Reviewed: Issues 1-3
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Format: 9-part series
Dr Doom saved the Marvel Universe in the face of final destruction, creating a patchwork planet known as Battleworld. A few survivors of the old universe have found their way to Battleworld, including some Avengers, Miles Morales’ Spider-Man and Thanos. Whatever happens next lays the foundation of Marvel’s future...
While the spin-offs of Secret Wars have proven to be very casual-reader-friendly, the main event of Jonathan Hickman’s epic is more of a conclusion to his recent Avengers and New Avengers runs than an event that’s as easy to pick up as, say, Civil War or Avengers Vs X-Men. With that in mind, new readers may want to skip the main series and go straight to the relaunched line of All-New, All-Different books that are starting this October, which offer remixed Avengers and X-Men teams.
Secret Wars, by contrast, is very much the payoff of three years’ worth of story. Marvel is straight up preaching to the converted here.
But while Hickman may not be writing for the uninitiated, there are mighty rewards here for those who have followed his outstanding mega-arc of collapsing universes and heroes forced to become villains. His Avengers books have offered a complex, huge-scale serial that has paid off at multiple intervals – like 2013’s “Infinity” arc, where the Avengers became a symbol for resistance across the galaxy in the face of annihilation, or last year’s “Time Runs Out” arc, which saw the Avengers divide and go to war.
Secret Wars is the endgame of that and, to some extent, Hickman’s earlier runs on The Ultimates and Fantastic Four. None of the heroes saved the universe – Doom did. And this is the compelling story of what happens when the last surviving heroes try to get back what they’ve lost. Samuel Roberts
So, not just a really big fight like the original.