Comics : Secret Wars #3

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

This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

All of Marvel's greatest heroes and villains are transported to Battle World by the God-Like Beyonder, who tells them to duke it out. The winner gets whatever they want. Doom leads the villains, and Captain America leads the heroes. So far, its Heroes: 1 and Villains: 0

In Detail...

Secret Wars #3
Jul 1984 : SMURF 251.700 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor:  Tom DeFalco
Writer:  Jim Shooter
Pencils:  Mike Zeck
Inker:  John Beatty
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Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (Reprints) #3
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #4
 Reprinted In: Secret Wars (UK) #5
Articles: Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius), Human Torch, Titania, The Wasp

There's a huge storm going on around Battle World, one more lethal than any on Earth. Magneto stands looking over it in his colossal base. Deciding she can't go anywhere, he lets Wasp free from her magnetic prison, and tells her she can't harm him because he's shielded himself. She zaps him anyway, saying she doesn't need to touch him to beat the snot out of him. She can bring the whole room down on their heads. "Would that inconvenience you, Magneto? Hm?"

Magneto calls a truce, because frankly, neither if them can go anywhere. He's coming on to her; telling her she's beautiful and smart, and that he's really not the monster she thinks he is. She seems to be falling for him.

Back at the Hero Base, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four talk about how vicious the storm is, and how it could crush anyone of them if they went outside, except for maybe the Hulk or Thor. Suddenly, lightning strikes and a large chunk of a mountain comes tumbling towards them. Thor appears, and bats it away with his hammer. He's having a great time in the chaotic weather. I guess he really likes the rain.

Hulk tells Cap and Reed Richards that he's just finished fixing the damage Magneto caused in his attack last issue. Reed tells Cap that they have Doom Base on camera, and that Doom seems to be drawing power from the storm for some experiment. Anyway, the bottom line is that they can't be attacked without beforehand notice. Cap is pretty sure that the villains will attack immediately after the storm, in a last ditched attempt to retrieve their prisoners and defeat the heroes.

Reed just wishes he was back at Earth so he could see his pregnant wife. "I wish you were home too, Richards, to spare us your maudlin whimpering!" says the Hulk. Reed walks off to spend some alone time.

Up in the rafters, Spidey thinks Reed is really depressed. Still, he's Spider- Man, so he decides to relax and swing through the base. There are, after all, so many rafters and pillars and machines, all good for swinging. A few minutes later, though, he's tired of walking into these huge rooms, so he decides to hit the sack. Before he leaves, he sees the X-Men holding a meeting. He's sneaks in to see what they're talking about.

Professor X says that they need to take matters into they're own hands. They don't belong with the Avengers. Rogue agrees; she used to be a villain, and she thinks the Avengers are suspicious of her. Wolverine threatens to tear the lungs out of anyone who bugs Rogue, but Xavier concludes the argument, saying that they need to join Magneto.

"Wait! I sense an eavesdropper! Spider-Man!" the Prof yells. Spidey leaps into action, almost instantly knocking out Professor X and Cyclops. He dodges Wolverine, and blinds Colossus with his webs. Flipping around the room, he webs up Rogue and evades Storm's lightning bolts. Nightcrawler says he can catch Spidey, since he's just as agile. Spider-Man disagrees, and he says so by webbing Nightcrawler to a wall, then twisting to smack Wolverine out of the air.

Spider-Man rushes off to tell someone, and Wolverine admits he's glad thats all he wanted to do, since Spider-Man really clobbered them. Spidey hurries over to Richards, but just as he's about to tell him about the X-Men's betrayal, Professor X manages to mind wipe Spider-Man. Assuming whatever it was he was going to say wasn't important, Spidey swings off. Cyclops asks Reed what was going on, trying to cover for his absence. Reed assumes that Spider-Man must have a situation like theirs (wife at home) and that he's cracking. Still, it doesn't seem like him.

The X-Men leave for Magneto's base. Magneto, meanwhile, turns down an alliance with Doctor Doom. Coming back to the Wasp, he tells her that he loves her, and she says the same. They kiss, and we go to Doom's fortress, where Doc Doom turns two normal women into super heroes with the power of the storm. He creates the woman with the power of a star, Volcana, and the formerly insecure, bullied little girl turned Godzilla strength level Titania. After testing their powers, Doom introduces them to the rest of their members. Titania tries to act big and force Absorbing Man to do whatever she wants, but he's laid back and tells her that whatever she has to prove, prove it tomorrow when they fight the heroes.

Volcana likes Molecule Man. He seems much more sensitive, much more human than the others. Molecule Man comments on how he could stop the storm, but his therapist told him to let things take their natural course. He would stop it if Doom asked him to, though. Molecule Man admires Doctor Doom and thinks he's a great leader.

Back at hero base, Thor lets the Enchantress free. He wishes to speak to her about things only another Asgardian would understand. Going to another place through a portal, Thor tells her that no matter where they go to talk, she is still his prisoner.

Hulk is upset because his Bruce-Banner-mind isn't working as fast as normal. He's scared he's going to turn back into a mindless beast. Instead of watching for the storm to finish, he dozes off. Cap suddenly awakes, and tells Hulk he should have been looking; now that the storm is over, the villains are most likely to attack. He orders Hulk to get the others. Hulk bounces off, angry at Cap for yelling at him.

Doom is surprised that the heroes seemingly did not expect their attack. He rams their ship into the base, and sends his villains off: Wrecker is to free the prisoners, and the rest are to let all hell loose. Molecule Man is assigned as Doom's bodyguard since he has sent Ultron off.

The Fantastic Four (three) are knocked unconscious when Titania knocks down a wall on them. Torch manages to burn the ground from underneath his unconscious teammates and escape. Elsewhere, Volcana knocks She Hulk to the ground and collapses the roof on top of her. Captain Marvel gets out of the bath and suits up when she hears something. She's knocked out by Doctor Octopus. Before Ock can deliver the finishing blow, Hawkeye appears and scares Doc off with his mad archery skills.

Spider-Man hurries to tell Iron Man they've been attacked. Both of them are caught under a collapsed roof as Ultron blasts the floor. Ultron doesn't realise he's hit two heroes, and Iron Man waits for him to leave before freeing an unconscious Spider-Man. Hulk tries to kill Doom and Molecule Man, but he gets called back by Cap because their onslaught is too powerful. The Wrecker returns with the freed villains, and Molecule Man boasts about how he drove the Hulk off. Doom announces that they aren't taking any chances: They're going to destroy the entire Hero Base!

In General...

Finally! The right mix of action and characterization! This is what I've been waiting for for the past two issues.

I think the highlight of this issue was Spidey beating the crap out of the X- Men. There are so many comics that feature 'So and so' vs 'so and so' on the cover, and 'so and so' and 'so and so' do duke it out. But there's never a winner. Either, a) The real bad guy shows up and they stop fighting, or b) they realise that they're not fighting the right person, and they look for the bad guy. There is never a victory on either side.

Finally, someone wins! Even Wolverine admits Spider-Man knocked the crap out of them! Its really beautiful! I hope we can see more fights won in comics nowadays, especially in the upcoming Civil War.

The art is pretty good. Its standard, really, but there's nothing wrong with that.

Overall Rating...

4 webs. Finally, we have a winner!

Footnote...

Heroes: 1, Villains: 1, and the war is on!