I don’t have the grounding in Marvel like I do in DC. So I decided to read Secret Wars from that perspective.
There was a time when you were a DC kid or a Marvel kid and rarely the twain did meet. The world has evolved a lot since then but I can’t change the fact that my comics core comes from DC — it’s lore and legends. My formative years were spent in the DC Universe so even now, much of Marvel is the Great Unknown to me.
I do read Marvel books but I don’t profess to be expert in its in that world’s in and outs, its canons and retcons. I just know what I know.
So picking up Secret Wars is a challenge. With all its tie-ins and as steeped in Marvel history as it appears to be, I’m not entirely on sure footing.
So I decided to read and review the main series — and selected offshoots — through the lens of a relative neophyte. Will I be able to enjoy something so clearly geared to the advanced reader? Will this be my gateway like the original Secret Wars was for so many readers a generation and a half ago?
The short answer after reading Issue #1 is: I have no idea.
Both the main and Ultimate Marvel universes are destroyed but something survives. And, as we know by all the hype, it will survive on Battleworld, a cosmic shaker that will determine who and what will come out the other end later this year.
The first issue veers frenetically from multiple points of view, the blackly humorous highlight being Frank Castle‘s End Times celebration of shooting up an entire room of archvillains (off panel).
But the emotional impact comes from — fittingly — Reed Richards, who appears to lose his entire family before his eyes. Mr. Fantastic, the figurehead of Marvel’s First Family and head of the vanguard that brought the House of Ideas into the Silver Age, sees it all end before him. And its hard not to be moved by that.
Dr. Doom watches from somewhere. I think.
So yes, it was hard to follow because while I know the characters, and don’t know all of them. References were lost on me, I’m sure.
Nevertheless, the dialogue crackled, it was nice to look at and the scope of the story was made clear from the jump. This is BIG comics.
Let’s see where writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Esad Ribic take us from here.