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TOPIC: Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 2 years 4 months ago #42537

  • Shalaengyl
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So who's reading Secret Wars? Here's my random thoughts.

We'll start with The Good

There are appearances by a lot of characters. Everything from spideyverse to many other forgotten storylines of the past. This is good to see old characters in new ways. Doctor Doom stands at the end of the multiverse, at the end of everything, and doesn't flinch. In fact, he appears to save everyone. I think it's also interesting that Doom has Valeria as his actual child in this world where he is God. Is there some part of him that would like a family? A wife and daughter?

So far my favorite title is Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies. It's very creative. Infinity Gauntlet wasn't bad thought could have been better.


The Bad & The Ugly

The lead up to Secret Wars was impossibly incomprehensible. Rather than explaining what was going on you had to read everything everywhere, piece together all the clues, and then go online to see what others have pieced together. Not a very good way to run a story. I liked Hickman's last event Fear Itself much more.

And all these titles drop you right into the middle of the action without much lead-in or really any mention of how it all ties in. What did Doom do? How will this end? Usually you can tell the broad brushstrokes at least of an event, but this one I'm completely blind in.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 2 years 4 months ago #42553

  • jkthemac
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Liking just too much of it to be honest, I am starting to wish it would just go on for another six months and leave the reboot until later.

Do you really think you needed to read any of the lead in? They are part of a wider story but I doubt they will matter to casual readers.

Even if they did you only need read New Avengers to get the main thread. Nothing from anything other than Avengers and New Avengers really matters that much, even Avengers World.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 2 years 4 months ago #42554

  • Shalaengyl
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I think the lead in was very important to understand why this new Battleworld exists. Also, how would you understand things like who was on the ship from before if you hadn't?

I think it's a mixed bag, a lot of good titles but a lot of bad titles too.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 2 years 4 months ago #42558

  • jkthemac
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Shalaengyl wrote:
I think the lead in was very important to understand why this new Battleworld exists. Also, how would you understand things like who was on the ship from before if you hadn't?
You can get all of who is where and why from SW 1 & 4. It is OK for a series to reference previous books and in this case I think it has the balance OK.

But my main point of departure is your suggestion it is 'impossibly incomprehensible' unless you read everything. I would suggest the more you have read the more you realise it isn't necessary. Having read almost everything leading up to the event and devouring the Hickman stuff, I don't see many things that rely on knowledge from those issues. Even the core ideas from New Avengers are covered within the main event book with enough detail to understand what is happening (such that we do, because there are still mysteries left to be revealed).

Shalaengyl wrote:
I think it's a mixed bag, a lot of good titles but a lot of bad titles too.

You can’t leave us hanging. Which ones didn't you like?

The main ones I am having difficulty with are the ones that belong to old titles I haven’t read and even most of those are ok.

I am very disappointed by the art of Old Man Logan, by Andrea Sorrentino, which is so amateur I can't believe someone got paid for it. I guess there is a place for photo reference sketches in comics but surely this is one of the highly anticipated titles? I think it deserved better.

The art of 2099 is also disappointing, from Will Sliney, an artist that clearly relies on posing software a little too much when rushed, which leads to awkwardness and lack of physical intent. He can’t even keep his own character likenesses consistent which is a bit disappointing when only a few issues back I was praising Sliney’s Spider-Verse work.

I am also finding the inconsistencies between some of the books a bit weird but I live in hope that they will be explained away by the unrevealed details of the set-up. (Although some will surely be because of the mammoth editorial task of keeping everything on message across the line).

There are also books that just are not for me. I don’t buy into the ‘Little heroes’ thing, and I can’t abide Punisher, especially as he is running into a ripped from the headlines political quagmire with a clear cut idea of who needs punishing. Indeed the “Last Days” titles in general have an awkward brief of “tie up your story and say something about how your character approaches the end of everything”.
Last Edit: 2 years 4 months ago by jkthemac.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 2 years 4 months ago #42560

  • Shalaengyl
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Well, so far here's my thoughts.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela
I have a lot of interest in Angela, but it seems like Marvel doesn't know how to handle her. Making her Thor's sister a good start, the Asgardian connection makes sense. But her personality is very unrelatable and it's hard to understand the character. Now this book which places her in the 1602 world is better, but still not enjoyable. The dialogue is poorly designed in mimic pseudo shakesperean era british english. It doesn't succeed. The story is barely held together, and it'll take a miracle for it to be salvaged.

A-Force
I've always hated the concept of "let's put a team together because they are all x". Milestone was created to create all minority teams, for example. And this is to create a mono-gender team. No matter how you cut it, this is the wrong way philosophically to go - it's segregation, saying that a female or minority character should be placed in their own book.

But getting way from that, I didn't like the characters. Especially the witch from Runaways who was a complete crybaby. Nico wasn't anything like that in Runaways; she was tough and down to earth. And then the dialogue was painful.

Armor Wars
This book actually intrigued me. A world where everyone is enhanced with Stark technology is fascinating. It has a lot of action, and while it bounces around a lot, it's at least coherent.

Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars
Not really a direct tie in, but hilarius nonetheless. I always crack up when Deadpool gets "healed" and has facial hair.

E is For Extinction
Ugh, horrible. Cyclops has mind control powers by flipping his visor in specific ways? What in the world?? The art is horrible. Quitely's style is hard to mimic (if you would even want to) and it certain didn't do it well here. I liked the scene with Beak and his girlfriend as I like those characters, though them being swingers is kind of wierd.

Infinity Gauntlet
I actually enjoyed this one though the idea of a family with nova powers is campy, it was at least fun. I think it could have toned down the Nova dog a bit, but I could live with it.

Secret Wars 2099
This wasn't bad, but the Captain America character is way flawed up. A character that doesn't know she's a hero? So you put someone in danger when they don't give permission? And the muscles and mask make her look ridiculous. The Black Widow character is interesting, though I didn't like Miguel's non chalant "Oh just don't lave any bodies around" stance.

I can post more later if anyone wants.
Last Edit: 2 years 4 months ago by Shalaengyl.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 2 years 4 months ago #42572

  • jkthemac
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I can't resist adding my thoughts on Angela.

I think the comic world is in some kind of collective denial about Angela. Everyone seems to talk about her as if she has a rich and long history from the Image days. In fact Marvel will soon have more issues including the character than Image did.

Marvel's tactic with Angela seems to be give her to another English writer. That could be a bit crass but I am OK with it because Gillen is a great choice for her and he clearly has a long term plan for the character.

The main book is fascinating, there is so much going on beneath the surface, Gillen & Bennett are playing a long game with the story which carries into this Secret Wars book by mixing up the dynamic between the two leads. (It also sees a change in roles between Gillen and Bennett.) I think the use of English seems reasonably authentic, there is an occasional mix of more modern phrasing but it works for me. The story is only just getting started but plays strongly to the storytelling theme and the underlying concept that stories can shape reality.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 6 months 2 weeks ago #47405

  • spiceroute
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you are right. age of ultron is my favourite. so many characters are there in it. i really like this movie. your article draws out all the good and bad in it. thanks for sharing.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 6 months 2 weeks ago #47409

  • boshuda
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I think the ugliest is the aftermath. Secret Wars itself wasn't bad. Too much nonsense in the leadup, mostly with Avengers, but Secret Wars itself was fine. And the supporting books with their various callbacks, references, and general shenanigans for fans was cool. But then they redid the universe. And it's such a cocked up mess I find myself googling pretty regularly whether or not post-Secret Wars improves, or if it's a joke, or if we'll get another reset, or something -- anything -- to make it all better again. A lot of the stories are fine, but the massive changes are painful. And the sidelining of so many top-tier characters hurts. Was it really necessary to make the books match chronologically with the external real world? The mis-matched timelines was fine. If you haven't read the old Spidey comics you never saw him using the wacky '60's slang. So it's a non-issue. And if you hunted those issues down or read the trades or whatever, then you realized these were published in a different era, but Spider-Man is still Spider-Man. He still swings from web lines. Just now he actually has a cel phone. Bah, it's so annoying.

P.S. Get off my lawn!!!

P.P.S. I'm not even that old. It just bugs me that they felt they had to do a reset like they did so 'new' readers wouldn't be confused by the time differential. If you read something for a hobby then you're probably smart enough to recognize that real-time passes more quickly than comic-time. And you can easily internalize the cognitive dissonance that arises from crap like Cap being thawed out forty years ago but still being in his roughly thirties or so. And you can recognize that Punisher served in Vietnam, but is still only in his twenties/thirties or so also. It's fine.

Maybe if the reset had been done better, and they hadn't just kind of hand-waved a bunch of off-panel stuff I'd be okay with it. And I think it bugs me personally when they artificially elevate characters for external reasons. Like Captain Marvel, who is actually a pretty cool character (besides the horrible hair style she's currently sporting), being forced into the same league as Captain America because she'll be in a movie soon or something.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 6 months 2 weeks ago #47419

  • jkthemac
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You know Marvel is not as bad as the hype suggests. Still plenty of books firing on all cylinders.
Last Edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by jkthemac.
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Secret Wars: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 6 months 2 weeks ago #47420

  • boshuda
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I'm still in February of last 2016. My reaction was based on my attempt to make heads or tails of the Marvel Universe immediately after Secret Wars. I don't read industry news. They're too happy to spoil things that haven't even been published yet, let alone stuff I haven't gotten around to. So I'm not sure how the press and other fans feel about the current Marvel books.

I just read Drax (with Terrax). That's fun. Hellcat is interesting. Spider-Woman going to the doctor is a fun story. Star Lord is okay. So I'm not hating on all of Marvel, just the forced blow-up.

I think my main issue is that I'm primarily an X-Men fan, but the X-Men have been seriously sidelined. I don't think it's because of any Fox movie deals or anything like that. I suspect it's because people like Fabian Nicieza didn't understand the X-Men universe and created a massive mess. But the Inhumans have always bored me. So to basically see them 'winning' against the X-Men burns me up a bit. But the retconning of things is also annoying. Deadpool saved DC so now he's a hero? And he's not crazy anymore? I don't want to have to think about Alpha Flight now being some uber-powerful organization. It's Canada's super team. Stuff like that -- it's confusing and annoying.
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