So we’ve taken a look at what Secret Wars is about, what the “Last Days” are, and what the “Battleworld” books are. The “Battleworld” books take a look at events that cross different regions in Battleworld. The “Warzones!” books, however, take a look at specific stories in different individual regions. These are the looks at worlds where various events were different. Let’s take a look.
There are a ton of “Warzones!” books, so let’s look at them by alphabetical order.
1602: Witch Hunter Angela, written by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennet and illustrated by Stephanie Hans.
Right out of the gate, we have a winner. I mean, look at that. Angela as a witch hunter in the 1602 realm.
Unlike the previous Gaiman series, Angela and Sera aren’t hunting down witchbreed. Instead, they are hunting down Faustians, those who make deals with dark powers.
Per the solicitations: “Moral ambiguity? Fancy allusions? Marguerite making the most of that English degree? tl;dr – try 1602 WITCH HUNTER ANGELA #1!”
Sweet Christmas, it’s another winner.
“REAL HEROES DIE WITH THEIR BOOTS ON”
It’s the Marvel universe, but in the old Wild West. Featuring Steve Rogers as the Sheriff of Timely! And Tony Stark as the town blacksmith!
Will there be gunslingers and cowboys and card games and dead man’s hands and holy crap ninjas?
You bet your ass.
Aaaaahhhh all-female team. It’s misandry I say, misandry! Just kidding, that’s stupid.
In any case, this looks like it’s an awesome book with awesome writers and art. It takes place in Arcadia, an island nation that has more women than men.
The team consists of She-Hulk, Medusa, Dazzler, Nico Minoru, and a new character called Singularity. And they will fight to protect their small island from any outside invaders.
Seriously, this looks awesome.
Hey, look, it’s that Age of Apocalypse thing, written by one of the original writers!
Per the solicitations: “His war has been won. The few humans left alive are enslaved, the mutant rebellion crushed. EN SABAH NUR, the APOCALYPSE, rules his BATTLEWORLD kingdom without mercy, but the terrorist X-MEN plan to end his reign. Success means finding one very special mutant named CYPHER and unleashing a weapon that will kill Apocalypse — and possibly all mutants, too!”
Well, that certainly looks and sounds very Age of Apocalypse-y. I’m good.
Billed as the “Last Spider-Man Story,” this is about a Peter Parker who married Mary Jane Watson and had a daughter.
Peter, MJ, and their daughter live in a region of Battleworld called “the Regency” and there’s some mystery of who the ruler, “the Regent,” actually is — Norman Osborn? Possibly.
It’s also being billed as “the most controversial Spider-Man story of the year.” But hey, there’s always hyperbole in solicitations, right? Right? (Somewhere Dan Slott is cackling maniacally.)
In Technopolis, the land of science and wonder, everyone was stricken by a nearly fatal disease, so everyone has to wear armor to stay live.
The main characters are Baron Tony Stark and his brother Arno, Technopolis royalty. Tony is tasked with solving a murder mystery that could erupt into a civil war.
...Yes, that is an armored Thor with a giant iron hammer. Yes, he does look like Steel.
Yes, that is awesome.
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders, written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Alan Davis. (2 issues)
*deep breath* Okay, so, during Age of Ultron (the crossover), Captain Britain died and Faiza Hussein (wielder of Excalibur and all around awesome human being) became the new Captain Britain but then everything was reset at the end, but that idea was so excellent that Al Ewing is bringing it back and making her Captain Britain along with a team of Defenders in their own section of Battleworld.
Look: it’s Faiza Hussein, She-Hulk, Kid Rescue, White Tiger, and Hobie Brown. And they live in Yinsen City, where Ho Yinsen survived and spread a message of peace and are trying to protect it from Mondo City, which is a techno-fascist state.
Look, it’s going to be awesome, get it, so we can get more.
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson and illustrated by David Lopez. (4 issues)
Speaking of awesome: this book takes place in Hala Field, where the best fighter pilots are the Banshee Squadron, a.k.a. the Carol Corps, led by Carol Danvers.
Carol Danvers, however, doesn’t have any memory of who she used to be (again). So what’s an elite fighter pilot squadron to do when their leader needs to find stuff out about her past?
Be awesome? That’s right.
(Yes, I, too, am disappointed David Lopez didn’t change his name to “Kelly,” so we could have three on one book.)
In the grim darkness of the far...wait, no, that’s not it. Here it is: in the Warzone, the superhero civil war never ended. It’s been going on for six years now without a peace treaty in sight.
The two sides are: the Blue, led by General Steve Rogers, and the Iron, led by President Tony Stark. Now they are meeting together to make one last attempt at peace.
I...really have no idea about this series. It sounds like it’s taking a lot of things from the actual America Civil War (like the whole concept of the Blues vs. Greys, President vs. General). And Charles Soule is an excellent writer.
Did you enjoy Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run? Well, here’s a region where it never ended.
Per the solicitations: “What happens when mutants prove they really are Homo SUPERIOR? What will happen to the X-Men when they fight for a world that wants to be them, rather than hate and fears them? And what exactly is Magneto doing running the Xavier institute??”
Man, that looks almost but not quite like Frank Quitely. Good job.
Now I wonder if Chris Burnham can write as batshit insane as Grant Morrison. That will be fun to read.
The Maestro! Evil Bearded Future Hulk! Peter David’s original Future Imperfect was an awesome look into a dystopian future where an evil-version of the Hulk ruled.
The region the Maestro rules over is, literally, called Dystopia. And he’s opposed by Ruby Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Emma Frost, who can turn her whole body in ruby quartz (and who is from the dystopian future from Peter David’s X-Factor run).
I mean, look, it’s evil future bearded Hulk. Written by Peter David. What’s not to like?
So remember that crossover Avengers vs. X-Men? Well, this is just like that, except it’s A-Babies vs. X-Babies. So probably nothing like that.
All the babies live in a region called Marville (which, thankfully, has nothing to do with the actual Marville series, which was confusing and awful) and they are adorable. Super adorable.
Look: “Super-powered dodgeball, high-tech hideouts and eye-puns a plenty, Marvel’s most adorable heroes aren’t pulling any punches in this larger-than-life, fun-size adventure.” See? Adorbs.
So there is no more multiverse, there is only Battleworld. But above Battleworld floats it’s moon, which is actually the severed head of a Celestial called Knowhere.
Knowhere is home to criminals, convicts, and killers, so there is plenty of trouble. And the people in charge of Knowhere are the Guardians.
“The Galaxy may be gone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t places that still need heroes. Places that need champions. That need GUARDIANS.”
“Peace Through Strength! Honor Through Obedience! Continuance Through Conformity! Hail Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off one limb, and two shall take its place!”
In this region, Hydra has taken over completely and ruled the Hydra Empire for years.
The only person that could possibly stand in their way is Ian Rogers, Nomad, Captain America’s adopted son.
Rick Remember has been killing it so far with All-New Captain America.
This one takes place in a region called “the Monarchy.” And, of course, it’s ruled over by Magneto and the royal family, including Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
Magneto used to fight the machine. Now he is the machine, the ruling power of the Monarchy. All is not as peaceful as it seems, however, with scheming siblings and human rebellions (led by Luke Cage) popping up.
Think Game of Thrones with less incest. Unless they go the Ultimate route. In which case: think Game of Thrones with slightly less incest.
“5 years ago a band of demons rose up out of the fiery depths and turned Manhattan into Hell on Earth. The X-Men fought to vanquish the demon horde and... The X-Men failed.
Welcome back to the Inferno.
On this the fifth anniversary of Manhattan’s fall, Piotr Rasputin is leading a small band of mutants back into the Inferno. Colossus doesn’t know what they’ll find on the other side of those flames but he knows for certain... They’re not coming back without his sister.”
Well, this looks Hellish and kind of awesome. The Goblin Queen’s reverse cleavage is still ridiculous though.
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland infested with giant bugs, a young girl named Anwen Bakian travels with her father, sister, and grandfather. Her mother left long ago to join the Nova Corps, but never returned.
And now Anwen has found a stone that could change everything. A special stone of immense power. An Infinity Stone.
And the Mad Titan Thanos will stop at nothing to take it from her.
“In a world populated by the most fearsome thieves, murderers and ne’er-do-wells, there is one who is a HEAD above the rest… Enter, M.O.D.O.K.: The Mental Organism Designed Only for KILLING! Killville’s very own Merc with a Maw is open for business! But his next job may be biting off more than he can chew…”
Yes, this takes place in a region called Killville.
Yes, they made a “head” pun. It probably won’t be the last.
Admit it: you would have done the same.
Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos, written by Gerry Duggan and illustrated by Salvador Espin. (4 issues)
Shiklah, the Queen of the Monster Metropolis underneath Manhattan, recent widow of Deadpool, leads the Howling Commandos: Jack Russel, the Werewolf By Night! Frankenstein’s Monster! N’Kantu the Living Mummy! The Man-Thing (and whoever knows fear BURNS AT THE MAN-THING’S TOUCH)! Marcus the Centaur!
Together, they must survive and fight against Dracula and the Land of the Dead.
It’s going to be a monster mash. It’s going to be a graveyard smash.
A while back, Mark Millar wrote a Wolverine mini-series that took place in a future ruled by supervillains. Old Man Logan was like Unforgiven, only with Logan instead of Clint Eastwood. It was very, very bloody.
And now Brian Michael Bendis is bringing it back.
“Enter the Wastelands…a realm where all heroes have been murdered by their arch-enemies, villains who now rule over the land with an iron fist. In the midst of this dystopian chaos, one man may make a difference…a reluctant warrior who was once the greatest mutant of all…a man known as OLD MAN LOGAN.”
Boy, Marvel sure does love it’s wastelands, don’t they?
In Greenland, only the strong survive. And the strongest are the Hulks. All of the Hulks. There are many, many Hulks.
But Steve Rogers isn’t about to give up. He’s a gladiator. A gladiator who rides a dinosaur. Devil Dinosaur, to be exact. Yes, that’s right: gladiator Steve Rogers riding Devil Dinosaur and fighting against a land of Hulks.
What part of that sentence doesn’t make this book seem awesome incarnate?
That’s what I thought.
In the year 2099, corporations control everything. And the largest corporation is Alchemax. So, of course, the Avengers of 2099 work for Alchemax.
“When everything ends, it’s time to go back to the future. Revisit the world of 2099 and see it a whole new light, as characters who have never been seen before make their first appearances – including the AVENGERS 2099. Can the ideal of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes survive in a world where megacorporations rule with an iron fist?”
Corporate superheroes plus cyberpunk aesthetic plus Peter David equals yes please.
Spider-Island was a 2011 crossover where everyone on Manhattan got spider powers due to the “Spider Queen.” Peter Parker eventually cured everyone...but not in this reality.
Now, the only person who can stop the Spider-Queen and her minions is Flash Thompson, Agent Venom, leading a group of the uninfected.
Plus, there are backup stories concerning MC2 Spider-Girl, May “Mayday” Parker, written by her original creator, Tom DeFalco.
Spider-UK! Spider-Man Noir! May “Mayday” Parker! Spider-Gwen! Spider-Man India! Spider-Ham!
Yes, even though the Spider-Verse crossover just ended, it’s back in a region of Battleworld.
Look, either you enjoy reading about as many alternate versions of Spider-Man of Spider-Man as possible or you don’t.
Imagine the Justice League of America, only done by Marvel. That was the Squadron Supreme.
And now imagine the Crime Syndicate of America as done by Marvel. That’s the Squadron Sinister.
They are Hyperion, Power Princess, Nighthawk, Doctor Spectrum, and more.
Apparently, this will be a crime epic, akin to The Godfather, The Sopranos and Sons of Anarchy.
So far, Secret Wars has had historical fantasy and westerns. You know what’s missing? Sword and sorcery. Hell yes.
“Welcome to the wildest, most dangerous new corner of the Marvel Universe. Welcome to Weirdworld. A world of swords and sorcery and strange, perverted science. A world where one barbarian walks alone, on a dark and savage quest though all things weird and fantastic from throughout Marvel history. His name is Arkon. A lost man in a lost world. Follow him if you dare.”
This is based on an obscure 1977 comic by Doug Moench and Mike Ploog and sounds like it should weird and awesome as hell.
So the Marvel editors went to Garth Ennis, a man known for writing really dark and really bloody comics, and asked him what he would want to write for Secret Wars.
And I’m pretty sure he said, “A World War I bi-plane versus dinosaurs.” Only in an Irish accent.
This is about Karl Kaufman, the Phantom Eagle, pilot extraordinaire, who suddenly finds himself in a completely different land. A land filled with dinosaurs. And land, if you’ll pardon the phrase, where monsters dwell.
Dun dun dun dun dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun dun DUUUUUUN. (That was the theme song for X-Men the Animated Series, if you couldn’t tell.)
Secret Wars’ only digital-first comic, this takes place in a region of Battleworld that never moved past the ‘90s.
Sentinels! Jubilee! Rogue in that cool bomber jacket! Creepy, creepy Gambit with his weird “Cajun” accent! Boring Cyclops! You know all the characters, so read some new adventures about them.
“Ten years since the fall of Cameron Hodge and his fascist regime. Ten years that Havok and Wolfsbane have labored to rebuild Genosha. But their work may be for naught, as a plague has spread across their nation, infecting mutants and threatening their race with extinction. With the country quarantined and seemingly abandoned by the rest of the world, including the X-Men, old friends may become new enemies as Genosha’s rulers fight to save their people!
Experience an alternate future fueled by the events of the landmark first X-Crossover of 1990, X-Tinction Agenda!”
I’m not sure anyone was clamoring for it, but it certainly sounds interesting.
So remember Days of Future Past? Not the movie, but the comic, where Kate Pryde projected her consciousness in the past to avert a horrible Sentinel-filled future? Yeah, well, in this world, that future still came to pass.
“In the dystopian nations of BATTLEWORLD, the mutants of New York City must fight to survive the rule of the Sentinels! At their center is Kate Pryde, a heroine tried and tested by war, and mother of the last mutant ever to be born before the purges of the Mutant Control Act!”
Man, Marvel loves dystopian futures. Wastelands and dystopian futures. Dinosaurs, wastelands, and dystopian futures.
Okay, I love them, too. I’m going to be spending waaaay too much money on this.
Oh, right, there are also two one-shots: Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra, written by David Mandel and illustrated by Michael Walsh, and Howard the Human, written by Skottie Young and illustrated by Jim Mahfud. They look hilarious.