Thursday, 16 April 2015

PREVIEWS MAR-APR15 - Marvel's Secret Wars

by Ben Fardon

I can't lie folks, this has been a tough one to put together. After the chaos of Convergence, I was very excited by the prospect of Secret Wars, until we actually began to see the vast array of new titles and the uncertainty that came with it.

Thankfully in the last few weeks, details have begun to emerge about April's Secret Wars titles and Marvel have gone on record as to which titles are ending as Secret Wars kicks off. This makes things much easier!

I think we can now divide Secret Wars into several distinct sections. Firstly we have the main Secret Wars title and a couple of ancillary anthology titles. Secondly, there are a series of interesting titles revisiting classic Marvel events from the last few decades. Finally we have a long list of new titles that expand the new Secret Wars' Battleworld setting in a variety of ways.

But what is Secret Wars? Well simply put, Secret Wars spins out of the recent Jonathan Hickman Avengers titles as the main Marvel Universe as we know it collides with the Ultimate Marvel Universe in what is being called the final incursion. The good news is you don't need to have been reading Avengers or New Avengers over the last couple of years to get into Secret Wars, as the collision of these two realities has created a brand new world in which most of the characters have no idea that this isn't the way things have always been.

The titular Secret Wars miniseries itself is the main event. Written by Jonathan Hickman, this is the spine of the whole event. If you read nothing else, read this book. 

This is accompanied by Secret Wars Battleworld - a title akin to the Vs. miniseries during AvX - featuring all the knockdown, drag out fights that are probably just to crazy to feature anywhere else during this event.

The final part of this initial section is an anthology series called Secret Wars Journal where every issue will feature a couple of short stories jumping around and highlighting different, small but significant parts of the Battleworld.

Both Secret Wars Battleworld and Secret Wars Journal feel to me like ones for completists and not essential if your looking to save the pennies for other titles on the list below.

After that we have an array of titles re-visiting classic storylines and events from Marvel's past including beloved adaptations such as the 1992 X-Men animated series. A lot of existing Marvel titles are ending to make room for these - in fact some are direct continuations or analogues of previous titles now shaped to fit in with Secret Wars. More on those later.

Finally, there's a bunch of Marvel titles that aren't coming to an end, but are instead telling Last Days stories detailing the final adventures of the features characters before the final incursion. These titles include Black Widow, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, Loki: Agent of Asgard, Magneto, Ms. Marvel, The Punisher and Silver Surfer.

Confused yet? Well, let's see if a quick look at the full list of titles (revealed so far!) helps a little. Here you go:

Secret Wars: Battleworld
  • Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies
  • Ghost Racers
  • Inhumans Attilan Rising
  • Korvac Saga
  • Marvel Zombies
  • Master of Kung Fu
  • Red Skull
  • Runaways
  • Secret Wars: Battleworld
  • Secret Wars Journal
  • Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde
  • Thors
  • Ultimate End

Secret Wars: Warzones
  • 1602: Witch Hunter Angela
  • 1872
  • A-Force
  • The Age of Apocalypse
  • Armor Wars
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
  • Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders
  • Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps
  • Civil War
  • Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars
  • E Is for Extinction
  • Future Imperfect
  • Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX
  • Guardians of Knowhere
  • Hail Hydra
  • House of M
  • Inferno
  • Infinity Gauntlet
  • M.O.D.O.K. Assassin
  • Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos
  • Old Man Logan
  • Planet Hulk
  • Secret Wars 2099
  • Siege
  • Spider-Island
  • Spider-Verse
  • Squadron Sinister
  • Weirdworld
  • Where Monsters Dwell
  • X-Men '92
  • X-Tinction Agenda
  • Years of Future Past

Secret Wars: Last Days
  • Black Widow
  • Captain America and the Mighty Avengers
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard
  • Magneto
  • Ms. Marvel
  • The Punisher
  • Silver Surfer

For more details on each group of titles, click on the header to take you to the explanations!

In the hopes of making life easier for everyone, we've taking the liberty of creating a matrix - a list of everything that was coming out, followed by a list of the Secret Wars comics we'd recommend you get as a replacement. I've taken the liberty of automatically signing our Reservation Service customers up for our recommended titles, but these can be removed without our usual notice period up to the point of release. I've been trying to take the time to talk to you all about these new titles when you pop in, but if I don't see you before Secret Wars kicks off, please do email me for a pdf copy of your current pull list and then we can make alterations where required.

I hope that all makes sense!

Here's a look at that matrix (apologies for the jpeg):

If there's anything else I can do to help with Secret Wars, please do get in touch. I'm really excited for this event, I think it's going to be a whirlwind tour through some of Marvel's greatest moments before leading into the new status quo for the House Of Ideas. I hope you'll join us!

Ben Fardon was very, very happy with Daredevil on Netflix. Roll on AKA Jessica Jones.

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