Secret Wars, Part 1 – Atop the Fourth Wall

I am from beyond Slay your enemies and all you desire shall be yours Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish Hello and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall where bad comics burn Event comics month continues with what could be considered the first event comic it had tie-ins it had a huge cast, and it was a maxi series with twists, turns and ramifications down the line This is Marvel’s Secret Wars So if Crisis on Infinite Earths was made to celebrate DC’s 50th anniversary and streamline the universe to make it more accessible what lofty goals did Secret Wars have? Oh, the noblest of all purposes, MONEY According to writer and editor Tom Defalco in 1992 DC is actually partially responsible for secret wars Toy company Kenner acquired the license to produce DC toys and they proved to be wildly successful So much so that Mattel came knocking at Marvel’s door and wanted to ge some superhero toys of their own However, they were only intrested in the big name heroes and villans the most well known and popular ones. Mattel also wanted some big promotional push to help sell the toy line basically in much the same ways movies and tv shows use comics as intellectual property factories to create stories to draw on they wanted some big even to promote the toys according to the writer of the book Jim Shooter the name came simply as a result of focus group tests kids love the words wars and secret so they just combined those together even though it really doesn’t make that much sense as a title they also wanted playsets and vehicles to premiere in the book that they then could make toys out of cynical perhaps but hey, let’s not kid ourselves 9 times out of 10 event comics exist for a temporary sales boost anyway even if the story is good. But hey, at least you don’t have to worry about that kind of blatant commercialism here on an unrelated note, did you know I have a new DVD coming out soon? Unlike Crisis, Secret Wars has a less complex story to it but what keeps it interesting is the various factions at play within it it’s set up as a simple heroes vs villains situation but remember, everyone has their own agenda and reason for what they do So it’s not as easy as that That being said, secret wars has something of a negative reputation as of late Partially due to plot holes, poor characterization and just downright goofy writing So let’s dig into the first event comic, Secret Wars and see why I personally love it *THEME SONG* Audio clip: this is going to be the biggest battle of all time Audio clip: And I’m going to use this to keep a diary of it Audio clip: I’ll record whatever happens, so that the greatest war ever fought isn’t Audio clip: A secret war *MUSIC STING* Like last time, it’s twelve issues, so no talking about the covers One of the more interesting aspects of it being the first big cross over is there aren’t really tie ins in the traditional sense You know, a subplot continued in someone else’s book Instead, Marvel chose a very interesting promotional method all the heroes that are in secret wars, at the end of an issue of their own books found an odd structure in New York central park and entered into it. and then were teleported away, saying that the story would continue in secret wars and instead of interrupting the stories of all these characters the heroes returned the next month with the changes that occurred in the event which encouraged readers to but the maxi sereies and find out what happened to cause these changes DC did a similar thing in their books in 2006 following the event Infinite Crisis Jump their books ahead one year later want to know the details of all the weird things that happened between then? buy the weekly series 52 and hey, 52 was actually really damn good so kudos there on the marketing I actually wouldn’t mind that kind of thing more often in events instead of direct tie ins and yet despite the whole purpous of this event being about toy promotion, Rom was left on earth? what if you’re worrried about the toy executives from a different company just have everyone call him ‘Ram’ and let him be inturuped each time he tries to correct them the story begins in space in the distant reaches of the universe, far far from planet earth an uninhabited spiral galaxy turns its everlasting pirouette in magnificent splendor unseen by living eyes Oh geez sorry galaxy, didn’t mean to walk in on your ballet practice. the structure that had teleported the heroes suddenly appears in space carrying on it the Fantastic Four, Spider Man, Iron Man, The Hulk the X-Men, including Storm, Cyclops professor Xavier, Wolverine, Colossus Nightcrawler, Rogue and Lockheed the dragon and the Avengers Captain America, Wasp Thor, she hulk, Hawkeye and Captain Marvel um… no, not that one Not that one Not even that one No, this is the second Marvel Captain Marvel after the original died of cancer Her name is Monica Rambo and she can convert her body into energy as well as absorb energy and shoot it out after she gave up the name captain marvel she’s gone through like half a dozen other code names You might also recognize her from nextwave agents of hate Nextwave: at least a third of our members have or had a codename featuring the word “Captain” few other notes of continutiy I should get out of the way at this point in time, bruce banner is able to retain his intelligence as the Hulk The Iron Man suit does not have Tony Stark in it right now but Rody. Susan Storm is not with the fantastic four, off being pregnant in their book and there is one other person among the heroes I haven’t mentioned Magneto the heroes introduce themselves to each other However, the group then notices that there is another construct in the distance On it? Villains. a lot of them I haven’t talked about before, but it’s not like you need that big a primer The Enchantress, a Thor villain with various powers mostly related to well… enchanting Ultron, and if you’re familiar with the movie version of him its a similar deal only he was created by Hank Pym and not Tony Stark also less concerned about accidentally cutting off dudes arms the absorbing man, who can make his body mimic the strength and endurance of something by touching it the wrecking crew, four villains who well… wreck stuff Kang the Conqueror, who you might recall from when he tried to trick the crew of the enterprise E and the X-Men and if you don’t recall that well… surprise this is the 450th episode, and I’ve reviewed a lot the lizard and doctor octopus who apparently decided to try a blue outfit for this panel so these scans match the ones in my trade of it, very high quality stuff y’know, printed in 2011 someone want to explain why they didn’t fix that coloring error the molecule man who we’ll be getting to know better in this story Dr. Doom and Galactus Galactus’s presance here is really the signifier of the serousness of the situation that somebody was able to take a dude who eats planets Mind you, given that the heroes were all taken by that struture in central park, you gotta wonder if that’s what happened to the villains too Did Galactus see a big arena shaped area and decide ‘yeah, that seems like something I should step inside’? Doom makes note of his group, as well as the sensors of his suit detecting the heroes in the other transport Interesting a gathering of forces, as if for war nothing says you’re ready for war quite like a lizard man and a bunch of dudes who theme themselves around construction equipment The Thing wonders why, if the villains are on the other transport Magneto is with them Magneto defends himself, saying he only kills and fights to defend mutantkind and acts in self defense I’d say there’s a bit of truth in that Sure, Magneto is a villan, no doubt but the force that gathered the two groups is looking for things on a bit more of a spectrum more than just straight up good and evil Magneto’s motivations are pretty much noble, even though he does terrible villainous things to accomplish them and hell, Magneto does reform and lead the X-Men for a while, in continuity Contrast that with the villains, Galactus is among them, but he’s not malevolent In his case he’s more just indifferent to good and evil and equally so to the lives he snuffs out to appease his hunger He’s not happy about it but as far as he’s concerned his well being is more important than the billions he kills the others are driven by greed, selfishness delusions of grandeur or well… take your pick Molecule man is the only other one who’s less of a villain but he’s prone to villainous impulses because of his background but anyway, we know the pieces on the board now let’s learn about the game the two groups look out at the cosmos around them and see that cosmos quickly devoured up well, there’s your answer for those of you who were asking if marvel’s earth was destroyed in crisis on infinite earths actually, all of the stars and galaxies and all that are erased, except for one star in the void swept away, like dust before some unseen, giant hand hm, should’ve used a cosmic swiffer sheet around that one star has formed a planet, made of chunks of other planets this is battle world as it will be called and indeed it makes for a more interesting game when there could be anything on this patchwork planet Dr doom is in awe of this sight but ultron is not at all impressed instead deciding to just attack everybody around him ‘I am Ultron my purpose is to slay that which lives!’ ‘You are all living things, ergo Ultron must destroy you!’ Well, not my favorite political slogan, but I appreciate his honesty Ultron is made of adamantium, so there’s not much the villains can do except for molecule man, whom Dr Doom says is the one who can stop him. Molecule man is arguably the most powerful among them, possibly even potentially a problem for Galactus depending on how he uses his powers he can control and manipulate molecules to his whim what holds him back are his feelings of self loathing, inadequacy and other various things at the time of secret wars, he’s been undergoing therapy trying to cure him of those things while also, you know… trying to encourage him not to hurt people with those powers Or use them at all, but there you go Doom convinces him he doesn’t have to hurt anyone Just as long as he shoves Ultron right into Galactus’ leg Galactus being Galactus didn’t care about any of these shenanigans until someone bumped into him Ultron, being kinda single minded decides that he’ll just attack Galactus anyway that decision does not end well for him as Galactus just drains his energy out of him and Ultron’s lifeless body crumples to the ground Man, the Age of Ultron did not last as long as I expected a beam of light appears out of the void and shines on the two teams This is God, I decided to call a do over on the universe I apologize for the inconvenience No, the statement from the light is succinct, and yet vague. ‘I am from beyond!’ My Star Trek movie should’ve done so much better at the box office slay your enemies and all you desire shall be yours Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish and yes Colossus, even that you are incredibly gross and weird but yes I’ll do that. Galactus is the one who names this being The beyonder, but we don’t actually learn anything about him until the final issue More or less a chance encounter allowed him to observe earth from his dimension he became fascinated by the concept of desire so set about conducting an experiment one thing we do know about the beyonder though, he’s as powerful as his word Galactus flies out of the structure to confront the beyonder, sensing that indeed, this being is capable of ending his hunger and doesn’t want to play the game to do that Dr Doom however flies after him, wanting to get a closer look and maybe gain power for himself but both Galactus and Doom are repelled from the beyonder and sent to battle world the heroes and villains land in separate parts of the area the heroes argue about whether or not to work alongside Magneto The X-Men recognizing that they may need his power for what’s to come but when it’s clear the other heroes won’t accept him magneto decides to take his chances on his own. the heroes then decide they need a joint leader with many suggestions thrown around what about you professor, you read minds that could come in handy invading people’s privacy is the best sign of a great leader but yeah, everyone defers to captain america except wolverine, because he feels like being a prick Meanwhile Doctor Doom recovers near Galactus’s unconscious body and goes off to a nearby fortress where the villains have gathered The villians, in an uncharacteristic display of good sense have voted and most feel that Dr Doom would be the best to lead them since they all want the prize the beyonder has promised however Doom thinks that fighting is pointless, it’s the power of the beyonder that they should be after not the petty riches or possessions that some of them want unable to convince them, Doom decides to take his chances talking to the heroes about it taking a ship from the fortress ‘the operation of this alien vessel is child’s play to one of my intellect!’ ‘I can drive stick, I am DOOM’ Kang however doesn’t want to take the chance of him joining the heroes so uses a canon from the fortress and shoots Doom’s ship out of the sky Doom wants to steal the power of the beyonder yet he’s gotten his ass kicked twice in 10 minutes might want to rethink your aspirations dude the heroes spot the remains crashing and head there, finding Doom amongst the wreckage Cap offers a hand to help him, but Doom is a prideful dickhead ‘Is that pitty i see in your eyes Captain America? and yours Richards?’ ‘Pity yourselves!’ ‘Doom does not need friends! Doom needs none but his pet cat!’ Issue one ends with Doom forcing the heroes back and leaving just as Iron Man detects the villains on the attack armed with weapons from the fortress Entering issue 2 the first battle does not go well for the heroes the advanced weapons the villans have knock a bunch of people out and even the Hulk gets hit hard as the ever resourceful strategy of throw a big rock has its challenges Doom in the meantime heads to the villain fortress to see what he can do with the technology there he passess Galactus, trying to get his attention when he wakes up but of course he just ignores him and walks off Inside the fortress is the body of ultron which doom thinks could be useful to him back at the battle the heavy hitters of the heroes manage to turn things around including She-Hulk getting to cut loose and punch the Enchantress without holding back ‘Oh, wow! that was like tubular you know – to the max!’ Jennifer Walters, Attorney and totally tubular She-Hulk Kang, the Enchantress and three of the wrecking crew are all knocked out and taken prisoner the rest of the villains making a hasty retreat the heroes find their own fortress to occupy and begin exploring it even finding a brig for their prisoners that keeps them in a sort of stasis and for some reason Professor Xavier can walk here I tried to look this up and from what I can tell it involves a cloned body and him just using the chair out of a psychosomatic pain that he gets over in the series And well, I don’t know. Xavier has apparently gained and lost the ability to walk like three or four times now while they start working on supplies and some scoutting missions to find the remaining villans magneto makes his home in yet another fortress which is of course shaped like a huge magnet Clip Audio: I am Magneto, master of magnet! Hahahahaha the rest of the villains return to their base only to be met by Doom and a reprogramed Ultron naturally any thoughts of trying to fight Doom are quelled for the time being Still, Doom recognises the ace he has in the molecule man and gets to work schmoozing the guy ‘Molecule man… Uh, Mr. Reece I believe it is? I trust you were not inconvenienced. ‘Doom loves that shade of green on you’ come to think of it, check out our remaining villains, Doom should just name this the Green Team they use the fortress’s sensors to detect Galactus 4,000 miles away Just kinda standing on a mountain and holding out his arms in front of him ‘Galactus shall learn this… Macarena’ Magneto flies over to the heroes base to try to steal their power core While the heroes themselves exercise in some character development All realizing that they’re kinda stuck here with no way home fortunately, Spider Man’s danger sense alerts them to Magneto’s presence and they attack ‘None may touch the person of Magneto’ ‘the person of Magneto is very sensitive about being touched’ Magneto decides to abandon his plan but uses some metal walls to take the wasp captive as well the thing chases after, but all of a sudden he reverts back into Ben Grimm man, thank god for the elastic underwear that shrank with him issue three begins with a storm outside Magneto’s base though he’s unconcerned with that and rather with his prisoner. the two meet as magneto scarfs down some space enchiladas ‘Ah, good evening miss Vandine, or do you perfer to be called Wasp?’ ‘Do not bother trying to attack me my dear!’ ‘My person is magnetically shielded’ Are we sure at this point that magneto isn’t talking about a tiny person he carries around with him? Despite his person being magnetically shielded, the wasp manages to shoot a stinger blast that knocks over his food No! My person’s hot pockets! magneto says he just wants to talk which the wasp agrees to and… Oh geez Magnus get comfortable why don’t you? ‘You are obviously a woman of intelligence and understanding as well as great beauty’ ‘now behold my person’s crotch’ the storm is apparently really damn huge affecting not only both bases, but apparently Galactus who, again is 4000 miles away The heroes are barely able to hold it back and even then mostly thanks to Thor’s presence while most of the avengers related characters work on planning for a potential attack by the villains spidy crawls around and discovers the X-Men having a private conversation they’ve elected to leave and join Magneto because, as Xavier states ‘we do not belong here’ Clip Audio: there is logic in what he says Even Colossus backs that up with his pondering ‘Must it ever be so that normal men, even those not so normal fear and hate us because we are Mutants’ Doing a bang up job with those mutant human relations Chuck like seriously, this comes out of nowhere They talk about the fact that the Avengers don’t trust Rouge because she only recently became a good guy but there’s been nothing so far in the story to indicate that what’s more, the heroes have been getting along just fine for the most part aside from Wolverine being Wolverine Xavier senses Spidey’s eavesdropping and he well… drops in on them. Saying that he’s gonna rat out their planned defection to Magneto I’ll say this, the dialogue may be a bit awkward and the X-Men’s decision here a bit baffling, but damn if this ain’t a fun fight As we see Spidey managing to fight off before making a hasty exit However, before he can warn Reed Richards about the X-Men’s plans Xavier manages to alter Spidey’s memories ‘As much as I despise using my psionic abilities to forcibly reorder another’s mind’ ‘there is too much at stake here to falter now’ Yes too much at stake like… [PAUSE] staying with the other heroes and winning the Secret Wars [PAUSE] What the hell is wrong with you dude? The X-Men take a ship out despite the storm and go to Magneto’s place Speaking of, Magneto is receiving a communication from Dr Doom who offers an alliance, that he turns down So be it! Know you then that your choice is irrevocable! And you will live to regret it! Do I still get a refund? ‘Of course!’ ‘Doom is wise in the ways of customer service’ Magento returns to the Wasp and the two seem to be on friendlier terms Far too friendly, as Magneto stars making out with her despite her protests which then leads to her going eh, why not? Yeah, this is weird and creepy, so let’s move on to something less weird and creepy Dr Doom granting super powers to two women where did they come from? well it’s not show right away but recall that the beyonder assembled battle world out of chunks of other planets One such chunk is a piece of Denver Colorado Doom recruited these two women off panel to help bolster his forces granting one the ability to change her form to that of ionized plazma and fire out heat beams thus going by the name Volcana while the other gets massive strength and endurance going by the name Titania Volcana and the Molecule Man take an instant shine to one another Aw, they make a cute couple One sets you on fire, then then the other shreads your burning flesh with his mind Thor goes to wake up the Enchantress because I guess we needed some more characters to act stupid he claims it’s because the two of them are gods and they can discuss things mortals couldn’t understand which given what we see them do later… yeah it’s clear he just thinks she’s hot The two teleport off somewhere as the Hulk is starting to have issues concentrating and as a result fails to wake up Captain America when the storm breaks with that, they’re caught unawares when Doom’s forces launch an attack on the base the group is forced to withdraw and regroup as Doom’s forces free the other prisoners leading us into issue four and while I won’t normally talk about the covers in a situation like this this one features one of the best covers of all time the Hulk and a group of heroes trapped underneath a mountain with The Hulk holding it up Most of the page is made up of rock, just to emphasize how huge this is. beneath one hundred and fifty billion tons Stands the Hulk – and he’s not happy! not about this though, eh just learned that his car insurance got canceled Doom uses the molecule man to completely annihilate their base which they had previously said was about the size of Chicago so… Yeah. Molecule Man is kind of dangerous The villains scour the wreckage for the heroes but Dr Octopus spots them having long retreated out while most of the villains try to chuck pieces of debris at them from a distance the Molecule Man has a different solution drop an entire freaking mountain on them Thor and the Enchantress meanwhile are hanging out in some random field with the Enchantress telling him how much she wants to bang him but he’s all like ‘no you gotta earn love and stuff’ Thankfully their interrupted by the mountain dropping since that much stuff hitting the ground caused a tremor to even effect the two from a distance. Thor teleports back and learns how its likely his freinds are dead and decides to fight all 13 of the villains on his own hoping the enchantress will join him but of course she doesn’t it’s another awesome fight, showing off just how cool Thor is but ultimately, he tricks the villains into thinking he’s disintegrated so he can see if the heroes survived Doom also has Ultron kill Kang for his earlier attempt to kill him Doom’s not exactly management material if this is how he treats his employees The X-Men arrive at Magneto’s fortress as he fashions a comb for the Wasp ‘And I wish this place had plumbing! What sort of beings would build a place with no… no powder rooms given what happens with the beyonder in secret wars 2 that line makes far too much sense the X-Men offer an alliance to magneto who’s more than happy to try such a thing however, he points out that it’s not enough to be willing to fight they have to actually slay their enemies, and that might include captain america and company Of course, the wasp was just playing along this whole time trying to figure out what his plans were, so she betrays him ‘and know that I know you really really ar the most evil scum since Hitler, I’m going to stop you’ Ha. ha. ha. Janet, he’s a holocaust survivor, go to hell anyway the Wasp steals a ship and flies off Magneto wants to crush her but Xaver stops him ‘A few hours ago, I succumbed to temptation and psionically presented spider-man from delaying our journey here’ ‘that was a crime, an act I shall long regret’ So… any X-Man fans want to comment on if Xavier ever brings that up again? Just curious ‘In that moment of weakness, I was no better than Doom or Hitler’ ‘or anyone else who ever used power to usurp another’s feedom’ ‘if we are to be allies magneto, we must first agree that whatever noble ends we seek’ ‘do not justify evil means’ Chuck you do recall this guy started up a group called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants right?

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