So I’ve already explained what Secret Wars is about and gotten several comments to the effect of: this sounds confusing. And yes, it does. But while I will be reading the main mini-series, what is really interesting about Secret Wars to me is all of the side series, the “Battleworld” and “Warzones!” and “Last Days.” All the stories that take place in the different areas of Battleworld. I’ve already taken a look at “Last Days,” so lets take a look at “Battleworld.”
Ultimate End, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Mark Bagley.
This is the one that’s the most connected to the main Secret Wars mini-series. It looks like it’s the Incursion from the point of view of the Ultimate universe characters and shows exactly what they do and how they react.
Fittingly, it is being done by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, the people who brought the Ultimate universe into existence with Ultimate Spider-Man #1.
Not much else is known about this book other than it will be the last Ultimate book. And just look at Skottie Young’s drawing of Bendis dropping the mic!
Ghost Racers, written by Felipe Smith and illustrated by Juan Gedeon.
Holy crap, all of the Ghost Riders in a race against time, against death! Sweet Christmas!
Yes, Ghost Racers will include the new Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes, in addition to the older Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, and the rest.
The plot? “Welcome to the scorching-hot track where cursed souls race at the speed of sin, anything and everything goes and the only rule is no rule—it’s the spectacle known as the GHOST RACES; the most hellish “entertainment” known to BATTLEWORLD!”
Master of Kung Fu, written by Haden Blackman and illustrated by Dalibor Talajic.
First it was all the Ghost Riders, now it’s all the martial artists. This book takes place in K’un-L’un, where every person is a member of a martial arts school, like the Ten Rings, the Panther Clan, the Red Hand, or the Spider Cult.
Every person, that is, except Shang-Chi: instead, he has become a drunken failure, a drop out. However, K’un-L’un is ruled by his evil father, Emperor Zu, so Shang Chi must find a way to fight to the top and defeat him.
Man, this looks like sweet, sweet Bruce Lee action.
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies, written by James Robinson and illustrated by Steve Pugh.
So in Battleworld, there are various areas from worlds that...aren’t so pleasant. Two of these are the Deadlands (populated by the Marvel Zombies) and Perfection (populated by Ultron copies). And they are next to one another.
Luckily, this No Man’s Land is surrounded by the Shield. Unlucky, there are still people inside No Man’s Land and there are people that are put inside for punishment. One side: zombies. The other side: robots.
And boy do they hate each other.
Marvel Zombies, written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Kev Walker.
So the previous book was about those stuck between the zombies and robots. This book is about Elsa Bloodstone fighting against zombies on the southern area of the Shield. She is also struggling with the legacy of her father, Ulysses Bloodstone.
Per the summary: “But when she sees a human child caught in the middle of the zombieverse, she’ll muster every ounce of determination she has to throw herself into the zombie horde to rescue the girl. And once Elsa finds her, she’s going to have to fight her way back out…”
Those pesky human children, always getting into zombie trouble.
Siege, written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Felipe Andrade.
The third book about No Man’s Land, this was is actually about the people who run the Shield. Gillen has said that they are basically the Night’s Watch from Game of Thrones only recruited from across the multiverse. They are:
Abigail Brand, Leah of Hel (“a twin-blade warlock Red Sonya character in a full length emerald chainmail” hell yes), Illyanna Rasputin (“who rides an enormous metallic colossus into battle”), the Endless Summers (“about 1000 rejected clones from the realm of Baron Sinister”), Kang, Ben Grimm, Leonardo Da Vinci, Lady Katherine Bishop, and America Chavez.
If those descriptions didn’t make you want to buy the book, there’s also the fact that Gillen has described it as “Nextwave as a tragedy.” I cannot wait.
Thors, written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Chris Sprouse.
So we’ve seen where bad people are put on Battleworld, but who enforces the law? That’s easy: the Thor Corps. Thor! Odinson! Ultimate Thor! Beta Ray Bill! Destroyer Thor! Old King Thor! Throg!
I’m serious, this sounds awesome. Just look at this summary:
“The Thors of every domain, together in one book! As cosmic cops! Whenever there’s trouble on Battleworld, the Thors answer the call. But a string of mysterious murders leaves some of them asking questions that may unravel all of reality! A hard-hitting Marvel Comics police drama. With hammers. Lots and lots of hammers.”
If that doesn’t sound awesome, I don’t know what does.
Runaways, written by Noelle Stevenson and illustrated by Sanford Greene.
This looks like it’s taking the whole “kids find out that their parents/adults are supervillains” and using that in a different setting. That setting would be the school in the capital of Battleworld, where all the best and brightest students attend.
These students include: Valeria Richards, Skaar, Jubilee, Bucky Barnes, Cloak and Dagger, Amadeus Cho, and original Runaway Molly Hayes. After they find out their headmaster is actually a supervillain, they, of course, run away and try to figure out what to do next.
Noelle Stevenson is an awesome writer (just check out Lumberjanes), so I will definitely be reading this, even if it doesn’t bare that much of a resemble to the original Runaways.
Inhumans: Attilan Rising, written by Charles Soule and illustrated by John Timms.
Charles Soule has stated that this book is a “life during wartime” type book. It will involve spies and rebellion, drama and romance.
“There is a rebellion brewing on Battleworld and it stretches far and wide into every domain. Medusa, ruler of Attilan, is tasked with uncovering the leader of this uprising and scuttling it with extreme prejudice. When she discovers the leader of this rebellion is Black Bolt, however, things get complicated.”
Soule is a great writer. His run on She-Hulk was woefully short.
Korvac Saga, written by Dan Abnett and illustrated Otto Schmidt.
Abnett, former co-writer of Guardians of the Galaxy and current writer of Guardians 3000, transplants the future Guardians to one of the realms of Battleworld, where they serve Michael Korvac, the previous villain faced by the Avengers.
“Lord Michael Korvac governs the Forest Hills, but his domain is threatened by rival lords, chaotic threats from beyond the Wall, and, worst of all, a dark madness that is spreading through the population. Led by the noble Major Victory, Korvac’s loyal Guardians must find the source of the evil before it corrupts the world as they know it.”
Abnett is a pretty good writer. I haven’t read his Guardians 3000 book yet, but his (and Andy Lanning’s) run on Guardians of the Galaxy was amazing.
Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde, written by Sam Humphires and illustrated by Alti Firmansyah.
So in the main 616 universe, Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde just got engaged. And then the universe ended.
And now Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde are back together...except this Kitty Pryde comes from the Age of Apocalypse universe, where she is a bit more bloodthirsty.
Not much else is know about this book, although other books to provide us with information about where it might take place: the moon of Battleworld is actually Knowhere, the home of the Guardians of Knowhere.
Red Skull, written by Joshua Williams and illustrated by Luca Pizzari.
The Red Skull is dead, sent over the Shield to die in No Man’s Land. But is he really dead? A group of villains and past villains sets to find out and, if he’s still alive, kill him.
Those characters are: the Winter Soldier, Magneto, Lady Deathstrike, Electro, Jack O’Lantern, and Moonstone.
Basically, it’s like Heart of Darkness but instead of Africa, it’s the Deadlands. And instead of Colonel Kurtz, it’s the Red Skull.
Joshua Williamson is a great writer — his stuff includes Nailbiter (about a town where a lot of serial killers come from) and Birthright (about a boy who goes over to a fantasy world and comes back much older and harder).
Secret Wars Journal, Secret Wars: Battleworld, and Secret Wars: Secret Love.
Three anthology comics about Battleworld. These look incredibly fun:
“Is LADY KATE of 1602 the nefarious HAWKEYE BANDIT who robs from the rich and gives to the poor? Can an enslaved band of MUTANTS in EGYPTIA overthrow their overlord, KHONSHU? Can YOU afford not to read the coolest, hippest, most continuity-important book in all of SECRET WARS??? Because this is TOTALLY THAT BOOK. But don’t tell anyone. It’ll be our little Secret…Wars Journal.”
Plus Secret Love, a one-shot, includes a story about a Kamala Khan/Robbie Reyes romance. Just look at that cover!
Next up: Warzones!