Sep 8, 2008

[Comics] Secret Wars II

Secret Wars IIThe first Secret Wars turned out to be a lot better than initially expected. Despite the fact that the story was put together just for the purpose of marketing a related toyline featuring some of Marvel's greatest heroes and villains with the guise of a story, I continue to appreciate that event especially considering the major impact it had on characters like Spider-Man and even how it reinforced the characterization of Doctor Doom's megalomania and his sheer intelligence that allowed him to challenge the Beyonder and usurp his power, albeit temporarily.

Of course, we all wish that the folks at Marvel had recongized that the success of Secret Wars was somewhat a fluke and instead of it being deliberately executed skilled craftsmanship, it was more of a one-time fluke.

So why on Earth they decided that a sequel would work, worse a sequel with a plot this stupid, is beyond me.

The Beyonder in his human form.  Art by Jimmy ...Image via Wikipedia Secret Wars II has a very, very basic plot. The Beyonder, who is the cosmic entity that orchestrated the events in the first Secret Wars, has come to Earth out of curiosity about humanity and how they live as lesser beings. The 9-issue series then follows the exploration of mortality by this near-omnipotent being with often disastrous consequences because of his rather childlike reasoning coupled with awesome power.

I can see that Marvel's House of Ideas was trying to make this an exploration of what makes us human and what things drive us day after day given how materialistic and callous we've become. However because it was done through the perspective of a character with rule-breaking abilities and plot-defying logic, the story became cheapened and often comic given the situations the Beyonder got himself into.

It did little for really adding anything to the Marvel Universe and for that matter did nothing for the Beyonder. At the end of the first Secret Wars, he was this awesome being who had the ability to create an entire world just for the purpose of studying metahumans battle one another. In this sequel comic, he ends up gathering ridiculous amounts of financial wealth, falls in love with Dazzler and manages to destroy the world only to recreate it again with no one any bit the wiser. WTF, right?

Marvel was better off letting sleeping dogs lie and this storyline only tainted the limited success of the first title and probably set them back by a few years of prestige and overall plot development.

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