Comics : Secret Wars #1

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Crossover Crisis!

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

In the past few Marvel Comics, all of the big heroes have been... disappearing! *gasp*! A dastardly plot to destroy Marvel Comics? No. Secret Wars is a big super hero crossover which pits Marvel's greatest heroes against its greatest villains. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In Detail...

Secret Wars #1
May 1984 : SMURF 251.660 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor:  Tom DeFalco
Writer:  Jim Shooter
Pencils:  Mike Zeck
Inker:  John Beatty
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Annual (UK)
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (Reprints) #1
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #1
Articles: Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), Human Torch, Lizard, The Wasp

Out in the middle of no where, near a spiral galaxy, a space hub appears carrying all of Marvel's biggies: The Fantastic Four (minus the Invisible Woman), The X-Men (Xavier, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Rogue, Storm and Wolverine), a few of the Avengers (Wasp, She Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, Hawkeye and Iron Man), not to mention the Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-Man! It kind of sucks, but Spidey does pretty much nothing this issue. His moment of glory comes later on in the series.

Back to the now, the heroes are all surprised. In order to make sure they all know who's who, the heroes introduce themselves in a Usual Suspects line up manner. So, now that they all know who eachother are, Professor Xavier tells them that there are some bad guys floating around on a nearby space hub! They are (In the same Usual Suspects line up!!! Coincidence or what, huh?) the Enchantress, Ultron, the Absorbing Man, the Wrecker and his Wrecking Crew (Thunder ball, Pile driver and Bulldozer), the Lizard, Molecule Man, Doctor Octopus, Kang and Doctor Doom, who narrates all of their names as he proclaims himself their superior. Oh, yeah, and they're all standing at the feet of Galactus.

Back with the heroes, the Thing is a little miffed that Magneto (the mutant terrorist, master of magnetism, for those of you who don't know) got placed with the heroes. Everyone else concedes that they're uncomfortable with a murderer hanging around with them. Magneto's not a murderer, he claims, he's just trying to defend his kind from being persecuted. I'm with Magneto, by the way, so if he seems to be looking more sympathetic than you think Magneto really is, that's me.

Professor X tells Magneto to stop being so arrogant, but before a real fight can break out, everyone casts an eye skyward. Suddenly, the entire galaxy around them is obliterated, leaving only a star and a slowly assembling world from the rubble: Battle World!

Naturally, Doctor Doom is amazed, and the little green power hungry monster within him starts a' plotting. Doctor Octopus isn't too fascinated; he kind of just wishes the Absorbing Man would stop pushing him. They're about to make something out of it, but before they can, Ultron interjects. Ultron has no idea what's going on at this point, but he's content to just kill everyone.

Galactus and Absorbing Man are fine, but Doom needs Molecule Man to stay alive. Molecule Man, however, has wimped out. He doesn't want to hurt anyone, he just wants people to stop bullying him. Ever the bully (poor Molecule Man) Doom convinces him to just lift Ultron up to Galactus' face. Annoyed, Galactus sucks the energy out of him, and Ultron flops lifeless to the ground, while Galactus continues looking awestruck towards the sky.

"But... Ultron contained more power than an H Bomb!" Doc Ock exclaims. Where did he learn this during his years in prison? Hey, if you like science...

Suddenly, a light cuts across the sky. From it, a magnificent god-like being known as the Beyonder tells the heroes and villains that they are to duke it out on Battle World. The winner gets whatever they want. Its a good deal, but Galactus is tired of eating planets and destroying entire civilisations. He wants out-- Now! And he needs the Beyonder's power! Jumping out to try and get him, Galactus is repelled (Doom tries to get the power too, but is smarter than Galactus and turns back before its too late)

Both heroes and villains landing on separate parts of Battle World, the heroes are still nervous about having Magneto on their side. Magneto defends his past actions, assuring that he had every reason to fight back as an act of war. Hoping to unify everyone, the X-Men try to stand for Magneto and try and convince him to join them. The Avengers don't exactly follow this line of thought, and the argument heats up. Magneto doesn't want to see the X-Men's blood fought over him, so he tosses a big rock at the Avengers and flies off.

After a little bit of an argument, Cap is chosen as team leader of the heroes side. Back at the villain base, Doom leaves an unconscious Galactus and tries to convince the other villains not to just bow to the Beyonder's whims and prove that they are all just insignificant play-toys. They don't agree with him, so he decides he needs to find Reed Richards and see if his archenemy agrees with his theory. Kang doesn't exactly take too well to betrayal and guns Doom out of his sky chopper with neato sci fi weapons in the base.

The heroes go to check out the crash. Doom has a little bit of an injured pride, and decides that only he is smart enough to understand, then runs off. Before anyone can really think of what to do next, they are suddenly attacked by the villains... with laser guns a la Star Wars, and a big tripod thingy with a canon on top! Its target practice time for these villains!

In General...

This is a good story, and a solid beginning. You get the real feel of the over arching Secret War, and a little action to ease the transition from 'Spidey and co beating up robbers' to 'War!'

Spider-Man is pretty much absent from this issues story. I mean, he's there, but he does pretty much nothing. Its sad, really, because all cross overs around that era seemed to have some kind of idea that Spidey wasn't important, or only there for comic relief, and so they sort of leave him out of their stories.

There's quite the cast of characters, which seems to be heating up for some major Star-Wars-meets-Marvel action! From the looks of this issues ending, the villains are just going to plow through the heroes and collect they're prize! Its a wild ride from here on in, methinks.

Overall Rating...

Its a cool beginning, but as all beginnings, its a transition into the story. So even though it packs some good story meat, it doesn't hold water with what will hopefully occur later on in the series.