Secret Wars by Jim ShooterI was worried about reading the Secret Wars again after all these years. Would my rereading destroy its mystique? Would it turn out to be unqualified crap? Would it hurt my love of Marvel? Would it taint other memories of other comics from the same period? Despite my fears, I was compelled to try it anyway.
I had recently repacked my comics, and Id come across my wrapped and cared for originals, and days later I discovered the Marvel app for my iPod. I bought it and the first thing I saw was the Secret Wars. It was fated, so I started reading.
The story is pretty weak, much weaker than I remembered. Im not going to cover up its flaws. It is too straightforward to be brilliant. Too deus ex machina to be fully satisfying. And it lacks the metaphysical depths of DCs Crisis on Infinite Earths (their excellent attempt to compete with Marvels surprising success, or to clean-up the mess that was their continuity -- whichever you prefer to believe). The women in Secret Wars were not treated well. The choice of supervillains was too arbitrary. The battle lines were silly. There is plenty to complain about.
There are some brilliant moments, and here are my five faves -- the five that make me dig this story even with all its flaws:
1. Magneto Fighting with the Heroes: I loved this just as much today as I did the first time I read the story. This was the moment Magneto, always my favourite villain became my favourite all around character. His terrorist activities, motivated by a desire to save his mutant brethren, were finally recognized as grey enough in motivation to be almost altruistic, and watching the heroes have to deal with that revelation was one of the best threads of the series. Much more could have been done with this, but Jim Shooters decision to do this at all was a Marvel Universe changer.In the end, this journey into the mind of the fourteen year old Brad kicked ass. Secret Wars is as good and as bad as I remember. And I love it (even if I can only give it four stars) just the same. Next up: The Dark Phoenix Saga; X-Men #129-138.
2. Captain America at His Best: Theres this scene where Dr. Doom, now beyond powerful, is kicking the heroes need to take off and save themselves. Captain America gives the order for retreat, then he goes back into their crumbling base and releases all the super-villains from their captivity. Hes joined by a surprised and impressed Woverine. That is the Captain America I know in love. The same Captain America who would eventually fight Iron Man in the Civil War and die on the courthouse steps. Its easy to see that Jim Shooter loved Cap as much as I did.
3. Reed & Doom: I never cared much for the Fantastic Four and their nemesis before Secret Wars, but Doom was the perfect egomaniacal choice to challenge the Beyonders power, and Reed Richards steady brainiac self was an excellent compliment to Captain Americas leadership.
4. Galactus: Cmon?! The guy eats worlds. And he had a great moment or two with Reed. What a pleasure to see Galactus dwarfed in power too, and without Silver Surfer around to piss him off. Excellent.
5. The Birth of Venom: If youre a Marvel fan, or even just a Spidey fan, you know what this means. Nuff said.
Why We Still Love Marvel's Secret Wars
Secret Wars (1984 - 1985)
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No recent wiki edits to this page. The crossover comic-series that set the bar for all other crossovers to come. Secet Wars is a twelve issue mini-series detailing the story of Earth's greatest heroes and villains being kidnapped by the omnipotent Beyonder and forced to fight to have all their wishes made true. The Beyonder wants to know what force will be victorious, that of good The series was continued one year later with a sequel named Secret Wars II.