I’m back baby! With a completely dated look at all things Secret Wars. In this part we’ll examine Secret Wars #2, and two “Last Days” issues: Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #8 and Magneto #18.
Also, if you are like me and haven’t read all of Johnathon Hickman’s Avengers run leading up to Secret Wars, be sure to take Tom’s Road To Secret Wars course at gabbinggeekuniversity.com. The reading materials are online here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six and Part Seven.
And that course is a prerequisite to the other parts of this series: Part One
Secret Wars #2
aka Too Many Thors.
With the conclusion of Secret Wars #1, the Marvel and Ultimate universes are no more. In their place, a single planet has emerged. Latverion. Better known to us, and the marketing department, as Battleworld.
We are introduced to a contingent of Thors who enforce the laws of God across all kingdoms of Battleworld. And that God we now know to be Doom. Doom who sits on his throne, dressed all in white. He talks very little, allowing his subordinates to do the dirty work. The highest ranking of which appears to be the Sheriff of Agamatto. A twisted variation on Dr. Strange. Fitting since Strange was with Doom at the end.
If you’ve been following the Marvel pre-hype for this event you know that Battleworld is made up of numerous zones (or “kingdoms” as they are generally called here). Each of which mostly represent a mega crossover event that I spent way too much money on. But it is this new realm of Doomstadt which gives me pause. So here’s Doom and a twist on Dr. Strange, and Galactus and others. The story line and interactions between characters as a trail of Mr. Sinister unfolds made me feel like I was reading just another alternate timeline story ala House of M or the like. Everything is completely different yet familiar.
Which is fine, but for me, seemed to zap the story of any strength. There is very much a feeling of “been there, done that”. Many of the Kingdom’s get introduced or eluded to, and the issue ends with the now familiar Battleworld map that has been floating around since last year.
It will be interesting to see how the different zones interact throughout all the crossover books and what the Marvel Universe looks like at the end of this series, but the real interest this issue is with the aspects that continue Hickman’s story. Remember that surviving “raft” we saw at the conclusion of issue one? The assumption made by myself (and probably many others) was that it belonged to Reed Richards and his gang of 616 survivors. When in fact it turns out to be Ultimate Reed Richards and the 616 Cabal. It seems they stole the plans for the raft and built one for themselves. Now this turn of events gets my attention. These are not twisted versions of these characters. Or alternate versions from previous Marvel events or story lines. These are the current incarnations of these characters that have survived the end of the universe.
And if their raft survived, I think it is a safe assumption that 616 Reed and his cast of characters did as well. Especially since they all appear on the cover of Secret Wars #3.
Captain America And The Mighty Avengers #8
As has been covered on this site previously, there are three veins of Secret Wars tie-ins. “Last Days” branded books are intended to cover the final days of the 616 universe as the countdown is on to the final incursion. The first of these books deals with the Mighty Avengers.
A good portion of this book involves Steve Rogers stopping by to recruit the Mighty Avengers team for their appearance in New Avengers #28. If you have been reading MA and only MA, you’ll probably appreciate the 9+ pages of Old Cap recapping Hickman’s entire run so far.
The rest of the book follows some of our heroes as they try to make amends with their estranged families and pages of news broadcasts that show that the general populace of the 616 knew the end was coming months before it occurred. Something I don’t remember reading elsewhere. If anything, the opposite has been stated.
The final third of the book revolves around a heated argument between Illuminati members Reed Richards and Black Panther and MA members Blue Marvel and former Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau. They are NOT happy with the way the Illuminati have handled things. Leaving the fate of billions in the hands of just five people. And if any of them survive this, the Illuminati will have hell to pay.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Magneto does not feel fine. Another “Last Days” issue finds Magneto and his daughter Polaris teaming up to try to save their Earth. A weakened (for reasons you will have to ask someone else) Magneto draws on the magnetic powers of the Earth itself to help save the people of New York from falling debris.
The counterpoint to the events currently unfolding are a series of flashbacks that find Illuminati member Namor and Magento sharing their thoughts and philosophies about their hatred of the non-mutant surface dwellers. Namor also comes to Magneto at times when his powers are waning or have nearly killed him, to remind Magneto how mighty he is and that he will find a way.
Namor’s last piece of advice is that he finds it helpful to picture the other worlds during the incursions as direct threats to the people of Atlantis. And that Magento should do the same, to see them as enemies of mutantkind. Magneto takes this to heart, and the Ultimate Earth makes it all that much easier by sending in Sentinels.