Because Secret Wars clearly didn’t have enough tie-ins, Marvel went and added some one shots.
Ant-Man: Last Days, was basically the last issue of the 616 Ant-Man series and I’m not sure besides the almighty dollar why it was a #1 and not just the next numbered issue.
Secret Wars Secret Love, was basically a sister of the other two anthology books Secret Wars Battleworld and Secret Wars Journal. Besides the love theme, there’s no reason the stories couldn’t have been incorporated into one of those books.
After the cut I’ll look at the remaining one shots: Howard The Human #1, Hank Johnson Agent Of Hydra #1, Secret Wars Agents Of Atlas #1 and…Secret Wars Too???
Be sure to check out our latest Secret Wars Power Rankings, which also features links to the other parts of my read through.
Howard The Human #1
The whole concept of Marvel’s Howard The Duck is that he is a talking duck in a world full of humans. So let’s flip that on it’s head and make Howard a human, in a world full of talking animals.
There’s way too much going on for me to break down the plot of the issue. Howard is a private investigator and outcast due to the whole “only human in New Quack City” thing. The book is a comedic noir mystery as Howard has to solve a murder, find a snitch and keep himself from getting knocked off by the mob and…ninja monkeys?
In true Marvel tradition the book features animal plays on their heroes and villains like Peter Parker, Matt Murdock, Black Cat and Wilson Fisk. It is smartly written by Skottie Young and has a unique look courtesy of artist Jim Mahfood. It’s definitely worth your time to check out.
Hank Johnson Agent Of Hydra #1
We’ve had several discussions about Hank Johnson here on Gabbing Geek. I thought it was ok with some funny moments. Ryan thinks it is the greatest comic in the history of the world. It’s probably somewhere inbetween.
As for the issue itself, it centers on, you guessed it, Hank Johnson. Hank is your everyday schmoe, working the 9-5 gig as a Hydra nobody. You know those nameless guys who Nick Fury or Captain America pound into a pulp in about two seconds before facing the real big bad? Hank’s one of those guys. At the end of the day, Hank heads home and deals with the complexities of his family life just like the rest of us.
There’s really not much else for me to write up and Ryan has already done an excellent job of it when the book first came out.
Secret Wars Agents Of Atlas #1
Ok, I know nothing about Atlas. I have no idea who those two are on the cover. Apparently they are Jimmy Woo and Gorilla-Man. I had to look that up.
Woo apparently pre-dates Marvel and appeared in the 1950’s in Atlas Comics. He’s floated around the Marvel Universe since the late 60’s, mostly as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and leader of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team called the Agents of Atlas. He also starred in Marvel’s Godzilla series in the late 70’s, so there’s that.
Gorilla-Man and the rest of the Agents of Atlas are all also pre-Marvel characters from the Atlas days that became a team in the Marvel U because reasons. They seem to pop up in crossovers or with their own mostly unsuccessful series from time to time. I’m not sure what Marvel execs were smoking to pull this out of nowhere to include in Secret Wars. But, it’s better than a lot of the “known” stuff, so we shouldn’t complain.
In the previously unmentioned domain of…well…I’ll let Marvel’s credit page fill you in:
So, Zemo runs S.H.I.E.L.D. and the “Agents of Atlas” (or the “Atlas Foundation”) in this domain are actually a growing group of rebels that are banding together to rise up against Zemo and his tyrannical rule. When Jimmy Woo goes missing, Agent Phil Coulson (I think this series was created in part to give Coulson something to do and plug their upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. book) reveals himself as a sympathizer to the cause. He volunteers to help Atlas rescue Jimmy, whom they believe is being held captive by Zemo.
After breaking into Zemo’s castle the agents find Jimmy, but Gorilla-Man is killed by Zemo’s son Helmut. What Helmut doesn’t know is that being Gorilla-Man is a curse and if you kill Gorilla-Man, well, you become Gorilla-Man.
In the ensuing battle against Henrich Zemo’s army of Weapon X’s, Coulson is shot by Zemo, his betrayal now common knowledge. Zemo is quickly disposed of shortly after however in a manner that makes you wonder how it was never done sooner by Atlas. The character Venus is a siren and she easily makes Zemo fall in love with her and do whatever she wants. Like, say, walk off the edge of the roof of his castle.
With his death, Monkey Helmut (man that is a great name for a band) becomes the new Baron. The Agents of Atlas suggest that he be a better Baron than his father was and if he wasn’t, they would be watching and ready to stop him.
Secret Wars Too #1
So a funny thing happened on the way to publishing the self-deprecating spoof of the big Secret Wars event…the event itself has incurred long delays and is still not finished yet. But like the launch of their All-New All-Different Post Secret Wars Universe, Marvel has continued on and launched Secret Wars Too as scheduled.
It’s a fun little book in the style of Marvel’s old What The? title or even their old attempt at a Mad Magazine competitor, Crazy Magazine. An anthology of short humorous stories not unlike the other books of the event like Secret Wars Battleworld or Secret Wars Journal. It plays pretty fast and loose with being in-continuity, pre-Secret Wars, Battleworld, post-Secret Wars, “real” world, etc. Definitely not a must own inclusion for all things Secret Wars, but a fun read.
Included are the following stories:
- In the “real” world, writer Jonathon Hickman pitches Secret Wars to Marvel Comics and they bite hook line and sinker. One problem, Hickman doesn’t have an ending…and it’s up to Doctor Doom to get him through it.
- Somewhere on Battleworld are the remnants of Earth-617 (remember, the proper Marvel Universe is 616). It is a world much like the one we all grew up with, but in this case Spider-Man stops the criminal that would eventually kill his Uncle Ben. Which surprisingly doesn’t work out well at all and sets off a series of events involving many ridiculous heroes and their many ridiculous Uncles.
- In a story that is clearly set in the heart of the Secret Wars event, Ms. America Chavez and Lady Bishop leave their post at The Shield and travel from domain to domain in search of…pizza.
- On Earth-616 before the final incursion, D-Man is brought back to life when an incantation to summon a demon goes awry. (“Demon”, “D-Man”, get it?) D-Man makes the most of his newfound life and everything is coming up D-Man…until another Earth smashes into the world.
- On “Battleworld” there is a domain ruled by Galactus where Jessica Jones is his hearld, Daredevil is the, uh, keeper of his passwords and Spider-Man is the barely tolerable IT guy. When The Watcher hacks Galactus’ Food Blog it us up to Jessica and Peter to save the day by retrieving the Ultimate Wi-Fier…from a domain where everyone is Uncle Ben.
- In the Domain XXX where Watson is Baron, numerous Scott Summers from various domains are confronting Wolverine for keeping them from dating Jean Grey. All hell breaks loose when…a bear version of Daredevil shows up. Literally, a bear dressed as Daredevil.
- Back in the “real” world, the Marvel heroes and villains are shown to be actors just waiting for the next script to perform. How will Doom recover when he spills grape juice on his new white outfit?
Again, nothing serious and some good laughs, but I think this was my favorite page: