With eight months of time to fill along with the end an entire universe; Marvel was in a pickle to find tie-ins to their world shattering Secret Wars event. The answer? 57 different series ranging from a few completely new stories all the way to bringing back some of the fan favorite stories (Future Imperfect, Days of Future Past, etc) there was a lot to read. If the sheer amount of tie-ins was too much for you, then make sure you pick up these 5 for your collections.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Chris Sprouse
Policing Battleworld is a dangerous task. Unless your Police Department consists entirely of Thors brought to power by the merciful God Doom. When a string of impossible murders sends the Thor Corps into chaos they bring in the best detective they have. The Ultimate Thor.
Thors is a procedural cop show brought into comic book form, and beautifully at that. It has all the classic beats including a visit to Throg at the CSI lab and Ultimate Thor pumping informants in the interrogation room. It packs a lot of story into 4 issues, and is one of the few Secret Wars tie-ins that connects back to the main story. Half the fun is all the Thors they come up with to fill the background. Groot-Thor, Storm Thor, Destoyer Thor, Oh My!
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Adam Kuber
Once upon a time Marvel decided to put out Amazing Spider-Man: One More Day in which Mephisto traps Peter Parker and Mary Jane into having to sell him their love in order to live a happy life. Peter Parker gets his Secret Identity back, and one of Marvel’s best couples gets split up forever. This was generally regarded as a bad move.
Renew Your Vows takes One More Day and tells it to go to hell as it gives us the life that Peter Parker could have had. In a 1984-esque future ruled by Regent, a superpower stealing dictator, Peter Parker and Mary Jane are living out a secretive happy life with their daughter May. Of course, since it's Spider-Man, shit goes down and he swing back out of retirement to keep his family safe. Being able to see Peter Parker the Father instead of Peter Parker the unreliable boyfriend and husband was so satisfying and a glaring reminder of what he could have been, instead of this Faux-Tony Stark version we have running around now. Thanks a lot Doc Oc. (See Superior Spider-Man)
Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX
Writer: Skottie Young
Art: Skottie Young
Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX is essentially the Tiny Toon Adventures to the 616’s Looney Toons, and it’s a blast. Whether they’re adults or kids the Avengers and X-Men don’t really get along. Fighting with each other over food carts, dodgeball, or who gets to claim the two new twins who moved to town.
Skottie Young’s style lends itself so well to this Saturday Morning adaptation and his character designs just felt so right. It’s most fun when it’s calling out the 616 for some of it’s more ridiculous ideas like when Wolverine finally tells us why he still hangs out with the Avengers. This series was just pure fun.
Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Leinil Yu
It's been decades since the USA split into two after the Registration Act. Tony controls "The Red" on the East Coast with strong policing while Cap takes "The Blue" to the West and standing for people's freedom. The nation has been torn apart by these one-time friends. The final peacekeeper between the two, Miriam Sharpe (who spearheaded the Registration originally). After decades of tense relations a decisive act brings Cap and Iron Man back to war.
I had low expectations for this series since Civil War already had an ending. This "What If" style book puts us right back in the action with even higher stakes. You see how hard it’s been on Tony and Steve throughout the years and listen to the pain they have brought their former friends. It’s dark, exciting, and depressing as fuck. Get on it.
Writer: Dustin Weaver
Art: Dustin Weaver
This is a weird one. It’s a little bit Starship Troopers, a little bit Princess Mononoke, plus some Thanos and Gaurdians of the Galaxy. Though, at it’s core it’s a horror movie about a Family trying to survive a world taken over by bugs. Anwen Bakian and her family are just trying to see tomorrow when she stumbles across an Infinity Stone deep in a bugs nest and where the stones go so does Thanos. Disguising himself as friend and protector he guides them through the bug infested world looking for the ultimate weapon.
There’s a lot of character in this story, and I found myself rooting for the Bakian’s a lot. Especially their dog Zig-Zag who get’s his very own Nova suit. It’s well worth the read, and I’m bummed that we don’t get more of it in All New All Different Marvel.
Ultimate End: If you stuck with the Ultimate Universe for any of it’s tenure then you may as well see it through and pick up Bendis’ and Bagley’s goodbye to the Ultimate Universe.
Secret Wars: Battleword: The first half of Issue #1 managed to be one of my favorite Secret Wars stories with a version of Punisher who is also the host of Doctor Strange’s ghost fights a Frightful Four made up dick versions of Hulk, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Ghost Rider. Shit’s awesome. Issue #3 also has an All-Wolverine Mind Trip with at least 6 different Logan's.
A-Force: Not the best story, but definitely set the stage for All New, All Different Marvel’s A-Force. Putting Captain Marvel, Medusa, and She-Hulk all together on a team works, even though they can't get along for the life of them. The introduction of Singularity as a character got me hooked. She's a fun little enigma and I’m excited to see her story explored in the new A-Force monthly comic.