The end is near for Secret Wars (well, there is still a month to go), but not for my write ups. Sigh. So much to do. Anyway, last week finally saw the release of Secret Wars #7 Part Two aka Secret Wars #8. I believe that only leaves the following for this long, long event:
Ultimate End #5 – December 16th Secret Wars #9 – January 13th, 2016
After the break I’ll take a look at that penultimate Secret Wars issue as well as play some catch-up with the following books: Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #3, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3, Red Skull #2, Silver Surfer #15 and X-Men ’92 (Infinite) #6
Many of the Secret Wars tie-ins have familiar names like Infinity Gauntlet, Planet Hulk and Civil War. For most of the series with names you have heard of before, reading the original series is not usually required. I found E Is For Extinction to be the opposite of that.
While I guess I cannot really say because I haven’t read the original run by Grant Morrison, I really felt like I was missing something with this series. Not that I couldn’t understand it, but for 4 issues I felt like there was an inside joke that I was missing out on. Tom Kelly has also made some comments about them nailing the tone and feel of the run.
After the cut I’ll take a spoilery look at E Is For Extinction #1 thru #4. For those that have read Morrison’s run, feel free to jump in and let me know what I’m missing, or what would help me understand this series better.
Much like they did with superhero movies in 2000, X-Men: The Animated Series showed that you could tell relevant and interesting stories without it being a camp fest. (Ok, in fairness, Batman: The Animated Series began airing a month before X-Men to much critical acclaim, but that doesn’t help my intro.)
The series featured an X-Team similar in roster and look to the work Jim Lee and Chris Claremont were doing in the X-books at the time. Namely Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey and Professor X. It featured mostly original stories, but did adapt some popular comic storylines such as “Days of Future Past” and “The Dark Phoenix Saga”. X-Men and the also excellent Spider-Man animated series even crossed over for their own version of the original Secret Wars.
I previously looked at X-Men ’92 #1 in Part Seven of this series, and after the break I’ll continue with X-Men ’92 #2, X-Men ’92 #3,X-Men ’92 #4 and X-Men ’92 #5. These are all the Infinite Comics versions of these books as the print editions are much slower to come out.
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: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7.
And that course is a prerequisite to the other parts of this series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Grant Morrison was, at best, a crazy fit for the X-Men. He came onboard at a time when X-Men continuity was extremely tight and tried to make some interesting changes that long term didn’t stick too well. To be fair, at least one of his changes didn’t really make a lot of sense. Having Magneto working undercover in the Xavier School as the mutant Xorn, claiming to be a Chinese mutant healer with a star for a brain, wasn’t a bad idea, and even the helmet blocking the psychic scans of Professor Xavier, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost works, but it never explained how he fooled Wolverine’s advanced senses. Likewise, Morrison’s take on Magneto as some sort of flaky cult leader who had trouble taking out a single NYPD officer with a handgun was rather embarrassing for the longtime friend and foe of the X-Men. No wonder Chris Claremont reversed that whole thing the minute he got back and declared Magneto was never Xorn. Other ideas of Morrison’s, like secondary mutations, the U-Men, and Cassandra Nova had lasting effects to one degree or another, but the final image of his run was Cyclops and Emma Frost making out on top of Jean Grey’s grave…with her approval from some point in the distant future. Yeah, it was a screwy run in many ways, and Morrison’s style of storytelling may not fit too well with Marvel Comics, while DC’s emphasis on spectacle and wonder over personality seems to work out for him fine.
That said, Morrison gave the world Beak during his time on the X-Men, and that alone was a stroke of masterful storytelling.