Aug 24, 2008

[Comics] Secret Wars

Secret WarsIn time, comic book companies realized that (1) fans like comic book characters mixing it up with other characters, (2) there was a market for super-hero toys and (3) you didn't really need a super solid story for this to work.

Thus in response to DC Comics releasing their own line of action figures, Marvel came up with the Secret Wars as their way of addressing the dearth of Marvel action figures and yet still tying things together with a semblance of a story. While this may not have been the best story in Marvel crossover history, it certainly impacted the Marvel Universe in significant ways with effects that would ripple out further into comic books after this event.

Secret Wars starts with many of Earth's heroes and villains teleported to a "Battleworld" - a planet created by a cosmic being known as The Beyonder. The planet has two main "bases of sorts stocked with advanced weaponry and other devices. The Beyonder then presents this challenge to the assembled metahumans: "I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all that you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!" Of course with this simple challenge, the villains go all-out trying to defeat their heroic counterparts and gain the prize offered by the Beyonder.

While it may not have been the best reason in the world to gather so many high profile heroes and villains in one limited comic book series, it still was pretty enjoyable to read. Let's face it - this title really played t the fans and it did a much better job of things than what Contest of Champions did.

Julia Carpenter appears as Spider-Woman in the...Image via Wikipedia The series also introduced new characters like the villains Titania and Volcania and heroes like the new Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter). This also resulted in Spider-Man taking home his infamous black costume, which would later on be revealed to by a living alien symbiote that would eventually become Venom, one of his greatest villains. Plus the story ended with Molecule man being a more much respectable villain and with the Thing leaving the Fantastic Four only to be temporarily replaced by the She-Hulk. So in that sense, the series did have a pretty big impact on the Marvel Universe as a whole.

The series later triggered a rather lame follow-up (I'm still trying to finish it right now despite how ludicrous it is) but it pretty much helped set the tone for Marvel crossovers and it certainly made a lot of fans happy (myself included).

Was Secret Wars necessary to the development of the Marvel Universe? Perhaps not. What is fun and worth the time and effort? Most definitely, hehe.


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