of what happened in the Panther's own book. He abdicated his throne in favor of his sister and became a sort of high priest or servant of the Panther God and the Nekropolis below Wakanda, speaking with the dead of his own lineage and the dead of his people.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Margalis on November 18, 2015, 08:23:24 AM
I've never really gotten Black Panther - he strikes me as just a lame, black Batman knockoff.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 18, 2015, 02:32:46 PM
Man. No way. He's actually a pretty original character if you stick to the Kirby originals and then some of the Priest and Hudlin books later. In between, yeah, he's kind of generic black Batman when folks who don't know how to deal with the character had to write him. That's what he sometimes has been in the Avengers. The original conception is a sort of awesome, positive riff on the Edgar Rice Burroughs/H. Rider Haggard "secret city in the heart of Africa" trope--rather than that being a place that some studly white guy "discovers" (and then usually rips off/destroys), it's a place that has its own futuristic technology and its own distinctive hero/king. The Panther when he's written right is basically a bundle of great contradictions: liberator/aristocrat, global outsider/ultimate insider, quiet but arrogant, mystically powered/self-made. The Priest Black Panther was great for the first 20+ issues, and I liked Hudlin's original story arc, not so much later. I think Hickman's been writing him well--the Panther makes an interesting contrast/comparison to Namor, Doom and Reed Richards, the other kings and "ubermenschen" in the Marvel Universe.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on November 18, 2015, 08:21:27 PM
BP isn't a Batman rip off, but he does have the same borderline Mary Sue/Plot Armor that Batman usually has. The whole win any fight with PLANNING!


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 18, 2015, 08:36:54 PM
That much is true. I can buy it once or twice but it gets annoying when any writer working on the Panther always wants him to be silently strongly mysteriously eight steps ahead of everyone else. Part of the problem is also that his Rogues' Gallery is just completely stupid. It's basically a dude with a sonic claw who is normally portrayed as a greedbag idiot; five or six people who want the Panther's throne; a couple of African baddies who are as stereotypically non-Wakandan/Panther as they can manage, and that's about it.

Man, now that I've read it, 100% agree on how bad the latest Secret Wars book (#7) is. Totally loses the thread of the story to date, incoherent plotting. Major disappointment.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on November 19, 2015, 05:07:50 AM
I've already said this but SW is going to end with such a fizzle, leaving everyone going 'whelp, I guess that's it?'.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on November 19, 2015, 05:21:54 AM
I've already said this but SW is going to end with such a fizzle, leaving everyone going 'whelp, I guess that's it?'.

Given that it's ending months after the post-SW books have launched, people have already stopped caring what happens. Of course the last couple issues will still be the top selling comics of the months they release in, and they'll still get bafflingly good reviews.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 19, 2015, 06:33:18 AM
I honestly liked #2-6 of the main book.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on November 24, 2015, 12:26:18 PM
I've been reading some of the ancillary books out this week on Unlimited and while some of them are interesting "What-If?" stories, the whole thing feels incredibly disjointed. Reading Secret Wars #2 didn't help as it gave me absolutely no explanation for how or why Doom created this Battleworld thing. Last we saw Doom, he was getting his shit kicked in by the Beyonders, then we got the battle in New York and Richards life boat crashing somewhere and then GOD DOOM.

... the fuck?


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on November 24, 2015, 01:43:23 PM
The side books have almost no tie in at all with the main line SW books. They are purely just fun what-if scenarios taking advantage of the SW situation.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on November 24, 2015, 01:55:11 PM
Which explains why they feel so disjointed.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on November 24, 2015, 02:56:46 PM
Well, they're meant to be, which I think is sort of a mercy, e.g., to be just fun mash-ups on their own with often minimal service to the central plotline.

As far as how Doom made Battleworld, that's basically the "mystery" of the main plot--both how he did it and why he did it/what Battleworld is.

To date, what they've established is:

a) Doom blew up the Beyonders using the remaining multiversal Molecule Men and stealing their power (essentially a scaled up version of what he pulled off in the first Secret Wars series many moons ago). Stephen Strange had a chance to share the power but declined because he couldn't handle the responsibility of deciding what fragments of the existing realities to save, but agreed to work with Doom in the reality that Doom created.
b) Doom grabbed the Future Foundation kids and the rest of the Fantastic Four out of the part of Reed's ship that broke off from the main liferaft, and 'adopted' them.
c) Doom is keeping the Molecule Man around and hidden under his floating castle--nobody but Strange knows he's there. It's implied heavily that the Molecule Man is important for the continued existence of reality. (I think basically because he's the last unexploded bomb of the Beyonders.)
d) Doom is feeling guilty about something--I think at the least about 'stealing' the rest of the FF, but I suspect also about a secret about Battleworld--and so his face is still unhealed despite his omnipotence.
e) Doom has the powers of God but he can't act because? it's implied that somehow if he becomes too involved, Battleworld's existence might be imperiled. Implies that he's probably having to concentrate all the time on just keeping it in existence. He uses Strange and the Thors to enforce his will instead. I think he's made it like Battleworld because he has no more than fragments of various alternative futures, other dimensions, etc., to work with, but also because it keeps his subjects from hassling him too much (they're too busy hassling each other).
f) I suspect that what we're going to find out is that he could potentially 'reboot' a Marvel reality that would exist independent of his will any time, but he's too attached to his own omnipotence and too afraid of losing Sue, Valeria, the Future Foundation kids, the esteem of the universe, etc., to do it, and it's probably risky even if he wants to try. 


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on November 24, 2015, 03:16:27 PM
Ok, so at least my confusion is intentional? Yay Hickman?


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on November 24, 2015, 06:20:35 PM
'Intentional' yes.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on December 01, 2015, 04:06:11 PM
Some of the Secret Wars side books are interesting. I actually dug Old Man Logan despite HATING Wolverine as a character. Where Monsters Dwell seems fun. Inhumans: Attilan Rising seems decent, and Ultimate End at least seems to have some connection to the main Secret Wars book. Some of them though... I just don't know why they exist. Infinity Gauntlet? ... the fuck?


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on December 01, 2015, 05:48:08 PM
They exist because why not? If a creator had a decent pitch it got tossed in, since it was all irrelevant to the mainline setting and the actual event.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: palmer_eldritch on December 10, 2015, 11:23:55 AM
They all seem to involve alternate world versions of characters who have lost their memories and are thrown together in some sort of temporary Doomworld which you know didn't exist in the past and won't exist in the future so I find it hard to care about them. Nothing that happens matters.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on December 10, 2015, 11:42:28 AM
In some sense nothing in any Marvel or DC comic really matters if it changes the status quo substantially. They'll always reboot etc. to restore the baseline. I don't know if I can think of a Marvel or DC character who really, really changed because of something in the linear storytelling going on in a comic book where that change was permanent and profound. I can think of a few characters who have evolved so much that they've got almost nothing to do with their original presentation, but that's sometimes less about a "consequential storyline" and more about the original approach being so hilariously out-of-date that no one has a desire to reboot to that status quo. (Like a lot of the Cold War anti-Communism that Stan Lee used to put into Marvel books in the 1960s and early 1970s.) 


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: palmer_eldritch on December 10, 2015, 11:57:46 AM
Yeah I know but the Battleworld stories don't even take place on worlds which are real within the fictional universe, and the people in them are not real people (even within the storyline) in the sense that they have temporarily lost their memories and are acting out a fiction based on the false memories they've got instead.

It's not about whether there are any profound changes that last. What happens in the Battleword stories doesn't really matter to any of the characters concerned even within the 24 page book you're reading at the time.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on December 10, 2015, 12:05:33 PM
Yeah. I think they're mostly fun only if you like the setting/storyline it's invoking or if the writers are really masterful at establishing characters through short, intense sketches. The Captain America-barbarian who is hunting the Red Hulk did a good job with that; so did the Siege book. Mostly, yes, it feels weightless and even the characters don't feel like they care that much.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on January 13, 2016, 03:32:59 PM
The last issue of this is finally out apparently?

All early signs point to 'meh'.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 13, 2016, 03:51:48 PM
The previous two were also just a mess. Just very badly paced--it's an almost-intimate character study and then there's all this hullaballoo that barely makes narrative sense.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on January 14, 2016, 06:51:09 AM
The last issue of this is finally out apparently?

All early signs point to 'meh'.

It's a step up from the previous two issues in that it isn't completely incoherent in parts and there's only 4 pages of Black Panther stuff and maybe some of the FF stuff that don't have any context for me because I haven't read Hickman's entire runs of FF and Avengers. Maybe if they hadn't spent those last two issues on meaningless fights with absolutely no stakes involving characters nobody cares about, they could have given the Richards/Doom conflict at the heart of this issue room to breathe as well as the reset of the MU. Instead, the payoff here doesn't feel earned.


Basically this book desperately wants to be the last word on the Reed/Doom dynamic but has to take so many shortcuts to get there in the end that nothing feels earned. Likewise it doesn't earn bringing back the MU either because the solution is stupidly simple. It's a story that had potential but ended with Hickman once again planting his head up his own ass and then trying to take us all on a tour of it. The result is that a book with the job of ending and restarting the MU ends up feeling like one writer's attempt to tie up a bunch of his old plotlines.



Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Ironwood on January 14, 2016, 07:35:33 AM
That sounds awful.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on January 14, 2016, 10:04:31 AM
Fuck's sake, that sounds terrible. But it goes back to something I've been saying for a while now, all the top writers at Marvel FUCKING HATE Reed Richards with the white-hot passion of the sun. They clearly cannot stand the character and it shows in their writing.


It's pretty sad because I've been reading just about all of the Secret Wars "What If?" books and there's some good stories in there. However, all the good is completely invalidated by that thought in the back of my mind that says "This book is going to have about as much effect on these characters' futures as a fart has in a windstorm." You know any good book you like out of there is going to be wiped away. Squadron Sinister in particular has been really good but you just know we won't get anything about these characters in this setup again.

And that's not even going into the macguffin that allows Doom to somehow have enough power to put multiple copies of insanely powerful characters like Silver Surfer and Hyperion into multiple different Battleworld regions, or to create and control the Thors. Honestly, if it was Molecule Man's powers that allowed him to do all that, it makes everything done with Molecule Man for 40 years make no sense, including his problems at the end of Secret Wars 2.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: jgsugden on January 14, 2016, 01:27:03 PM
Coming to Theatres in 2024?


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: eldaec on January 14, 2016, 01:31:41 PM
Kind of surprised they didn't use this to finally wall the mutants off in a separate continuity.

Apart from the MCU issue, they have never really made sense in the same world as the Avengers.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on January 14, 2016, 01:57:20 PM
They made sense back when they were a really good allegory for racism and then later for homophobia. But these days? Yeah, making mutants hated and feared while Spider-Man drops armored trucks on Rhino in Times Square is really kind of dumb.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on January 14, 2016, 02:30:48 PM
Fuck's sake, that sounds terrible. But it goes back to something I've been saying for a while now, all the top writers at Marvel FUCKING HATE Reed Richards with the white-hot passion of the sun. They clearly cannot stand the character and it shows in their writing.

I think it was the exact opposite problem with Secret Wars and all it's lead up. Hickman hijacked the entirety of the Marvel Universe to attempt to write a love letter to Reed Richards 'superiority'.

If you weren't named Reed or Doom, your characterization, plot lines and stories were all thrown out or put on hold or twisted to serve the Reed/Doom hate-fuck.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 14, 2016, 03:33:01 PM
It's not quite as bad as you'd think,


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Fordel on January 14, 2016, 05:23:32 PM
They're laying out the new cosmic in the Ultimates book, with Panther, the Marvels and Chavez.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 14, 2016, 05:47:38 PM
Yeah.

The more cynical position on the whole thing btw would be to say  "Hey, Fantastic Four, we're parking you in Limbo until we get the rights back. Except not the Thing, because he's too much fun."


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on January 14, 2016, 05:57:33 PM
I like my explanation better. None of our new grim-dark-y focused star writers like or know how to create good Fantastic Four stories so suck on this, old fogies. Also, movie rights.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on January 14, 2016, 06:04:06 PM
It's not quite as bad as you'd think,




Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 14, 2016, 08:23:27 PM


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on January 14, 2016, 10:33:04 PM
Thing is, where do you go with the characters (Reed and Doom) from here? That was the problem with Hickman's FF stuff. Once you've gone and created a council of 1000 Reeds doing transformative works in other dimensions and fighting and killing insane Celestials, anything you do with the character after that is pedestrian. And you can't get much more over the top than God Doom. How do you ever even have a good comic story with the character after this? It would probably work a lot better as a What If mini series than as the tone-setter for the next 5-year arc of an entire comics line.

Which has pretty much been the problem with every single one of their "status quo changing" crossover events. They are so over the top, going back to monthly comics seems pedestrian even though the stories in them are much better.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 14, 2016, 10:57:13 PM
Well, yeah. The only way to make Reed Richards ever work again, for example, is going to have to involve him surrendering his universe-making duties and some kind of amnesia/forgetting to follow it.

Doom I think you could go either do a good five or six years of him trying to basically be a good ruler and decent man and getting constantly fucked with by fate--sort of like an old What If? they did years and years ago or you could have him be like the washed-up quarterback who won the Super Bowl once, which would eventually give him the motivation to turn back to the dark side of things.

Or, I could imagine something really balls-out. Like, what if Doom became Iron Man for a while? Or vice-versa, he became the CEO of Stark Industries and Stark/Iron Man became an actual bodyguard for once? I dunno, I could see something in there that would be a bit like the Superior Spider-Man/SpOck, bringing Doom for a while onto the side of the good guys but with a lot of tension about just when he'd lose his shit.

But they need to put "cosmic power" off limits for all their characters for a while and keep things relatively low-key. I think a lot of Marvel's stories need to get back down to Earth, so to speak.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Velorath on January 15, 2016, 12:49:53 AM
I think Doom, when he wasn't being written as an over-the-top evil villain was a perfectly good character that didn't really need a reworking. "Gains ultimate power just to subconsciously realize he doesn't really want/deserve it" is just a retread of Thanos.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 15, 2016, 06:23:52 AM
True enough, though Marvel forgot about that pretty quick. There was an interesting little bit in the miniseries when Thanos more or less said as much to Doom.

I do like it when villains have a bit of movement in their character arcs. Magneto's evolution was pretty inspired. It makes for more interesting stories when the villain actually has some sympathetic or vaguely righteous dimensions. It's what makes Loki in the MCU far more interesting than the old comic-book Loki, even when better writers like Simonson were working with him.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: jgsugden on January 15, 2016, 10:22:44 AM
I think Doom, when he wasn't being written as an over-the-top evil villain was a perfectly good character that didn't really need a reworking. "Gains ultimate power just to subconsciously realize he doesn't really want/deserve it" is just a retread of Thanos.
And Emperor Doom.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on January 15, 2016, 12:45:26 PM
Well, right, that's my point--he's actually done this schtick before quite a few times, and it's almost always the same. On at least three occasions, he's gained control of earth through mind-control and he's sometimes used mind-control of some kind against individuals as well. And he almost always backs away or gives it up. But there's a pretty crucial difference between Doom and Thanos in this respect.

Thanos gains power so he can impress Death, and then typically throws it away because he either realizes there's nothing he can do to impress Death, or because he ultimately finds the almost abstract universal perspective of a godlike being to be too intangible--that the closer he gets to Death herself, the less motivated he feels about living.

Doom gains power because ultimately he wants people to admire and respect his talents and abilities. He wants people to let him be in charge because he's the best at leading and doing and making. He doesn't want to be a god, really, he wants to be a unanimously elected king. But mindcontrol is a short-cut and dishonest and he knows it. Doom has a hang-up about honesty and honor underneath the surface. He's read his Machiavelli and knows that the quicker way to power is to be feared rather than loved, but he'd rather be loved--without having to be loveable. So I don't mind that he does this schtick again and again, because it's deeply rooted in the character. But I do like the idea that one day he'd just completely run out of excuses because he had it all and still couldn't have the courage to take a chance on others, to depend on others, to come clean and earn respect rather than use some power or technology to steal it.

(The Red Skull, on the other other hand, tends to drop the ball because he's too much of a petty sadist--he gets hung up on wanting to grind his enemies faces into the mud to pay attention to the demands of ultimate power.)


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: HaemishM on July 14, 2016, 02:06:53 PM
Unlimited finally got the last issue of this. It did not disappoint in how disappointing the whole thing was. The ending might as well have been "We don't have film rights to the Fantastic Four so fuck them. Also fuck Reed Richards, he's a dick. And let's remove all the interesting bits of the Future Foundation too because we made them all too goddamn smart and powerful and don't know how to justify them anymore. Also did I mention fuck the Fantastic Four? Those guys are super lame-o."

Such a shame that 1) Ribic, a fantastic artist, was wasted on such a piss poorly written series and 2) some really interesting story ideas are basically fart in the wind What If stories now.


Title: Re: Secret Wars (2015)
Post by: Khaldun on July 14, 2016, 02:59:42 PM
I really liked it up to issue #5 and then it just went all to pieces. It was at best a tight character study of Richards and Doom, not a gigantic event that could support all sorts of shit going on.